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F1 to cover up 'ugly' cars

2012-09-28 10:47

HARD ON THE EYES: Ferrari's 2012 contender may be seen as ugly by fans but there's no denying the way the car has taken Fernando Alonso to the title lead and possibly to claim overall victory.

Alan Baldwin

LONDON, UK - Formula 1 cars can have "modesty panels" in 2013 to cover up the broken, stepped noses that many observers have decried as ugly in 2012.

The sport's governing body, the International Automobile Federation, published 2013 technical regulations which authorise the use of special fairings to restore the sleek, flowing looks of previous years.

Article 3.7.9 refers to "an optional, single-piece, non-structural fairing of prescribed laminate" that can be used to smooth the transition between the car's low nose and high chassis. They will not affect the car's aerodynamics and teams are not obliged to use them.


McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe said at the 2012 Italian F1 GP that such panels could be fitted over existing structures without requiring more substantial and costly changes.

McLaren, whose car has won five of the 14 races so far this season, are alone among the top teams to have a flowing nose rather than the stepped solution adopted by others in response to regulations aimed at protecting the drivers from frontal impacts.

Ferrari's 2012 car, which has taken championship leader Fernando Alonso to three wins, was seen as the ugliest in years to emerge from the Maranello factory when it was unveiled.


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