Five F1 tech talking points of 2017: Did we learn to love shark fins and T-wings?
Posted By:   |  20 Dec 2017   |  8:03 am GMT  |  274 comments

The first year of a new set of regulations is always a fascinating time; to see who has got it right and who’s got it wrong.

During a flurry of launches in February, many fans were captivated by the wider, lower cars complete with chunky tyres. As the season progressed, we began to see the effect of the new aero geometry, with the jury still out on whether it was a good addition to F1.

Many praised the speed and poise of the 2017-spec cars through the fast corners, but there was a strong undercurrent lamenting the negative effect on on-track overtaking.

Nonetheless, the new formula has given plenty for F1’s crack aerodynamicists to work with, so let’s take a look at some of the more inventive innovations introduced in the 2017 season, starting with the newly-reinstated shark fin developments.

Shark fins and T-wings

The reintroduction of the shark fin was unpopular among fans, but was permitted as the amendments to the bounding boxes defined by the rules allowed for an extended engine cover.

A handy inclusion for F1’s aerodynamicists, the shark fin offers the designers a greater platform to condition the air around the roll-hoop section as it flows downstream towards the rear wing.

Without the fin, the air intake above the driver’s head produces turbulence as the flow either side mixes, creating a wake formation. Thus, the fin is a convenient way to essentially eliminate that.

The shark fins were also used as a springboard for further developments in that area, taking advantage of the new regulations to manage airflow at the rear of the car.

Thanks to a small loophole, a result of the rear wing being positioned lower down, the nature of the bounding boxes allowed teams to add small aerodynamic appendages to the tip of the shark fin – the T-wing.

Having identified the loophole during their exploration of the new bodywork dimensions, a collection of teams arrived in Barcelona for the first test with their own T-wing adaptations, which were later employed by every team on the grid in some form over the season.

The initial T-wing designs largely consisted of a single wing element placed in front of the rear wing, adding a small amount of downforce while also providing some interaction with the rear wing itself to realign the pressure distribution, boosting rear-end downforce further.

Furthermore, any turbulent air flowing into this region was provided with an upwash effect, lifting it out of the direction of the rear wing area, ensuring that the rear wing geometry could benefit from cleaner flow.

However, these early designs produced large tip vortices which interacted with the rear wing’s flow structures, creating a small drag penalty. With some teams deciding to negate this, their engineers developed a double T-wing with a “coathanger” shape, which was produced to reduce the tip vortex size.

Mercedes first trialled a double T-wing in the Barcelona tests, albeit attached on a tower structure rather than shark fin itself. This proved to be quite flimsy, breaking off of Valtteri Bottas’ car in practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix and damaging Max Verstappen’s following Red Bull. Afterwards, Mercedes gravitated towards a more conventional design.

McLaren took Mercedes’ lead, later bringing their “coathanger” T-wing to Shanghai as they sought to chase aerodynamic performance. This was complete with a small Gurney flap on the trailing edge of the top element, providing a small downforce boost and increasing the upwash effect produced by the cambered T-wing elements.

It wasn’t long before teams nestled a third element into the geometry to maximise the effects discussed, proving a popular choice with Force India, Renault and Williams as they sought to eke out more performance.

Force India also developed a very novel solution to managing airflow along the top edge of the shark fin, adding a series of tiny winglets to reduce the effect of separation of airflow from the shark fin. This limits the wake structure created by any separation, keeping the flow tightly controlled to be worked further by the T-wing.

With the amount of development in this area, and the resulting concerns over safety, it became clear very early on that the FIA was to ban shark fins and T-wings for 2018 – their inclusions presenting unpopular additions in various quarters.

Although the shark fins were given a reprieve later on, McLaren provided enough resistance to reinstate the ban having developed its machinery for next season without it, which was confirmed in late November.

Did you learn to love the shark fins and T wings? Or would you like to see the back of them? Leave your comment in the section below

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They both stink!


only stink if you didn’t like the final outcome of the result...
i love them both. mercedes project one wears that fin very well.


Seriously though....what an over priced under performing piece that Project One is going to be.

And whipped into next week by the upcoming Tesla Roadster at 10% of the price.


Or the Rimac concept one, half the price.


