Rival teams are keen to find out whether Lotus’s unique front nose layout complies with new F1 rules according to the FIA.
As testing begins in Jerez – albeit without Lotus present – most fans are waiting to see if the top teams have followed the majority of the grid in incorporating the ‘finger’ nose onto their cars.
The backlash to these rather ungainly noses has been strong on social media as teams look to comply with the new 185mm maximum height at the tip but maintain the kind of airflow under the car seen from the higher noses of previous years.
However Lotus’s design, which can be seen here, created most intrigue from fans as it features what has been dubbed a ‘fork’ or 'twin tusk' nose with two separate tips with one slightly shorter than the other.
On Monday Toro Rosso revealed its 2014 car, the STR9, with its longer ‘finger’ nose making it the butt of jokes among fans all over social media, at the launch the team’s technical director James Key was asked if the legality of any other nose designs would be called into question.
“Apart from the Lotus nose, no,” he said.
“The Lotus nose needs a bit of clarification. It’s a very clever idea. I don’t think it’s illegal, it just whether it’s in the spirit of the regulations.”
Indeed the term ‘spirit of the regulations’ has been a topic of great debate in F1 for a few years as some teams push the boundaries of design and aerodynamics.
It is believed Lotus could have found a loophole in the regulations with its twin tip design that another high level technical chief admitted would be looked at by most teams.
“All the teams are now looking in this direction,” confessed Pat Symonds, Williams’ technical chief, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
“For testing, the nose is not the decisive detail,” he explained.
“Everyone just wants to get going and then explore the aerodynamic limits later on.”
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