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2012 rule changes - lower nose 30 January 2012

In order to increase safety, for 2012 the FIA has decided to lower the height of the car's front section, primarily to lessen the chance of one's car's nose intruding into the cockpit of another in the event of a side-on collision. As can be seen in this diagram, the height of the chassis immediately ahead of the cockpit can still be up to 625mm above the reference plane (PR), but then in the space of 150mm it must fall to 550mm. This is expected to lead to some rather awkward-looking, stepped-nose designs on the 2012 cars, including Ferrari's new machine.