While they are the only team absent from this week’s events at Jerez, Lotus’ radical front nose solution has been deemed legal by FIA race director Charlie Whiting.
The topic of the front nose has been at the forefront of every F1 fan’s mind over the last week or so as most teams have opted for a design which certainly goes against the idea of F1 cars being female.
The reasoning for the conspicuous looking front noses is a new rule which requires the tip of the nose to be 185mm from the ground; however, the width of the tip can be much narrower than the section which makes up the front of the monocoque.
As a result, to improve aerodynamics, teams have been using these designs dubbed ‘finger’ noses to comply with the new rule but maintain aero performance under the car.
However, Lotus has gone down a different route with a design that incorporates two ‘tips’ with one being slightly shorter than the other, this has been dubbed the ‘twin-tusk’ or ‘fork’ nose. Its legality based on the “spirit of the regulations” was questioned by Toro Rosso’s James Key.
“The structure has withstood the crash tests and the concept adheres to the letter of the law,” Whiting is quoted by France’s Auto Hebdo.
“The approach is – without a doubt – different, but it is legitimate.
“They presented the concept in the summer, and we did not find anything wrong with it. On the contrary, it is a very clever interpretation of the rules,” he added.
With the issue of nose designs being such a hot topic of discussion among fans and pundits alike, interestingly Ferrari’s new technical chief James Allison claims the actual effect of the design at the tip of the noses is not so important.
“There are many concepts that work, and ours is one of them,” he said referring to the much wider design on the front of the Ferrari F14-T, a design most have compared to a vacuum cleaner.
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