Horner says vanity panel is a matter of choice

Sebastian Vettel during Formula One winter testing at Circuito de Jerez on February 7, 2013 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

Stepped nose not covered on the Red Bull RB9

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner thinks ‘vanity panels’ are here to stay, as this year, the FIA has allowed designers to cover the unseemly step in the noses of current cars – which were created by an anomaly in the 2012 rules – with a non-structural laminate.

Some teams bought into the idea of a smooth nose wholeheartedly for 2013, including McLaren and Ferrari.

But others, notably Red Bull, Mercedes and Sauber, adopted a halfway-house solution, while the likes of Lotus and Caterham simply left the full ‘step’ on.

So, with the various solutions now out of the bag, there is speculation in the Jerez test paddock this week that some teams could change their minds in the next few weeks.

Referring to the so-called ‘vanity panel’, Red Bull’s Horner said: “Some teams have opted for it, some have opted for another solution.

“I think that will remain the same throughout the year,” he told British broadcaster Sky.

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