F1 Strategy Group gets tough on fins and T wings, favours shield over halo in latest talks
Shark Fin F1
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Apr 2017   |  6:47 pm GMT  |  167 comments

The F1 Strategy Group met Tuesday and agreed a number of welcome measures, including a restriction on T wings and Shark Fins on engine covers and a step towards better transparency by inviting other teams outside the top six to attend Strategy Group meetings.

But the eye catching development was the decision to proceed not with the Halo frontal protection system, but with the screen. The F1 drivers have been pushing for frontal protection and a programme of evaluation was carried out by all F1 teams during Free practice sessions last season.

However there are widespread reservations about its introduction on the grounds of looks and the screen has got the nod. It will be tested and evaluated ahead of an introduction in 2018.

Other measures which arose from the Strategy Group include:

Representatives from the non-member teams will now be invited to meetings of the F1 Strategy Group as observers, demonstrating the effective commitment of both the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holder to improve transparency in the sport.

Driver names and numbers
From Barcelona (12-14 May 2017) onwards, the sporting regulations will be strictly enforced to ensure that visibility of drivers’ names and numbers on the cars will be clearer.

Sporting and technical changes
Changes in the regulation boxes around the engine cover have been made so that designs incorporating the ‘t-wing’ and ‘shark fin’ will be strictly limited

Measures will be taken to ensure that oil will not be used as fuel. In addition, only one specification of oil may be used for any given power unit during an event.

Pirelli will be allowed to develop 2018 wet weather tyre compounds using previous specifications of cars and wheel dimensions
In the event of a red flag period during a race, the race will be resumed from a standing start.

What do you think? Leave your comments in the section below

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good move to go r the screen instead of halo and ban t-wings

bad move to ban shark fins, let the designers express themselves ffs


Hope they also decide to get rid of the crazy little “bunny ear” aerials on the cars that easily fall off and damage other cars….


I’m all for safety improvements. But will the shield mean that the weight of cars will go up yet again I hope not.


Nice to see F1 constantly focusing on the irrelevent and meaningless.

The only thing they care about is how the cars look and sound. They stay focused on these irrelevencies. Yet, they’ve now created a racing series where the cars can’t follow each other and there is much less overtaking. You’d think that this might be an important area to work on, yet they are constantly worried about how the ‘shark fins’ look. They’ve created an engine rule that blocks any non-factory teams from really competing, and yet they only seem to worry about how the engines sound.

And as to Halo/Shield, I just hope no one gets killed or seriously injured while they are dithering and constantly changing their minds on this.


I’m not really concerned with wet weather visibility due the slope of the shield and the use of the same low friction applications that we use in long distance Sports Car racing. Where we very rarely have to use the windscreen wipers. Tear off’s are also another option.


Fins are there through a loop hole in the regulations, they were never envisaged to be legal but the ever so clever engineers in F1 exploited a loop hole in the regs. They are simply closing that loop hole and reverting to the original intention of the regulations.

The T wings, whilst also being an loop hole exploitation, are also dangerous noting the failure of the T wings on the Mercedes and HAAS cars, the resulting damage to Verstappen’s RedBull and the subsequent ruling to remove them and/or prove conclusively that they were made safe. The subsequent banning of them is a strong indication that they were unable to provide sufficient evidence as to their safety.

Close loop holes and remove safety concerns, both sound like very logical decisions made in the appropriate manner.


So what’s next a windscreen wiper for the rain, rubber & oil on these new screens? Perhaps those peel off screen protectors? Those screens & halos look ridiculous! These guys are focussing on the wrong things. Get back to the real essence of F1.


“Driver names and numbers
From Barcelona (12-14 May 2017) onwards, the sporting regulations will be strictly enforced to ensure that visibility of drivers’ names and numbers on the cars will be clearer.”

Ok, maybe this is a first step. But, really? Couldn’t they have been a little more specific than “will be clearer”? How about size and position?


Hiya James.

I understand all in the article except the technical directive about oil. Can you elaborate to include what the problem/controversy is to bring this change about?



Wouldn’t be a bad idea in F1 championship racing to do away with held and waved blue flags either. Make ’em earn it!


As usual, F1 making “strategic:” decisions based on “looks” not performance. Fins are ugly but so what? I truly doubt people have stopped watching F1 races because of fins or t-wings.


Yes bring it on – closed cockpit, crash at 200 mph and drivers go back jogging to the pit crew – what else to make the sport “safe”? Absolutely no sense of danger, no driver has died past 20 years or will ever die in the next 1000 years, add to that the Turbo trolleys (which Honda cannot make of its own). The sport has become an absolute joke.