Is that your fair and balanced prediction Sebee? Based on what exactly?


Agree, both stink and it is of no interest to show super slow mo' replays of fins and coat hangers wobbling through chicaines...

Simplify, like so...


looks too plain for my liking..
lacks the drama of that mercedes 2018 car.


"Beauty And Drama" by Aveli and Mercedes:


if you're refering to her voice, yes!



Seasons greeting and all that Clarks 🍺


Not everyone has good taste.

Thanks for confirming aveli.


i wish you’d stop accusing me of falsehood. i do not know and not affiliated to any of though religious chants you often direct at me.
james has already informed you that i have only used this name and email address on here.
what do you want?


stop accusing me of falsehood. i do not know and not affiliated to any of though religious chants you often direct at me.

What are you talking about?

Please try and answer a direct question for once, I really don’t want another awful attempt of a witty reply. You may think you’re amusing but everyone on here considers you the site laughing stock.

Yes and James has clearly never heard of a VPN.


hans device was large and noticeable when it was first introduced but conspicable now. i hope you too are not affected by that mental disorder.


i didn't know you new what good taste was.
are you not one of those who look at a plain assymmetric car ,with hardly any design features, which looks as though the driver is sat so far forward of the car and claim that it is better looking than and featured filled symmetric well balanced elegant car with dramatic intricate design features?
with zero reasoning, you claim it is better looking. with not even identifying a single feature, you just claim it is better looking. what kind of taste is that you possess?


@aveli / inshaalahurra

As I said thanks for confirming.


Aveli, that old Macca doesn't have a hideous shark fin or ridiculous coat hangers hanging off of it. That makes it look better.

The nose of that Merc is hideous. No car since 2014 has had a good looking nose, and you flat out know it. Say anything else, and you're flat out lying to troll people.

The front wing of the Merc is rediculously stupid looking. And we know, for a fact, proven again and again, that that fugly front wing and those fugly coat hanger appendages actually MAKE THE RACING WORSE because of all the drag they create.

What that Merc, is a ugly ass Time Trial car. It has hideous asthetics, and as a race car, it's design principles are completely ass backwards.

That Merc sums up every single aspect of F1 that is completely ****ed.


i know you’re happy with plain janes..


you know as much as i do that every design on that merc looks dramatically sublime from every angle. so much so that road car design engineers are introducing those very features onto their products. since when have road cars had wings? and yet features of f1 car wings are being exhibited on road cars. come on twitch_6, you can help but accept that those designs on that 2017 merc has staired the world of automotive design industry into a renaissance..
what a beauty!


That front wing has 10 elements. Or as Alan Jones would say "f****g elements!That's booga-wonga-googa-gagga!"

Look at the front cover of the AUTOCOURSE 1980 which features Jonsey's title winning Williams FW07B - it doesn't have a front wing at all..................


there are 118 elements on the periodic table and you are complaining mercedes only used 10?
that williams car you refer to is slower than todays f2 cars. couldn't have taken as much effort to drive as today's f2 cars.
i saw the demo of v12's at trafalger square and they were much slower than the v8s and v6s.


Omg you think cars from the past were easier to drive than the modern ones????

You really get enjoyment out of trolling people by s**t posting eh? Lmfao


if you are honest and would like to show it then state that the golf front bumber looks nearly as attractive as the mercedes multi element front wing and it’ll be settled.


why are you praying to your god?
drivers of today are better skilled than those of the past. that’s why they are able to drive their cars faster than drivers of the past. there are numerous things about driving that past drivers didn’t know andvstill don’t know. brundle was excited to hear hamilton explain to him how he prevented vettel from passing him at the top of the hill after eux rouge. i saw his eyes light up in amazement, now imagine how other drivers before brundle time would react..
drivers of the past will take up to a year just to learn to operate tyevsteering wheel, let alone drive the car. the look of the steering wheel would probably scare them off. jackie stewart was so scared he refused to drive senna’s yet yet regularly drove and still drive cars of his time in numerous annual shows. jackie stewart wouldn’t even stand next to hamilton’s car let alone drive it.


The ones with traction control were easier to drive than the modern ones.


What utter tosh!!!!


