September 27, 2012
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2012’s unloved “stepped noses”, featuring in the design of the majority of the cars in the field, may be on the way out, as the FIA has approved the use of a “modesty panel” to hide the controversial feature.
As the 2013 Technical Regulations were posted online by the FIA, readers noted a new Article had been created for the new panel:
"With the exception of an optional, single piece, non-structural fairing of
prescribed laminate (whose precise lay-up may be found in the Appendix to the
regulations) which may not be more than 625mm above the reference plane at any
point, no bodywork situated more than 1950mm forward of rear face of the
cockpit entry template may be more than 550mm above the reference plane."
As stated, the panel cannot be a structural part of the car, but must be able to fit onto and over the stepped nose of the car. Seeing as the article was added to improve the look of the cars, the panel may also cover the side of the stepped section as well.
McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe confirmed that the panel would be restricted in size to avoid teams from gaining an aerodynamic advantage.
Also mentioned in the 2013 regulations is the banning of the “Double DRS” system pioneered by the Mercedes team. Their car layout allowed the DRS flap to activate a second duct to direct air to the front wing, which has now been banned:
[The movable rear wing] "cannot be used to change the geometry of any duct,
either directly or indirectly, other than the change to the distance between
adjacent sections permitted by Article 3.10.2."