Barcelona (AFP) – Sebastian Vettel said on Friday that newly-fitted rear-view mirrors mounted on the ‘halo’ of his Ferrari car are designed for improved vision and are not an aerodynamic advantage.
The four-time world champion said the new mirrors offered much-improved rear visibility and, at the same time, made the ‘halo’ head protection look more attractive.
He rejected the idea that Ferrari were seeking to make their cars faster.
“That’s why we changed it because it was quite difficult for us to see cars behind,” he said.
“Now they are in a bit of a different position, and I can see a little bit better below the rear wing.
“So that’s why we changed it. I think it also looks better. The halo is still not pretty, but it makes it look a little bit better.”
Vettel said the innovation demonstrates that Ferrari is coming up with pioneering design ideas and he suspects other teams will copy the idea.
“In the last couple of years, I think we came up with stuff that other people tend to copy,” he explained.
“Most of the cars now followed our trend in terms of the side-pods and some of the bargeboard designs.
“It’s a confirmation that we’re heading the right way. I think we have the tools, we have the people, and ultimately, we need to do it. That’s what we all want, but there’s a lot of work ahead of us.”
Ferrari’s new mirrors on the halo was the most creative new design on show at the Circuit de Catalunya on Friday for opening practice at the Spanish Grand Prix.
McLaren also caught the eye with a radical new front wing design.
Of his fourth place in second practice, Vettel said he was reasonably satisfied.
“Today, I think, was OK. The car balance, I’m reasonably happy. I think overall it’s been a tricky day with the tyres to understand where they are because we changed. We had to change, everybody had to change. We’ll see.
“I think we can improve. I know there’s a little bit more in the car and a little bit more in me if I get everything together. So it should be OK, but I don’t know where we will end up.”