Sarsippious, really? Why is that? I am well aware that you don't like providing evidence to back up your comments, but where did you get the idea that gently feeding in eight hundred horsepower on a corner exit is easier than simply flooring the throttle at the apex and letting the electronics sort it out? Traction control wasn't called a 'driver aid' for nothing you know......


they travelled much slower through corners. you only saw so many crashes because those drivers weren’t skilled enough to cope with those dramas.
victorians felt dizzy traving on 15mph trains, mind you.


aveli, did you get this from the W08's dating website profile? Where it tries to show the most fluttering angle and hide the hideousness of it's size and girth and it's tail. Yes, it has a tail!

Just want to remind you aveli, this things is as long as a Cadillac Escalade SUV! Yeah, THAT Escalade that does limo duty.


didn't forget how long it is. long is elegant and beautiful.


Agreed aveli (though others may disagree) but as Sebee rightly pointed out it's also wide, which makes it just...big 😐


i saw you looking at women from behind because their bottoms were wider than their waits..
you were at the time, focused on admiring natural beauty and oblivious to whatever was happening around you.


"you were at the time, focused on admiring natural beauty and oblivious to whatever was happening around you"

As was you aveli, as was you... 😉


Straight from the W08's dating website profile:

Likes: Beating Ferrari
Skills: Hanging clothes and slicing cheese


Likes: Predictability.
Hobbies: Acting.
Skills: Managing Championships for dramatic effect.

Nick name: The Best or Nothing.

Which means, we'll win over and over again until we've destroyed F1 fan base. Then we'll leave. What will remain is nothing.


the merc looks a lot more natural, with the driver’s helmet positioned in the centre of the car unlike the 180’s mclaren which has the helmet far too forward.
long cars are often elegant, like the w08.


Yeah the Mercedes looks the best. Maybe a smaller fin with no t wing would have been OK but I really don't like them.

Next year they go away but what about ugly things on the halo and how safe?


shark’s fins are not ugly. they just weren’t given enough time to be organically sculptured into the car designs.
they halo is a safety feature which will only be more appealing to the eye in time, just like the hans device has evolved over thei years.


The HANS device isn’t strapped over their heads. Totally different.


Amazing that this much length, size, weight and general girth is needed to fit a tiny 1.6L V6. How much crap appendages are attached to that thing?

DYK that these McLarens are housing a V12?

Wow. How compact!


Sebee, only ever one McLaren Honda V12, the cars in the pictures are lovely V6 turbos.......


And they sounded good didn’t they.


Nickh, they sounded ok, certainly loud. Basically that it is what the current generation would sound like without the mguh.


Batteries take up space.


sebee just can’t find suitable points of argument to support his case and is fumbling in the dark. don’t mind him..


Yep Sebee should create false identities and then reply to his own comments backing them up like you do.

Maybe you can lend him your other aliases Inshaallahura and Janjajanjajja??


NickH, Aveli is allowed to state his opinions the same as anyone else. James did say that he isn't using more than one name, might be time to put up or shut up on that one....


You don’t know what a VPN is either then.

Yes it’s just such a shame he feels the need to share SO MANY of his opinions.

I’m sure you’d feel the same if he wasn’t Hamiltons mascot.


NickH, Aveli isn't alone in making multiple comments, surely Sebee delivers more of his than anyone? The vpn issue was mentioned the last time this accusation was raised, seems like a lot of trouble to go to, as does totally changing your writing style.


Well said Nick. Its obvious the lofty standards Tim applies to others, particularly to those who don't share a disturbing infatuation with Hamilton, aren't carried over to his fellow Fc members.
He talks about free speech yet is the first to harass himself anyone who speaks ill of his idiol.


Sars. Harass? Examples please, I don't like it when people trot out their opinions and present them as facts, I don't like it when people try and belittle and diminish Lewis' achievements, or simply insult the guy. In my opinion that isn't what this site is for, you clearly do, and I will continue to point out that you are wrong about that.


This truly is the funniest comment of the year. Your love for poor Lewis is just.....cute ❤👍


Sarsippious, so because I don't like to see people making lauhably innacurate attempts to discredit a drivers achievements, then you decide I am in love with that driver?! What a truly ridiculous position to take. Obviously when people insult Ricciardo you always just ignore it, or give a supportive response? Or is that just different's Daniel......


do you know of anything which doesn’t take up space?

