Formula 1 drivers are pushing the FIA to help improve the rear-view mirrors on the cars, following complaints about the lack of visibility this year.
The Australian Grand Prix has been blighted by a series of incidents throughout practice and qualifying where drivers have blocked their rivals after being unable to clearly see cars closing in on them.
Pedro de la Rosa was reprimanded for holding up a rival during free practice, while Michael Schumacher was left fuming after he was balked by both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in qualifying. With a number of drivers expressing concerns that the current generation of mirrors – especially those fitted to the sidepods like on the Ferrari and Red Bull Racing cars – are not giving drivers enough visibility, the FIA is now being lobbied to address the issue.
Rubens Barrichello said: "I hope we put a proposal as the GPDA to see if we can have the mirrors back to where they belong – and it is something we mentioned in the drivers' briefing on Friday. We have all been quite honest and said that we all have difficulties – apart from Lewis. The problem for me is that we are driven by the aerodynamics, but the mirrors situated on the aero stuff vibrates."
Pedro de la Rosa, who spoke to FIA race director Charlie Whiting about the matter during a lengthy meeting on Friday night, said: "Everyone has got a problem with mirrors. The reality is that the mirrors on the sidepods, they give you very small vision of what is happening behind and they vibrate a lot so you see very little. So, if you don't have a lot of information coming from the radio, then you have a problem. You can see when you have a car straight behind OK, but when it is two seconds behind you have no idea where it is.
"Everyone has the same problem, but since the mirrors have gone outboard this is a problem – as they are aerodynamic devices now."
When asked for what he felt would be a good solution, de la Rosa said: "Mirrors are to give the car the ability to look backwards and what is happening behind. They have to come back to the monocoque, with the old style, as that is the best position to work.
"The reason they are out is that they are an aerodynamic device so they give downforce. That is the reality. We have to compromise – this is a safety issue. Most of the drivers agree – it hasn't been an easy weekend for me because of this factor."