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Motor Racing

F1: 'Anteater' car noses may be unsafe, claims Red Bull chief designer Adrian Newey

The designs have been labelled ugly - but were introduced to improve safety

Formula One's new regulations affect almost every part of the car, from its weight down to its wings.

But the most unpopular change so far may be the new noses of this season's cars, which many describe as unseemly and Red Bull's chief designer calls possibly dangerous.
Among the plethora of changes, F1 has required manufacturers to lower their cars' noses, with the hope it will make cars less likely to take flight during an accident.

However, Adrian Newey believes the change might make knocks between cars potentially more dangerous. Newey said he was "concerned the opposite may occur" and cars "might submarine and go under the car in front."

And, he added, "it's a shame that regulations create ugly solutions."

Red Bull's defending champion Sebastian Vettel was hesitant to comment on the safety aspect, but he did agree with Newey that there were some less than pretty vehicles this year.

"Some of the cars look a lot like a hoover," Vettel said. "Walking around the paddock you might get sucked in."

While Red Bull and challengers Ferrari and Mercedes have opted for simply sloping their noses downward, other teams have come up with more innovative answers to F1's new rulebook.

Force India and Caterham sport similar tusk-like points, but Lotus has garnered the most attention with its two asymmetrical prongs protruding from its nose.

Lotus' nose has led Toro Rosso technical director James Key to question whether it fits the new regulations. Lotus decided to skip the first set of preseason tests being held at the Jerez track in southern Spain this week.