Ricciardo Aficionado



Then get rid of them.

F1 cars are supposed to be compact, light and nimble.


like bicycles?


f1 cars are f1 cars as they are. what you dream of only exists in your imagination because you can’t cope with reality. come on, man up and accept as it is..


i went on that dating site, lost sight of my objective and sidetracked into f1 cars. i don't normally lose my focus, i promise.


Looks to plain for your liking? Really, for I'm sure the only reason you like the Merc more is because Lewy drives it.
I feel sorry that you can't admire and appreciate the work of art the Mp4/6 was and still is.


millions of people pay a lot of money to risk their lives to catch a glimpse of a whale’s flute simply because it is an object of natural beauty. mercedes have captured the same contours of a whales tail onto the rear wing of their car and you’re trying to convince yourself that it’s uggly? come on sars, pull the other leg.


too plain indeed. i live in the real world and love it as it is.
those like yourself, sarsippious, who can’t cope with reality, look back into the past to find anything to relieve them from their suffering.
how pathetic is that? those cars are old and no where their as fresh as the current cars. all current f1 cars look better than those of the past. the current ferrari, redbull and mclaren cars look better than the mercedes from some angles but the merc is the overall best looker..


Wipe your chin son for you've spent the majority of this thread embarrassing yourself whilst in the process giving us all a glimpse into your own warped reality. You really should leave the basement and get some fresh air once in a while.


what’s there not to like about this?
poetry in motion!


It looks like it's preparing for full electrification when overhead cables arrive in 2021.


It creates drag, and therefore piss poor wheel to wheel racing. You love your time trial cars eh, Aveli?

Aveli's dream car



what are you talking about, it creates drag. motion results in drag
all those drivers of old do not know as much about racing as the professionals of today. today the entire field is professional. in the past only about 5 drivers were professionals and the rest, wealthy amateurs. all those who crashed in the past, did so because they didn't know how to get themselves out of the situations in which they found themselves.
everything evolves. that's part of nature all machines are improved and operators of those machines are better killed. all professionals are better than those of the past.. what is it about that that you don't like? it's not my fault, it's a natural phenomenon.
if you like the past so much, stop watching the 2018 season and just enjoy races of the past. you could even make it more interesting by starting a website on which other with similar interests as yourself can comment on.


Aveli, your logic is so flawed. You think everything today is better and more skilled than in the past.

You think modern sailors have more skill than those from hundreds or thousands of years ago? You think modern fishermen have more skill? You think modern carpenters, or stone masons, have more skill than old ones?

You think Sydney Crosby has more skill than Wayne Gretzky, or Mario Lemieux? You think Steph Curry has more skill than Micheal Jordan?

Your constan dismissal of the past (you fly the exact same flag in regards to circuits) is quite disgusting. Your a very modern person, very much in love with your material gizmos and technological wonders, and zero respect for the past - it's scary that you probably get to vote where ever you live lol.

You keep talking about reality, but never before has it been this clear that you, Aveli, are completely out of touch. I noticed you were completely off your rocker a few years back, and decided to take nothing you say seriously - sometimes I just like to play with the exhibits a bit.


what's the point in writing so much nonsense for someone you think can't read?


What motion?


did you not hear they broke numerous lap records this season?


Aveli, I'm not going to check how many V10 lap records still stand.

But I am going to take a moment to recognize your passion here. You're lighting up the post for your apparent true love.

Hey, someone has to love the ugly ducklings. I guess that's you. 🙂

But aveli, be careful who you give your heart to. Your W08 love interest is bi-polar, seriously over promises and under delivers on efficiency, and is super super high maintenance. Also, it only can maintain top power for 33sec, but no one is quite sure as she de-rates...a lot.


sebee, i am fully aware that you know that there was never a restriction on the fuel flow rate for v12s, v10s or v8s.
even with that fuel flow rate restriction, the v6s kicked butt.


Na, the Merc would be prettier without the coat hanger, thin fin and without a front wing with so many winglet blades it looks like a Gillette razor advert from 2097.

lol...Senna in the McLaren lacks drama...


enjoy this comparison. all the drama you are refering to came from the wobbly camera.


aveli, so all that Senna's helmet bouncing around is the camera?


forwheel drift...take a good look at the current golf r. the flagship vw hot hatch and you will see where they get their inspiration from.
take a good lock and tell me they haven't copied it from f1 wings onto their cars to make them more attractive looking.