I don’t agree with any cockpit protection either. But just correcting you, Jules Bianchi was the most recent F1 fatality and this was just 2 years ago, not 20. Having said that, the force he hit the tractor with and the angle, I doubt whether any protection would have saved him unfortunately.


Without a clear, published strategic direction/vision for the sport, it is difficult to judge these changes.
What are they trying to accomplish?
Where does it lead in the a. mid-term? b. longer term?
Our association here expects sporting changes to be better, since Ross has taken over from Bernie, but just who is in charge of making these rules changes?
How does the governance structure work?
Can we see an organization structure showing the process by which rules will be developed and adopted, preferrably overlaid on the strategic direction?

Governance is the weakest point in the F1 organization.
It’s like the cheaters are all competing to ‘game the system’ in their favour, making the regulations changes look incoherent (much like the mainstream media these days).

party on!


Sounds good! Not sure about the screen though, screens get dirty etc (although it doesn’t seem to be an issue in LMP racing for example) but it’s good that we get these safety measures put in place.


I don’t follow the oil as fuel issue? what do they mean by this?


There is a fuel flow limit, 100 litres per hour. In a qualifying lap they use 100lpr of fuel plus say 2 litres of “oil”. The special “qualifying” oil is combustible, it burns like fuel. Or more correctly it burns when mixed with fuel. This gives a richer fuel air ratio which gives more power or it gives a more normal air fuel ratio when more air (than in the race). A higher boost level. Obviously in the qualifying lap the engine use a couple of litre of oil but they have say a 10 litre oil tank so there is still plenty of oil for lubrication.

In the race they use different (more normal) oil that isn’t consumed in the combustion process. They couldn’t use the special “qualifying” oil for the race as it would run out.

Keeping in mind that on its own “qualifying” oil probably isn’t going to make all of the 0.5 secs that Mercedes have over their opposition, but it’s may well be a substantial contributor.


You’re talking like you know what they do. All of what you said is someone speculating on what could be happening. They are going to measure the level of oil consumption for qualifying and the race, so they’ll be able to see any usage rate differences.

Lastly, max fuel flow limit is 100kg/hr, not litres.


Great news about the numbers, watching on the TV it doesn’t bother me so much as you can tell from the helmet etc and can see the leader board but if your actually at a race IMO its very difficult to tell which ones which as they zoom past. It’s not like the cars are plastered with sponsors to the same extent they were in the past, there’s plenty of room for a large number on the side pod / engine cover, or even the rear wing endplates, pretty sure they all used to have numbers on there.


Is the shark fin ban for Barcelona or 2018?


The comment about not using oil as fuel is interesting. I has be thinking to last year when the Merc’s were often very smokey in pit lane or after idling. Could they have been using oil to increase available fuel burn (power) whilst still achieving race distance with allocated fuel tank capacity?
Or am I way off the mark?


There’s no smoke without fire!!!!!


It’s believed 2 of cylinders in the Mercedes are diesels and burn oil. During normal racing only 4 cylinders are used, but when necessary the 2 special cylinders are bought into action and give the Mercedes the extra boost that allows them to win so many races.


@ Rodger R….24 days late!!!!


Seriously Rodger R? That’s bizarre if true.


“Measures will be taken to ensure that oil will not be used as fuel. In addition, only one specification of oil may be used for any given power unit during an event.”

Will be interesting to see what effect that has on the Mercedes dominance in qualifying that disappears in the race.


How much of a say does Ross Brawn have in the Strategy Group?


Some good outcomes here and I like the abandonment of the halo concept, looks very bad. However, I do prefer the Red Bull shield as that is practical and looks good – just set it a bit further down the car, not so close to the cockpit.

Clamping down on oil as a fuel source and restricting to one type of oil per weekend is a great idea. Seems like we are getting to the stage where eroding the Merc performance is inline with what they did to RB a few years ago, nice to see but has anyone clarified if Mercs are using oil as fuel?


Great news. Finally steps in the right direction…after all these years!


Interesting news on the oil JA…who’s been burning oil as fuel? And who’s been using different spec oils on the same power units at the same events? 🤔


Everyone is. The difference is that some engines have better performance gain than the others.


Will be glad to have the numbers visible again. I personally did not find the shark fins all that ugly, but it seems the great majority does. I soon will forget about them l am sure. The standing start after a red flag is a big one though. I can see this creating controversy in the future, on the bright side red flags are rare in occurrence. Finally with regards to drivers’ protection, I did not like the look of the Halo, neither am l all that excited about the windshield but if there has to be some sort of protection, then the later seems better. I actually like the Renault prototype of the F1 of the future with the windshield doubled with a clear helmet front for us to see the drivers’ faces. Roll on Russia. Marc

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