BARCELONA, Spain -- Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari's new wing mirror design offers more rear visibility and, in his opinion, makes the Halo more attractive.
The Italian team is the first to make use of an FIA clarification that permits wing mirrors to be mounted on the Halo. Just one race after the governing body issued the clarification, Ferrari brought its design to the track and it was tested for the first time in Friday practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
A small winglet forms part of the design, suggesting the motivation behind the change has its roots in aerodynamic performance, but Vettel insists the mirrors also offer better rear visibility.
"That's why we changed it because it was quite difficult for us to see cars behind," he said. "Now they are in a bit of a different position, and I can see a little bit better below the rear wing. So that's why we changed it. I think it also looks better. The Halo is still not pretty, but it makes it look a little bit better."
Vettel believes the novel design is proof Ferrari is coming up with pioneering design ideas and he suspects other teams will copy the idea.
"In the last couple of years I think we came up with stuff that other people tend to copy. Most of the cars now followed our trend in terms of the sidepods and some of the bargeboard designs.
"It's a confirmation that we're heading the right way. I think we have the tools, we have the people, and ultimately, we need to do it. That's what we all want, but there's a lot of work ahead of us."
Vettel could only manage the fourth fastest time in second practice after struggling for performance in both sessions. But he suspects the main issue is with the tyres, which have a thinner tread than normal to prevent overheating.
"Today I think was OK -- car balance, I'm reasonably happy. I think overall it's been a tricky day with the tyres to understand what they are, because we changed. We had to change, everybody had to change. We'll see.
"I think we can improve. I know there's a little bit more in the car, and a little bit more in me if I get everything together. So it should be OK tomorrow. Where we end up, I don't know. It's very close. It could be P1 or P6. But that's I think exciting."