FYI, that is not the current golf R.


looks a bit like...


You talking about the 2 horizontal canard looking things on the side of the air inlet?

Canards, like nearly every single god damn Touring and GT has had on them for the last 20 bloody years???? Fml you are diluaional if you think the front end of a VW Golf is inspired by modern F1 cars.

What do you smoke?


Diesel fumes!


if your dreams were real, why has it only just been introduced to the golf in the picture above?


30 seconds on google showed me those slats have been on the Golf GTi since 2010. You're full of beans Aveli, again.


fact is they find it attractive enough to include it in their raod car design. so all those claiming it's ugly are either not telling the truth or have terrible taste.


Aveli, you're like a snake eating its own tail, you're hilarious.

No one was arguing that the VW is bad looking.

You said the VW front end design was inspired by F1, which is completely wrong. Asthetics merits aside, the VW Golf has had that front end styling since 2010, and it has NOTHING to do with any kind of inspiration from F1.

If anything, that design is a tribute to the many Audi and VW touring, and grand touring cars that they have raced over the last 20 years.

Look at the front end of any Audi LMP1 car....notice the canards on the from corners?

Now, as yourself. Would VW be more likely to be inspired to include design queues which lay homage to their Le Mans dominating car....or are they design queues inspired by a series that VW has never participated in.

I know you'll see what you want to see, claim that VW was inspired by F1 and not their own, in-house, record braking effortsz

I'll say it again Aveli. We see through your're not even very good at it.


i feel sorry for you..
now that you have accepted the fact that the mercedes front wing is a work of art, a thing of beauty with which hamilton did the business and has many more to take care of..


What do you smoke?

School holidays are out so he has a lot of time on his hands to spam JAF1.


VW products are dead to me. Also Audi, Porsche, etc

Dieselgate. Unforgivable. Ever.


the slowest 2017 f1 lap of monaco was faster than that senna lap above.
that’s all there is to it.


i see them alive on the road.



Who the (self mod) decided that F1 cars sounding like this was something F1 didn't need?


address me as aveli please sebee, i know i’m amaising but you can tone it down a little..


...I'm talking about Clark's Senna lap.


That video clearly illustrates how far tougher those cars from Senna's era were to drive compared to now.
Notice how Senna drove half that lap with one hand on the wheel, notice the far stiffer suspension he had to endure, notice the less room he had at many of the corners, notice the difference in steering input from Senna compared to Lewis and yet you try and use that video to suggest its only because of the wobbly camera it appears so much harder to drive.
Im sorry but that video is the perfect one to support a claim the cars from the 80s and 90s were more difficult to drive, not the other way around.
Try again....


bring any of those drivers from senna’s era and hamilton will let nonchampion drivers like ocon and verstappen destroy them!


Lol you've lost the plot and are clearly trolling evrryone on here.Can't wait for Hamilton to retire so we can be spared the utter nonsense you ring to this site.


Lol but according to Aveli and Tim, Sienna's car had TC, therefore it was easier to drive.

Lol it's like, Senna can have TC, and Lewis can have GPS controlled deployment of KERS, and electronic diff, 25 years of aero advancement, 25 years of tire advancement.....but Senna's car was easier to drive because it had a TC system running off the computing power of the average pocket calculator. Roight....


Twitch. If you are going to insult me, at least make some effort at accuracy. I have never said anywhere that Senna's car was easier to drive than modern cars, I said that the cars built in the second traction control era built between 2001 and 2008 were, and those cars definitely had a hell of a lot more computing power than your calculator!
I could be wrong, but I don't think Senna ever drove a tc car in F1, Williams were the only team as far as I can remember to perfect the system, McLaren never seemed able to run it, and by the time Ayrton got to Williams in 94, it was banned again. I would say that those eighties F1 cars were probably the toughest to drive, particularly in qualifying when the boost was at the max, no power steering and huge vibration seemed to give the drivers much more of a physical work out than today. This doesn't mean that I think the current generation are easy though, the drivers all say that the wide track cars are harder to handle than their predecessors, and they certainly look it. Not sure why you think gps deployment of ers is so much of a big deal, it's only 160 bhp out of over a thousand, and how can something happening automatically, that never used to happen at all be of such benefit? Also worth remembering that if the drivers want to use ers strategically in attack or defence, then they have to override the auto system and do it themselves.


