Mercedes' 'illegal' mirrors still on Lewis Hamilton's car as protest to fall on deaf ears

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Journalist Albert Fabrega, inside the Bahrain paddock, posted an image showing the deflectors still in place on the car. Teams believe the mirrors will give Mercedes and Hamilton an aerodynamic boost when they are not considered an aero part.

The mirrors were expected to be challenged at a meeting of the FIA’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Tuesday. Although official sessions do not begin until tomorrow, if the part was outlawed it would likely be removed straight away.

However, it is still possible parts could be sent to the track and replaced ahead of Friday’s practice tomorrow. Posting on Twitter, Fabrega said: “Vertical deflectors around mirrors stay on the Mercedes.”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner had claimed the Mercedes sidepods were “illegal” before withdrawing the comments 24 hours later. Red Bull later claimed the design “would surely” have been submitted to the FIA in advance meaning it was likely to be allowed.

READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton hits out at tyre supplier Pirelli – ‘Worse this year’

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has also been “surprised” by the mirrors warning it was against the “spirit” of F1.

He said: “On the mirrors, I’m more surprised, I find that quite surprising, it’s something we’re not expecting. In the spirit of that, it’s something for the future that needs to be addressed.

“Already in the past, we said the mirrors should have no aero purpose. They should be there just to look behind and I think the way that they design the cars has a significant aero purpose in the mirrors.

“[It’s] something that we need to stop for the future no doubt, because the risk is that we will come and all the teams will start designing mirrors that look like spaceships. I don’t think that’s what we’re looking for as F1.”

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Meanwhile, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has claimed to be “really proud” of the new 2022 car. However, he is still concerned the design could be banned if it becomes successful under new voting rules.

The new system means just 80 percent of teams have to agree to change the rule which could stop Mercedes vetoing any future bans.

Wolff said: “First of all, it’s clear that sometimes when you come with an innovation it creates the kind of debate that we’re having here and that was expected. We have the new governance with the super-majority that’s needed and my opinion is that I’d have preferred to stay with the old system.”



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