Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Shark fins may stay on 2018 cars

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Formula One may cancel its plan to eliminate shark fins on cars next year.

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Carlos Sainz Jnr’s move to Renault is a vindication of Red Bull’s nurturing of young talent, says @Mattds:

A second driver of the Red Bull stable that goes on towards another team and an indepedent future in F1.
In other words: next year 6 out of 20 drivers will originate from Toro Rosso after having been picked up by the RBJT. If Verstappen and/or Ricciardo move after 2018, over a third of the grid would be coming through the RBJT/STR.

This is exactly why all those young drivers want to sign for the Red Bull Junior Team. Because criticized as it may be, it is their best chance to ever graduate to F1.
MattDS (@Mattds)

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  • 34 comments on “Shark fins may stay on 2018 cars”

    1. You mean, crocodile fins?

      1. I loving the SFI more and more. They brought a massive rear wing, and to the hypo nostrils they’ve added a serrated crocodile fin and some more other bits and pieces.
        I don’t dislike the shark fins, I think they balance the look of these massively long cars.

        What about the B spec Red Bull RB SF70, they copied the bargeboard and brought many new pieces, they introduced other bargeboard parts and they brought a massive rear wing and a new front wing.

        In the old cars I really enjoyed the monza spec small wings but with the new cars I feel the opposite, the big rear wings of the SFI, RBR, McLaren, STR looked to balance the look of the car.

      2. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        16th September 2017, 3:03

        Maybe they’re supposed to look like Diametrodons. It would certainly be apt for next year’s STRs, since they’ll probably be spending a lot of time sitting in the sun.

      3. Force India called it the stegosaurus fin on their twitter page, so I’m going with that

        1. That is actually very accurate

    2. Takes away sponsor space……what sponsors?!??!?!?

      1. @mach1 exactly, I think only Force India have sponsors on their shark fins, and everybody else certainly has space to relocate them if they do. Obviously it’s a prime spot because everybody notices them, but I think F1’s technical regulations shouldn’t be decided by where a billboard can be attached to the car!

      2. The issue is in tandem with the rule that was introduced earlier this year, whereby a car must display either the driver number or 3 letter identifier of a minimum size. Most teams are using the shark fin for this. Take away the shark fin and they have to put it elsewhere, and that’s when sponsor space is lost.

    3. Last year F1 was looking forward to having good looking cars. Obviously I’d rather they got rid of the shark fin (or as @johnmilk rightly points out, crocodile fins now), for this very reason, but F1 ought to decide whether they’re targeting aesthetics or performance. If “a fast car is a good looking car”, then fair enough, but the inability to choose a direction is quite irritating, because it leaves us with a car that neither reaches its performance potential but still looks ridiculous. If you look at the 2017 Mercedes launch, it had no shark fin, no coat hanger (and needless to say, no flip flop over the cockpit), and it looked pretty good.

      One of the problems the shark fins make very noticeable (but are not a cause of), performance wise, is the length. Compare it to a 2008 shark fin and it will show very clearly how long wheelbases are now. A long car means not only less manoeuvrability through corners (a wider turning radius and therefore worse racing), but also cars have to gain 5+ metres in the braking zone to overtake. Reducing this to how it used to be would help the problem hugely, and with the wider cars this would be no problem (the cars were lengthened when refuelling was banned) as the fuel tank could be repositioned. All the cars are currently much narrower than their floors (they look like they’re on a baking tray), so there is plenty of space to give the teams a new challenge and increase the quality of the racing.

      1. @strontium great comment, nail on the head 👍🏽

    4. I’m totally cool with shark fins.

      1. Me too. I even like t-wings.

        1. Indeed let’s go further and see teams implement twin tails a la A10 style.

        2. Me to, I love seeing all the bits and pieces teams add to cars for aero.

      2. Same here. The fins are there because it gives a the car an advantage. The goal of racing is to go fast, they don’t put things on cars because they ‘look’ nice, Halo is mandated so they have no choice there.