Hey but there's no Halo on this car - how very irresponsible of you. This must not be shown so as not to encourage 'risk'.


i'll say hello to you.
hello blazethe1st,


indeed! how irresponsible of me to have left out that all important halo.
that plain jane of a car left me temporarily short circuited.


I guess risk is all relative...


looks like he’s looking for an oil leak..


did he run out of talent or out of money?


Upside down...wheels falling off...if I didn't know any better I'd think that was Webber 🙂


Yeah, Webber upsidedown at Le Mans, upside down in F1... he just needs to flip in Indy for the alternative Triple Crown 😉


We know he has the skills Clarks, all he needs is the opportunity 🙂


Agree 100% the best looking Formula 1 car of all time in my book ...


2017 mercedes f1 car with a yellow helmet nestled in it, looks much better in comparison..


Now THAT is a proper GP car!


Looks good even made of Lego. (RoscoPC build, not mine).

Ricciardo Aficionado

The new McLaren is looking good now that they've revived a traditional orange livery. Word is it's at least half a second quicker than the 2017 car. (Mine)


Won't pass FIA inspection, no halo

Close that cockpit up pronto!


the tyre thread look more dramatic than the car itself. far too plain in comparison the 2017 merc.


plain jane.


Yeah JohnH, Lego. Used to be a creative toy where your parents would buy you a few sets and you could really build anything out of them. Now with all the specialized pieces, nutty build styles and rainbow of colours it's just a 3D puzzle, peddling Star Wars stuff.

Maybe this 126C2 floats your boat? Amazing ain't it? It just shows you what's possible, and how much potential is wasted by the sets they put out.

Jeez, I'm starting to sound like an old fart with all this "remember when things were better stuff"! 🙂


Well i am an 'old fart' and i remember Lego from when I was a kid.
You want to make F1 beauty contest? Your barking up the wrong tree mate. That will not improve the racing or bring in many more fans. Aero probably does hold to much sway but in the end only the performance counts.
For me more power lighter cars, no fuel restictions and tracks that allow the driver to race.


why don't just set the who paddock alight?


Notice how the 126C2 doesn't have a front's a ground effect car, see, and a GE car doesn't need a splitter on the front as in interrupted airflow to the venturi tunnels provides a better "feed" to the diffuser.

Notice how long the sidepods are on a GE car - practically the entire length of the wheelbase, which means the weight distribution (CoG) and downforce distribution (CoP) is a lot more forwards than currently. Hence why the pedal box - and drivers feet - is ahead on the front axle centre line................


and yet they couldn't lap faster than gp2 cars.


Lego is the F1 material of the future John. Why you ask?

- It's cheaper than carbon fibre...just.

- It's a renewable resource (you can always find new pieces under the bed/couch/F1 motorhome/fridge).

- When the cars break they can just put the bits back together.

Mark my words John, in five years all F1 cars will be made of Lego.


Lego would make an interesting concept for aero design in a racing series. Designers are given a selection of blocks they can use. And the blocks are only connected by the studs and dimples (location, they can of course be stronger). Have some general rules that limit the overall box the design has to fit in, to keep someone from designing cars that are too wide for instance. But otherwise, get rid of all the rules saying a wing has to be within these sizes and so forth. Just the rules saying you have to use standard blocks, and they have to fit within a box of a certain size.

Be fun to see what the designers would come up with!


Absolutely -- get right down to the single plane wings and flat bottoms !


Ahhh the good old days, when F1 was F1 (not a diplomatic mind bending rule shuffling politically and environmentally correct shambles), TV was TV (not a phone, tablet or *gag* Sky/Foxtel), cars were cars (and not four wheels attached to a collection of aerodynamic devices), and Honda was...well, Honda 🙂


So clean!

Does it sound good? 🙂


Sounded glorious, better than good.


