Ferrari wing mirror, 2018

Revealed: Why Ferrari’s controversial Halo wing mirrors are legal – for now

2018 F1 season

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Ferrari’s controversial Halo-mounted wing mirrors have been under scrutiny since they appeared at the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

However RaceFans has learned that, contrary to reports, the controversial design has not yet been banned for future races.

The SF71H’s wing mirrors attracted immediate attention when the car was launched for their unusual aerodynamic profile, as these new pictures show. The forward-facing element of the mirrors are vented, improving the airflow through them to the rear of the car.

However Ferrari’s next development of the mirrors, which involved mounting them on the Halo safety structure, has prompted questions from rival teams. RaceFans understands the supports by which the mirrors are attached to the car are thought by some to be in contravention of the rules.

Ferrari wing mirror, 2018
Ferrari’s mirrors are vented
Ferrari SF71H Halo wings, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
The Halo mountings are under scrutiny

If the FIA chooses to ban the mountings it can do so by issuing a technical directive to clarify the regulations. Until then Ferrari’s unique arrangement is legal within the rules as they are currently written and interpreted.

Ferrari has led the way in this area of car development in 2018. No other team is using vented rear wing mirrors or has mounted its mirrors on the Halo.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
Hamilton took a close look in Ferrari’s design yesterday

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18 comments on “Revealed: Why Ferrari’s controversial Halo wing mirrors are legal – for now”

  1. They’re ridiculous. Their protuberant design and hollowed out shape seem especially designed for pit lane accidents with humans in particular. Given Ferrari have already seen one of their pit crew seriously injured this year, FIA should be banning them immediately. A clear sign of sports politics outweighing safety.

    1. @david-br Sorry, what?! What the hell are you talking about?

      1. The Ferrari mirrors, Dan!

    2. Not sure I agree that there is some dangerous ‘protuberance’ as the mirror is still pretty much sitting where the mirrors sit on these cars…just mounted from above. I don’t see how the extra winglet above it is any more of a protuberance or a danger than the mirror itself. The only question to me is whether the winglet is an illegal aero addition. Would it be more ‘acceptable’ if it was an aero neutral design, which I’m sure it is not? I suppose there is more to come from within on this topic.

      1. exactly. I can also imagine that these mirrors are lighter than the others therefore safer. If they want to check the safety of the mirrors they should go to haas

    3. Personally I don’t see how this increases injury risk in the pit lane. The crew stabilising the car are behind these structures, so not much change there.

      The broken leg incident was because of a coordination error and timing of the release, and this is going to cause injury winglets and mirror mounts notwithstanding.

      I say fair play, good on Ferrari for trying. If it works, great. Stop trying to outlaw good ideas and come up with your own innovation whoever is calling for the ban. Same old story every time, its very petty I think.

      1. It’s a lot about the shape. They’re head height, protuberant, sharp edged and can catch on other protrusions. So a driver taking off from a pit stop when a mechanic is still working close to the car is, I’d say, very high risk. Also has anyone imagined one of these in collision with another car cockpit at high speed, for example?

        Also the halo is a monstrosity already, there exclusively for safety. This clearly lessens its safety. Again, they’re at precisely head height. It’s simply not a good idea and irrelevant what team came up with it (@mog).

        1. You do realize the floor comes out further than that winglet on the mirror? If you’re so worried about that during a pit stop then you should be far more worried about mechanics getting injured by the barge board or sharp edges of the floor.

          1. @magillagorilla OK! maybe it’s a bit of an over-reaction to the fact that it’s ugly on top of ugly, but they look to me like an accident in the making.

          2. @david-br Aesthetics shouldn’t be a factor in the safety or banning of an item. Also the FIA has always frowned on winglets around the driver area, the late 90s and early 00s saw the X wing and BMW-Sauber’s Vertical Winglets/towers. So not sure why Ferrari thought this would be okay, but I guess when the rules aren’t specific, you should try to push the boundaries and see.

    4. Funny.

      1. Funny … not quite. It’s hilarious.
        Credit to Ferrari for the vented mirrors. Not sure it does anything beneficial, but you can bet every other team is doing simulations to see if it really does. Sometimes a good deception is a great strategy.
        The mounting location for the mirror is a fabulous use of the Halo (aka the “Front Roll Hoop”) and if it puts the mirror in a more useful position, kudos to the boys in Red.
        Those “winglets” above the mirror are a different issue. Shades of the old McLaren Viking Horns. Ya gotta love the funky little strut from the winglet to the mirror. I can just see the Italian translation … “oh but this proves that the upper mounting bracket (winglet) is necessary to stabilize the mirror”.
        Looking forward to the storm is a cappuccino cup.

  2. Interesting. I did wonder if SV’s claim that he could see behind better with this positioning carried some weight with the FIA from a safety standpoint, but I just also wondered if the mirror itself is actually positioned differently than when it is mounted on a post off the body as before, and that SV was just trying to help them keep this by playing the safety card.

    1. They got double mirrors now, i guess that helps with the field of view? But otherwise yeah they have a test for it and if the drivers don’t pass the test the mirrors are deemed illegal, so all’s good as far as the positioning is concerned. Tthe winglet mounted on the mirror mount is the bigger questionmark here and i still think it will be banned come Monaco.

  3. I am still surprised that they don’t use close in mounted LCD / amoled screens with rear facing cameras instead of dangly wing mirrors – weight perhaps?

    1. @ahxshades where would they out them? I sports car racing it makes sense though even the highest class doesn’t run them, just the GTE/LM and GT3 to some extent. However, F1 is a bit more questionable in the working arrangement. Clearly not their steering wheel, so where else? Driver’s area is small so…

  4. My feelings on this:

    With the HALO being a safety device, and it having come under fire for being able to get out of the car or extract someone in a car, the mirrors should be mounted in their original location.

    +1 for Ferrari doing something innovative, however I think that attaching something to a dedicated safety device like this is a bit too much.

    1. There is no question as to the legality of mounting them on the halo. It is clearly allowed. The issue is that Ferarri appear to have used it as an opportunity to add new aero devices rather than purely mounting the mirrors.

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