Shark fins to continue circling F1 in 2018


Formula 1 cars will likely retain their shark fin next season despite a push earlier this year to ban the ubiquitous aerodynamic appendice.

The controversial fin, mounted on cars' engine cover, was decried by fans when it appeared along with the T-wing at the beginning of the season, prompting teams and the FIA to outlaw the element for 2018.

But everyone is now in the process of reversing their stance following a Technical Regulations meeting which took place earlier this week.

At the meeting, teams expressed their concern that removing the fin, while retaining on the body work the mandatory large race numbers imposed by the FIA, would limit real estate devoted to sponsorship.

The shark fin would therefore remain and continue to serve the purpose of helping identify drivers.

"The shark fin is possibly still with us," said Force India tech boss Andy Green.

"They are looking at a changing in the wording [of the rules] to bring the shark fin engine cover back again – because lo and behold teams have realised it takes away sponsor space.

"It will go to the Strategy Group in their next meeting and we fully anticipate the engine cover coming back again."

While F1 reverses course on the shark fin, the T-wing is still expected to be ditched next year, as will be the small wing - called the 'monkey seat' - located at the rear of a car underneath the main rear wing.

The FIA wants to prevent an onerous development war centered around the small but useful  device which teams have targeted as an area over which exhaust can be blown through the use of complex engine modes.

"I think the FIA were concerned that teams were starting to utilise engine modes to energise the wing, which is something they have been against for quite a while," says Green.

"They wanted to ensure that route was closed and everybody agreed. There was unanimous agreement from all teams that we don't want to go down that route and have the FIA check all the engine maps and do all that again.

"We would rather get rid of it. It has put the FIA's mind to rest."

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