Didn’t care one way or the other as I just want to see racing and for me that means dealing with the complex front wings that do not allow cars to get close to each other. Once again the powers that be are dodging around the main issue.


When you have performance differences between teams since this isn't a spec series, you will have less overtaking, especially with big regulation changes. The teams converge in performance towards the end of the regulations, typically. Overtaking woes isn't all down to aero performance when following cars.


That is true, but Aero development has become the black hole of motor racing and ultimately it's what's making F1 unsustainable. Even the much maligned hybrid engines cost peanuts next to the Aero program for top teams. I wouldn't mind the FIA handing the teams a standardised front wing, rear wing, diffuser and few different shaped nose cones, then reducing the amount of regulations on power delivery and suspension to bring the performance back in ways that driver input controls more directly.
Very low downforce cars with access to things like brake steer, mass dampers and unrestricted fuel flow would be exciting to watch, no more on rails cornering.


F1 has gone exactly the wrong direction of late .... as usual.

F1 listened to the promoters and fans and wanted to market that the cars were faster. I'm sure everyone heard the emphasis this entire season of saying that cars were so many seconds a lap faster and setting track records.

The problem is that they did this by putting more downforce on the car. Which means the cars have more trouble following each other in dirty air. Which means less overtaking and less action in a race. When that combines with poor track design like in Abu Dhabi, you get more boring, processional racing. But its a faster procession I suppose.

Where F1 should be taking aero off the cars to get better racing, instead F1 added aero to cars to get faster speeds. What I want as a fan is to see better racing. I don't really get a big thrill out of some announcer yelling 'its a new track record', and whatever I get is gone in a few seconds. But a good exciting race with racers battling for position, that's what I want. Give me the good racing, and I don't care if its slower, I don't care if the cars look pretty or not while doing it, and I don't care if the cars make a tweet, tweeet, tweet, twit sound like a little bird. I want to see good racing!


It's not just the front wing, the entire raised nose concept is an issue. It makes the cars much more wake sensitive and is also the reason we still have the ridiculous noses. They need to extend the plank to the trailing edge of the front wing as well as reducing the complexity of the front wings like you suggest.

Reducing the car's length would also be nice.


Firstly i must say that the favored description of the engine covers as 'shark fins' is totally wrong, they are simply 'fins'..not shark fins!!!! Despite that minor niggle, they are ugly and along with the T wings just further destroy the looks of the car. No one seems to have put any actual numbers on what the benefits are? Are we talking tenths here? That would be interesting to know however I must say i will be glad to see the end of them. The cars are ugly enough now and their removal will help but where we lose two we gain another visual abomination with the Halo. F1 just never learn that aesthetics plays a huge part in the overall scheme of things and by continuing down this path they do no one any favors. I would once again refer to the new Indy cars as an example of what constitutes a decent looking car. I'm not suggesting that F1 copy that but use it simply as a guide to the future.


Cars are too long, too heavy and indeed all this crap is like some tuner who's put entirely top much aero appendages on his Civic. You'd never see this crap on a high end car.

Now Halos as you note. F1 is now closed cockpits, like WEC. Simply windows are going to be rolled down and sunroof open. #Sad


By the way, as long as we’re all making comparisons...


Apparently Senna says..."This is great. I get to drive again. In F1 we're racing computers rather than drivers."


Nice link. Thanks for sharing. That would have been a big change.

Imagine Senna got the triple crown three times?


They may be long and heavy, but they're saving fuel dammit.


LukeC, and they are also fast. Very very fast....


I wonder how fast say the 2005 cars would have been with these fat tyres. Just saying the tyres certainly help.


Extra gear in the gear box.
No grooved tires now.
Well over decade of aero development.

....and they barely can beat those V10 cars.


Sebee. Extra gear in gear box brings no performance benefit compared with free choice of ratios. Tyre war compounds generated more grip than current rock hard tyres despite smaller contact patch. 2005 cars smaller and lighter in part due to smaller fuel tanks and less strict crash tests. Traction control legel then, illegal now.


NickH, the 2005 cars were also very very fast, but the tyre war type compounds used were much more exotic than the sole supplier stuffwe get now. Pirelli have resofyened the compounds for next year, but they are still pretty hard in relative terms.


