Formula 1 to scrap shark fins for 2018

Formula 1 to scrap shark fins for 2018

25 November 2017 – Formula 1 will no longer feature full-sized shark fins in 2018, after McLaren opposed a planned retention of the aerodynamic plane for commercial purposes.

The engine cover, first pioneered in 2008, fell out of use after 2011, but made a return this season, under new aerodynamic regulations.

Amid a backlash from fans, talks developed over whether or not the structure, run by teams in a variety of styles, should be dropped for 2018.

A period of uncertainty followed, with teams initially voting to scrap the fin several months ago, before an apparent agreement to keep it.

McLaren, though, has pushed for the original, official vote to stand, and teams have therefore had to alter their approaches for next year.

"It's going to complicate matters slightly," said Force India technical chief Andrew Green.

"It means we have to redevelop part of the car that hasn't been developed, really, because we assumed that the engine cover was going to stay the same, and now it's not.

"So we have to redevelop parts of the car accordingly.

"It's not a big thing, but it's still something we have to do that we didn't think we were going to have to do."

Red Bull's Christian Horner was also similarly displeased by McLaren's stance.

"A month of so ago we had a meeting and I thought we all agreed that we were going to leave the fin as it was and stick the number there," said Horner.

"And then in usual fashion we left the meeting and things changed.

"Zak [Brown] decided he couldn't see his rear wing – he's obviously signed a major sponsor for next year and he's trying to get as much coverage as he can, so McLaren presented another variant.

"The problem is that the aerodynamicists then looked at it and said, 'Well, that screws up the rear wing, so we don't want that'.

"I'm not quite sure, as we sit here, what we've got.

"I think it goes back to what's in the regulation, which is no fin, and so we have to just work out where to stick the number."

McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier, though, had little sympathy for rivals, countering that his outfit merely stuck to what was agreed earlier in the season.

"I don't understand why everyone went to do something else from the regulations," he said.

"It's been voted, months ago, to go with no shark fin, a sort of mini shark fin, [so] this is in the regulations for next year.

"Some teams believed that it would change again and they wanted to keep this big fin, and then it was discussed to have a Mercedes-type fin.

"In the end we just reminded everybody what was voted six months ago, that's it.

"And then people say, 'Ah you have to change it [as] we worked in the windtunnel', [but] it's not our problem. There's the regulation, that's it, no debate."

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