FIA approves plan to hide stepped noses

Autosport

Formula 1 teams will have the option of fitting a special panel to their cars next year to help hide stepped noses, the FIA has confirmed.

Following discussions between teams to come up with a solution to the ugly designs that would not entail a big redesign for next year, motor racing's governing body has rubber stamped new rules that will allow a special 'modesty panel' to be fitted.

In a version of the 2013 regulations that was published by the FIA on Thursday, it provided details of the panel that can be fitted to help cover up the step change between the low noses and high chassis of the current generation of cars.

The new Article 3.7.9 of the Technical Regulations states: "With the exception of an optional, single piece, non-structural fairing of prescribed laminate (whose precise lay-up may be found in the Appendix to the regulations) which may not be more than 625mm above the reference plane at any point, no bodywork situated more than

1950mm forward of rear face of the cockpit entry template may be more than 550mm above the reference plane."

McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe said recently that the use of a panel was important because teams could just fit it over existing chassis designs, with some outfits reluctant to make big car changes for next year.

"We have agreed a rule that allows a 'modesty panel', which in effect means you can take the existing cars and exiting structures that have a step and put a cover there," he said at the Italian Grand Prix.

"The way it is managed is that the laminate and size of that panel is limited so that you cannot create an aero [advantage] out of it and also so that it plays no part in the forward impact."

Double DRS ban

The new technical regulations also include a clause that will outlaw the type of double DRS that Mercedes used since the start of the season.

Article 3.18 states that the moveable rear wing: "cannot be used to change the geometry of any duct, either directly or indirectly, other than the change to the distance between adjacent sections permitted by Article 3.10.2."

The rules do not make any reference to outlawing the type of double DRS that Lotus has pioneered, and which Mercedes is now working hard on.

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