Ferrari front wheel fairings illegal?

(GMM) Albeit dwarfed by the scope of the espionage saga, another technical controversy is bubbling away in the Silverstone paddock this weekend.

Perhaps emboldened by the apparent moral ground it holds in the Nigel Stepney-Mike Coughlan spy scandal, Ferrari's single seater has been running a more aggressive than ever 'wheel fairings' solution at the scene of the British grand prix.

The concept – black carbon-fiber wheel-rim covers that provide an aerodynamic benefit – first emerged on the Maranello built cars late last year, but only at the rear of the car.

Some rivals moaned at the time that the fairings came close to flouting the rules about moveable aerodynamic devices, because, undeniably, they spin in excess of 300kph with the motion of the wheels.

But, because they are fixed securely to the rim and therefore arguably do not move, the FIA ultimately gave the concept the all-clear. It is understood, however, that the clearance – and the concurrence of the rest of the field – was limited to use on rear wheels only, because the front wheels move when the car is being steered.

For the first time, however, the Ferraris driven by Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa at Silverstone featured fairings on all four wheels.

Toyota and Renault were also using similar wheel fairings at Silverstone, but only at the rear of their cars.

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