Outboard wing mirrors, seen here on last year's Ferrari F60
It has been announced that outboard mirrors are to be banned from the Chinese Grand Prix onwards, due to safety concerns.
There were several complaints during the Australian Grand Prix weekend about drivers holding each other up. This was mainly because the drivers were unable to look in their mirrors without taking their eyes off the road. For example, the first corner collision between Alonso and Button could have been avoided if the Spaniard had been able to look behind him and see that Button had already taken the inside line.
Many teams were using the outboard mirrors in their cars, such as Ferrari, Red Bull, Force India, Sauber, Williams and HRT. McLaren used them in practice in Australia, but took them off in time for qualifying.
Now, from China onwards, the mirrors will have to be fitted on the cockpit side for safety reasons. Oddly enough, while most drivers didn’t like the design, Felipe Massa claims he has no problem with outboard mirrors:
"I have no problem with my visibility. So, if it is the same I prefer to keep
what I have, but we will see how it is going to be. I hope we don't lose
anything moving the mirrors from one side to the other."
It’s good to see safety be put first, like I was talking about a few days ago. Obviously this rule change couldn’t be put in for this weekend, since it is too close to make the full changes this late.
The thing is, this is the second rule change already this year, because of teams exploiting the rules. The first was closing the loophole on diffuer starter motors, before Australia.