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GP Week : Issue 76
Mirrors to be redesigned before China OUTBOARD mirrors are to be banned from Formula One with effect from the Chinese Grand Prix next week, following concerns over poor visibility and vibration from sidepod-mounted mirrors. Ferrari and Red Bull Racing stand to be the most affected by the decision, as their dramatic positioning is used to create extra downforce. Felipe Massa, who maintains he has no visibility worries whatsoever, said: "I hope we don't lose anything moving the mirrors from one side to the other." McLaren and Mercedes mirrors can stay as they are, as both are mounted to the body. Sebastian Vettel has said he is "concerned" that Red Bull could therefore lose some ground to their competitors. Red Bull and Ferrari to lose downforce advantage HRT technical boss Geoff Willis has given a surprisingly frank critique of his team's car. It's rare that the media gets an unguarded answer from an F1 engineer, but when asked where faults lie with the Hispania car, team technical consultant Geoff Willis spoke for 26 minutes without pausing. He went through every part of the car from the nose to the tail, and his overall judgment was ... "unimpressed." The HRT was designed by Dallara and the design process was stop-started due to the team's financial issues. Nevertheless, despite these challenging circumstances, Willis says the resulting F110 car is simply disappointing and not up to current F1 standards: "I'm disappointed at the level of engineering in the car and I don't think it reflects current F1 practice by quite some margin," he said. "Now you put that down to time, some of it down to experience, some of it down to finance, but I think overall, even allowing for those things, I'm disappointed with what I see. "I'm thinking just of the built quality, the design quality, the refinement of the design. I think it's missing a lot of tricks that would be taken for granted by anybody in the pitlane now." Asked for his reaction, Colin Kolles refused to be drawn, just pointing out that Willis had not criticized the team itself. It's not clear whether HRT will try to retain Willis' services, as Willis -- previously Red Bull Racing's technical director -- has said: "I have to consider whether it's interesting for me to stay with a team whose car is going to drive around at the back of the field." Willis disappointed with HRT package 12