Teams still undecided over whether to keep shark fins

2018 F1 season

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Formula One teams haven’t resolved their differences over whether to keep ‘shark fins’ on the cars for next season.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice in pictures
The engine cover extensions reappeared on the cars this year having been banned at the end of 2010. All the teams have used shark fins this year but the possibility of banning them for the 2018 F1 season has been discussed.

According to Christian Horner there is now some confusion over whether shark fins will stay or go.

“The problem is a month or so ago we had a meeting and I thought we all agreed we were going to leave the fin as it was and stick the [driver] number there,” he said. “And then as usual fashion we left the meeting and things changed.”

“Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO] decided he couldn’t see his rear wing. He’s obviously signed a major sponsor for next year that he’s trying to get as much coverage as he can.”

“And so McLaren presented another variant. The problem is the aerodynamicists then looked at it and said ‘well, that screws up the rear wing so we don’t want that’.”

“So I’m not quite sure as we sit here what we’ve got. I think it goes back to the regulations which is no fin. So we’ve just got to work out where to stick the number. Maybe we’ll have another chat and see if we can persuade Zak this weekend to put the fin back.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “Teams still undecided over whether to keep shark fins”

  1. #SavetheSharkFin

  2. #getridofthesharkfin

    1. +1


      1. #putanactualsharbackthere

        1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
          24th November 2017, 22:58

          Now this, this will be an interesting design formula.

  3. #lettheteamschoose

  4. The fin is cool looking and should remain if for anything the advertising space. Maybe the T wing should become standardized amongst all teams or simply banned but keep the “Shark Fin” as it is called. After spending many years looking at pre 2017 cars the FIA finally gets it right. Lets stop jumping off cliff or in a panic move be so quick to change what isnt needed and just let it be.

  5. The fin isn’t the problem, its that blimmin’ coat hanger / t wing !!!

    Get rid of THAT and there’d be no issue …

    1. I could be mistaken, but I think that’s already banned for next year

      1. Both the shark fin and the T wing are banned for 2018. Changes to the regulations are still possible but require unanimous agreement…

      2. @strontium

        that’s already banned for next year

        I think you are correct! And the monkey seat is banned too, if I’m correct.

  6. Hate the fin. Ban it.

    1. What makes you hate it and then how is it fixed ??

    2. Which one, Kimi or Valtteri?


      1. +++. Apology accepted.

      2. @strontium On Team Representative press conference earlier:

        Question: A question for all of you, it’s about what we heard today that there is a McLaren issue about the fin and if you talked to your technician about that and if you are worried for the overall picture of the cars next year?
        Toto Wolff: I personally hate the fin.
        Cristian Horner: You’ve got one driving for you!

  7. As I’ve said before, the shark fin would be alright if it were blended into the main bodywork. Having a huge flat sail flap around is not a nice solution. Having said that, given its job is to direct the air onto the rear wing, it’s probably more effective as a sail

  8. Never liked the fins. They ruin what should be the smoothest, most sweeping and amazingly compact part of an F1 car. They’ll look more awkward than ever compared with the new Indycar.

    Any change that messes with the current aero design is welcome for me, because it’s clearly not delivering close racing. What’s wrong with numbers on the rear wing endplates? That’s where Indycar and US race fans will expect to find them.

    On the other hand, when the cars have halos too, the fins won’t look so bad…

  9. This more than anything will decide the future of F1, it’s make or break, to fin or not to fin, that is the question.
    On a more sensible note the solution has already been invented by the dirt track racers, their solution provides the necessary billboard ( x2 ) space, downforce, and as a bonus would supplement the thong as additional head protection, can’t wait for next year to see them.

  10. I didn’t like the fins at first, especially on the original designs we saw for the Sauber where it was literally just a slab. However they’ve really grown on me, and especially with the introduction of the driver numbers and initials on the car, they’re very useful for a bit more space. Especially on the likes of the Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari, they just look so aggressive which I love. Hope they stay.

    1. T-Wings can go though, hate those. Especially when they have like triple layer ones. The Ferrari’s looks /ok/ but very flimsy. But on the McLaren etc it’s ugly. So they can go, but the shark fins stay.

  11. I don’t care for the shark fin eitherway. in WEC it is even mandatory as it stops the cars from flipping over.
    T-wing…. burn it.

  12. It is purely aesthetics but I’d want to get rid of the shark fin. The cars look great without it. Much better than with it.

  13. Also wish they’d ban all the barge boards and fiddly bits between the front wheels and the sidepods too …

  14. I think it’s time we stopped trying to regulate aesthetics. Limitations should relate to safety and limiting costs, not what the thing looks like. Adrian Newey has many times bemoaned the overwhelming amount of regulation which severely limits innovation, and trying to regulate the appearance of the car is one lot of regulation we can do without. Formula 1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motor sport, not a fashion show.

    1. Agreed 100%. Problem 1 is people who have the urge to force regulations based purely on what they think is aesthetically pleasing to their eyes. Problem 2, why is there a need to regulate a chassis appendage on the car? How about the teams decide themselves what to do with their chassis. After all, the whole point of F1 is teams racing cars they designed themselves.

  15. Limitations should relate to safety and limiting costs, not what the thing looks like.

    I agree, and would like to add “racing quality” to the limitations. At this moment for example, some teams have added aero parts to their cars which sole purpose is to add more dirty air behind them in order to make it harder for their competitors to follow/near them…

  16. Michael Brown (@)
    25th November 2017, 13:51

    The shark fin and T-wing offend people so much that I want to keep them. Martin Brundle in particular can’t help himself but moan about them once per GP.

  17. don’t mind either way to be honest…

  18. The fins must go. I can justify Halo, fins and T trays I cannot. Even monkey seats are over my taste.

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