The drivers have asked for the sport’s governing body, the FIA, to look into improving the rear-view mirrors after many complaints have been fielded about lack of visibility. In recent years, the teams have been placing the mirrors quite far out on the sidepods, solely done for aerodynamic gain. However, being so far away from the pilot means they are hard to see into, especially when the movement of the driver’s head is so limited. The extreme position of the mirrors also increases the vibrations that run through them, making any sight even harder to understand.
Through all three main sessions in Australia this weekend, drivers have complained of others impeding their progress, ultimately coming to a head during the race where Fernando Alonso turned across the track only to clout Jenson Button who had line and should have been given a little more room. It was the second incident of the weekend involving Alonso after Schumacher had words with the Spaniard after qualifying on Saturday.
The drivers are lobbying the FIA to do something about it, as the mirrors have now essentially become aerodynamic devices. Ideally, the teams would be forced to return the mirrors to the side of the cockpit, drawing them in closer to the driver’s sight and decreasing the vibrations, thus improving visibility.
I hope we put a proposal as the GPDA to see if we can have the mirrors back to where they belong – and it is something we mentioned in the drivers’ briefing on Friday.
We have all been quite honest and said that we all have difficulties – apart from Lewis. The problem for me is that we are driven by the aerodynamics, but the mirrors situated on the aero stuff vibrates. Rubens Barrichello.
Everyone has got a problem with mirrors. The reality is that the mirrors on the sidepods, they give you very small vision of what is happening behind and they vibrate a lot so you see very little.
So if you don’t have a lot of information coming from the radio, then you have a problem. You can see when you have a car straight behind okay, but when it is two seconds behind you have no idea where it is.
Everyone has the same problem, but since the mirrors have gone outboard this is a problem – as they are aerodynamic devices now. Pedro De La Rosa.
With an increase in traffic this year, coupled with the fact that some of these drivers are in much slower cars, the ability to see backwards behind the car is even more important. The decision among the drivers seems pretty unanimous: they want the mirrors back on the side of the monocoque.