‘Mirrors should not have any aero purpose’: Ferrari boss questions legality of Mercedes mirrors

Mercedes introduced a peculiar sidepod design ahead of the second pre-season test in Bahrain.

After Red Bull’s alleged complaints yesterday, Mercedes have also had the legality of their car queried by Ferrari.

The Silver Arrows entered day one of testing in Bahrain with a radical design that featured a near-total absence of sidepods, with less orthodox grills having been implemented in an alteration to aerodynamic efficiency and cooling philosophy.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reportedly told Auto Motor und Sport that the distinct design went “against the spirit of the regulations,” but there is obscurity as to whether these quotes are legitimate.

There have also been subtle changes to the mirrors, and Binotto would like clarification from the FIA as to whether it is justifiable to use the mirrors for an aerodynamic advantage.

“On the mirrors, some are surprised. I find that quite surprising. That’s not something we are expecting,” he said in a press conference.

“I think in the spirit of that, some things are needed. I think for the future [they] need to be addressed.

“Already in the past, we always argued the mirrors should not have any aero purpose. They should be there just to look behind.”

The Italian emphasises that such an advantageous capitalisation of the mirrors should be outlawed.

“I think the way [Mercedes] treated or designed their car, certainly there is a significant aero purpose in the mirrors itself and I think something we need to stop for the future, no doubt, because the risk is we will come in the future that all the teams start designing mirrors that look like spaceships,” he stated.

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“I don’t think that’s what we are looking for as F1.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff confirmed that he ran Mercedes’ new concept by the FIA, and they deemed everything on the car to be legal, which likely the reason Red Bull were quick to clarify that Horner’s remarks were not “official.”

“When you go down a specific development direction, the FIA scrutinises it, and you make them a part of the process,” said the Austrian.

“We were keen in not running alone, but being in touch with the FIA, and that is why I think it will be OK.”

Mercedes set 121 laps between George Russell and Sir Lewis Hamilton on day one, and the 24-year-old is out on track in the morning session on day two.