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2013 Formula 1 season: Nose designs


75 mm mandatory drop from 625 mm to 550 mm which is to be changed for 2013

The 2013 F1 regulations have not undergone any significant changes as compared to the 2012 ones. But one important thing is the change in the nose designs.

Article 3.7.9 of the 2012 technical regulations: “No bodywork situated more than 1950 mm forward of rear face of the cockpit entry template may be more than 550 mm above the reference plane.”

The 2012 regulations introduced a fall in the chassis height from 625 mm(the normal height) to 550 mm in a space of 150 mm near the front wheels – this led to most of the teams going for stepped noses so as to allow as much air underneath the car as possible in order to aid aerodynamics. Only McLaren and Marussia went for the regular noses, the reason being the overall height of their chassis being fundamentally lower than that of other teams.

The stepped noses were introduced as a measure of increasing safety because the high noses of previous years could prove to be lethal in case of T-Bone crashes. Also, the high noses made it easier for cars to lift and climb over the car in front in case of an tailgating accident similar to what Michael Schumacher experienced in Singapore last year.

We are almost nearing the end of the year with just 2 races to go but we never were able to understand which path provided more of an advantage because out of the three frontrunning teams two have stepped noses and one has the regular design. So, that will remain a mystery forever because the stepped nose design is set to go for the 2013 season.

As soon as the different teams launched their cars, the stepped nose designs were subject to a lot of criticism and debate because the did serious damage to the aesthetic beauty of the F1 cars. This furore raged throughout the whole season and as a result the FIA had to take some steps to ensure that the old noses returned but without safety being compromised.

So, the rules were changed for next year and Article 3.7.9 was modified. It now said: “With the exception of an optional, single piece, non-structural fairing of prescribed laminate which may not be more than 625 mm above the reference plane at any point, no bodywork situated more than 1950 mm forward of rear face of the cockpit entry template may be more than 550 mm above the reference plane.

The covering will thus be not as rigid as the rest of the chassis and would easily disintegrate in case of a T-Bone collision thus causing minimum or no harm to the drivers involved.

The cars will thus look more like their 2011 counterparts although that depends upon which teams decide to use the nose covers as they might affect the aerodynamics of the cars.

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