FIA bans Ferrari’s halo winglets from Monaco onwards
The FIA has moved to ban Ferrari’s mirror winglets (see yellow arrow above) following the introduction of its new halo-mounted mirrors during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.
The FIA gave teams the option of mounting their mirrors on the halo instead of the chassis in an attempt to improve visibility. Ferrari were the only team to take advantage of that, but it seems they have taken it a step further which hasn’t gone down well with the governing body.
Ferrari has reportedly been told the small winglets which sit above the mirrors must be removed for the next race in Monaco as they are an aerodynamic device, despite Ferrari’s claims that they are purely structural to limit mirror vibration, as the winglet and mirror are connected by a small support.
The FIA hasn’t accepted this argument. It’s unclear if Ferrari will remove the winglet and keep the halo-mounted mirrors for Monaco, or revert back to its chassis mounted option used in the first four races.
The FIA’s Head of Technical Matters Nikolas Tombazis commented on the option to mount them to the halo earlier in the week and admitted a team would only do so if it provided an aerodynamic benefit.
"Mirrors are nasty aerodynamic shapes and teams would ideally not want to have any mirrors at all, and clearly there's a regulation requiring mirrors to be in certain positions and have a certain amount of visibility.
"So I'm sure that when a team comes forward and says, 'We want to mount it here' it is because they feel it's going to be a bit better aerodynamically, we have no doubt about it. That includes halo mounting as well.
"Now it is our responsibility to make sure that the rules are specific enough, and we hope to also make improvements in the future, to make sure the mirrors achieve their real function, which is to be able to see at the back, and to stop them being used for aerodynamic purposes.
"But as long as there is a big device somewhere in the air teams will always worry about the aerodynamic effect. So it's our responsibility to regulate it properly."