      3. +1, it’s not like they’re required, they’re there because they make the cars faster.

    5. Crocs don’t have fins, they don’t even have anything that looks remotely like fins. There is something called a crocodile shark but I have never seen one or know what it looks like.
      So I’ll stay with Shark Fin.

      1. Crocodile tails?
        Would that work?

        1. Well they could free up the design and allow different types of tails, you know horse, Cat-o’-nine-tails fox tail off the aerial.
          Sorry getting a bit silly now :)

    6. I like the fins. Interestingly in sports car prototype racing, nobody whines about the shark fins. Seems F1 will be always disillusioned with its past.
      I really like them, and I hope they stay in the end, and FIA forces the teams to have the numbers in a huge font represented there.
      On the other hand, the T wings on them are look like a bit over my tolerances…:)

      1. @leventebandi, that said, in sportscar racing the ACO mandated the use of the shark fins on safety grounds.

        The idea is that, if the car spins sideways, the fin is designed to stop the upper body surface generating lift, thereby reducing the risk of the car ending up flying into the air or flipping over – however, we have seen that the teams have then used the design of the fins in order to increase the performance of the cars.

        I, likewise, am perfectly fine with the shark fins being fitted to the cars and really don’t get the fuss over them. I mean, Ferrari’s 312B series cars effectively had a shark fin fitted to them in the early 1970’s – then again, I guess it is the hypocritical thing that, when it was done about 40 years ago, it’s always called beautiful even when it wasn’t.

      2. WHAT!?!? Nobody whines about the BFF in sportscars? It’s been a huge source of complaints along with the BFH, big f’in holes inn the wheel arches. They are almost universally hated by those who think they do nothing for safety and look terrible, and then much smaller crowd of those who say screw safety, they’re just ugly. They’ve been around long enough there aren’t as many complaints but the rules mandate the BFF after sideways/spinning wrecks and rollovers in an attempt to keep the cars from flying up and into barriers. Which they had been doing and are not currently. Better designs and drivers, of the fin works, I’ll let engineers model and noodle that out themselves.

    7. YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAH! SHARK FIN! SHARK FIN! SHARK FIN!

    8. People’s obsession with car aesthetics confounds me. There are car shows full of hellaflush abominations if you value form over function.

      I respect that the F1 rules impose safety requirements and some performance limitations in the name of keeping the cars speed within safe limits. Then the teams concoct elaborate ways of extracting the maximum performance within those bounds.

      Shark fins, phallic noses, coat hanger wings. I find these solutions fascinating as the teams figure out the solutions to the fastest way round a track within a given rule set. Truth is beauty.

    9. It is amazing to see the sheer support of shark fins on this site. Around the beginning of the season I remember reading lots of comment threads full of angry fans saying they shouldn’t be there because of how horrible they looked.

      It just shows how quickly aesthetics can rub off on you.

      Lets hope the halo rubs off on fans in the same way

      1. The fins can stay but the T-wings……

        1. The Bernie like reason for the T-wings, many hated the fin at first but here’s this ugly ungainly add on, oh wait, the fin isn’t so bad now.

      2. I didn’t see the shark fin rubbing off on people until Thursday. Does anyone have anything creative that makes the Halo look better (still waiting for Halo to demonstrate it will do anything other than worsen safety, so at least maybe a different part of the objection can be addressed)?

      3. Or it’s different people voicing polarised views.

    10. Some shark fins look fantastic (Mercedes, Renault, Torro Rosso)

      Some look like a giant advertising billboard, which is ironic given this story (Williams, RB, Ferrari, FI)

      As I type that, im watching Practice 3 and I see Mercedes are running a billboard style fin at Singapore this weekend, doh!

    11. Pat Symmonds has said a few times on Sky this year that he believes that the shark fins are the cause of some of the sudden snap spins seen this year.

      His belief is that when the car starts to slide the shark fin begins the stall part of the rear wing turning what in the past would have been a simple slide into a sudden snap spin that takes the drivers completely by surprise & is impossible for them to catch.

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