Toro Rosso technical director James Key has questioned whether the distinctive ‘twin-prong’ nose seen on the Lotus E22 is within the spirit what was intended by the rules.
However, he acknowledged that it appears to have been accepted as legal by the FIA.
“The Lotus nose needs clarification, but it’s a very clever idea,” he said. “The question really is, is it within the spirit? We’ll see. It’s really down to the FIA and Lotus to discuss that obviously. If they run it, then it’s passed the impact test, and they’re happy.”
Key admitted that STR had examined a similar concept: “We looked at it early on, when the car was quite a bit less mature than now, and in theory it was working well. But in reality we felt it had too many drawbacks, so we didn’t pursue that. We kind of understand where they’ve gone with it. It could be worth a revisit at some point when things have calmed down a bit.
“I don’t think it’s illegal, it’s just whether it’s in the spirit of the regs. Our interpretation of a similar idea was with a slightly different front of the nose, to the point where we were happy that it would be accepted within the spirit of the regs. I’m not saying the Lotus one isn’t, but it’s probably the most extreme out there.”
As we have seen in the past, the relevance of the ‘spirit of the rules’ is open to question…