FIA warns about ‘severely limited’ view as teams trial bigger mirrors

Poor visibility has been a theme of the 2022 season under the new technical regulations.

Formula 1 teams have been trying out some new mirrors on their cars for past couple of races in a bid to improve visibility.

Obstructed views were something that was already being spoken about when the new technical regulations arrived due to the bigger, 18-inch tyres.

Sir Lewis Hamilton joked that he would start using cushions so that he could see over them, but the general consensus was that the drivers would get used to them eventually.

Indeed they have, but seeing out of the back of the car is still proving tough.

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Drivers need to be able to see each other during practice and qualifying sessions to make sure they are not holding anyone up, and when making defensive moves, it is vital that they have a reference point for where the car behind is.

Nikolas Tombazis, head of single seater technical matters at the FIA, suggested recently that there is severely limited visibility for the drivers out of the mirrors.

“In the area diagonally to the rear, the view is currently severely limited,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

The immediate solution for the teams is to race with bigger wing mirrors, but this cannot come at the expense of visibility out of the front of the car.

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“We have to avoid the driver seeing less ahead because the mirror is in the way, there is only a small window where it fits,” added Tombazis.

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Teams have been testing out the bigger mirrors since the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this season, and are set to continue to do so over the next few race weekends.

Mirror changes for next year would be the latest of a host of changes, including a raise of the front wing floor edges, as well as the diffuser throat.

There will also be stricter deflection tests as well as more accurate oscillation sensors, all of which is aimed at countering “porpoising” and bouncing.