F1 teams banned from hiding secrets on their car
The recently released FIA 2011 Formula One Sporting Regulations prohibit teams from obscuring their cars with covers or screens, most of the time, during a Grand Prix weekend.
In 2010, particularly, teams went out of their way to obscure their cars from prying eyes. Now with the introduction of Article 27.4, gone for good are the crowd of mechanics blocking the view of their team cars on the grid, covered cars in the pit garages and any other attempts by teams to block the view of their cars.
Exceptions to the rule “no covers” will be when cars are in the parc fermé overnight or if the cars is in the pit lane or grid when raining. (See unabridged rule 27.4 below.)
Article 27.4 of the FIA 2011 Formula One Sporting Regulations
During the entire Event, no screen, cover or other obstruction which in any way obscures any part of a car will be allowed at any time in the paddock, garages, pit lane or grid, unless it is clear any such covers are needed solely for mechanical reasons, which could, for example, include protecting against fire.
In addition to the above the following are specifically not permitted:
- engine, gearbox or radiator covers whilst engines are being changed or moved around the garage;
- covers over spare wings when they are on a stand in the pit lane not being used;
- parts such as (but not limited to) spare floors, fuel rigs or tool trolleys may not be used as an obstruction.
The following are permitted:
- covers which are placed over damaged cars or components;
- a transparent tool tray, no more than 50mm deep, placed on top of the rear wing;
- warming or heat retaining covers for the engine and gearbox on the grid;
- a rear wing cover designed specifically to protect a mechanic starting the car from fire;
- tire heating blankets;
- covers over the tire manufacturer’s code numbers (not the FIA bar code numbers);
- a cover over the car in the parc fermé overnight;
- a cover over the car in the pit lane or grid if it is raining.