@ Random 79 pretty much hits the nail on the head. The PC/EC approach isn't producing very much -- even in 'statement' terms.

Fuel saving during the "race" of the F-1 weekend program, perhaps. And this has been pointed out many times on this site over a number of years: How much have they 'really saved' in comparison with the overall total volume fuel required to transport the Circus about the globe to all of the races and limited testing events ? Bet if the % actually saved were to be calculated, that number would be "dammit" extremely small and pretty much insignificant -- even if you adjust for the increased number of race events.

Just sayin'


How about we take out the free practice to save fuel and go back to V10s?

Plus, V10 era quali was mostly the 1hr open session, and few runs were done. It saved significant amounts of fuel over this current session I bet, even with the V6s.


Garret Bruce, they don't want to really talk about that. It's now been 4 years and no one really wants to engage in that conversation in the paddock. And the F1 media dare not engage them. Give it to Brundle for at least trying in Abu Dhabi this year.

...By the way Kenneth, that Video of Wolf getting his butt handed to him by Brundle on the engines discussion has been taken down!

The way F1 likes to measure fuel savings today is "Look how much fuel we're saving on Sunday for 2hours or less while you're watching."

They absolutely don't want to discuss what happens outside of those two hours. And heavens forbid you bring up the weight of the cars and the amount of fuel the jets use to transport all this extra weight around the world. Forget that this happens with jet fuel burned in the stratosphere. We move all this extra weight and support equipment for PUs thanks to unicorn and rainbow power! Cue the glitter! Magic!


You're being short sighted Sebee...think long term. The cost of shipping these futuristic hybrid PUs around today, will be offset by the endless benefits and savings they will provide for us in the future.

F1 is a testing ground for future technologies, always has been, always will be. V6 Turbo Hybrids are the future, everyone knows that. We just need F1 teams to put a few billion more $$$ worth of research, and the technology will blossom.

Think of it the example of disc brakes. First, they appeared on F1 cars. Now, we see them on aeroplanes, space shuttles, tanks, etc.

In the future, the aeroplanes that carry the F1 teams to and from the races will be powered by V6 Turbo Hybrids!!! How cool is that!

It's the sacrifice we have to make today, so that future generations can enjoy the epicness that is the V6 Turbo Puuuuuuuuuuuuuu.


Twitch_6; the time has come for F1 to stop being a testing ground for future technologies. Otherwise F1 will eventually have to become a bunch of electric autonomous dentist drills on wheels buzzing and screeching around street circuits entirely made up of up hairpins and 90 degree corners.

F1 being a testing ground for future technologies may have worked in the past because it did not compromise the spectacle and the DNA of the sport. But it's now becoming clear as daylight that this approach is no longer tenable.


LukeC, I want to come up with a ridiculous and sarcastic response to what you wrote...but I don't have it in me right now lol.

I agree with you 100%. My first bit I was being nice beyond sarcastic, here I'm being geniun. I'm not of the opinion that F1s main raisin' d'être is to be a testing ground for new tech. If tech gets developed as part of going racing, fantastic. But the fundamental reason to go racing should not be about tech development - it should be about competing and winning.

And just to be clear, my example of the disc brakes is 100% wrong. Disc brakes were first invented in the late 1800s, but due to materials available, didn't come into common use until the 1940s, primarily on tanks, and on aircraft landing on carriers at sea. F1 cars didn't get disc brakes until in the 1960s iirc. F1 certainly helped refine disc brake tech, but they didn't invent it.


Sebee, do the teams transport more or less kit now? Those refuelling rigs and spare cars were pretty heavy weren't they?


@ Garrett Bruce... Interesting that you bring up this 'fuel saving' issue again. On a broader note it was established in 2015 that the following figures shone a bright light on this farce. The benefits of these PU's in being able to run and 'race' on less fuel is totally ridiculous. The amount of fuel saved, converted to weight, totals approx 6 tonnes over the course of a 20 race season across 22 cars. Wow! The total fuel used to ship the circus to 12 flyaway races was 22000 tonnes and for the Continental European races a further 2000 tonnes, realising a total of 24000 tonnes for the year. This does not include flying approx 700 personnel to and from races and other ancilliary services. Those figures put this farce into some sort of perspective when Todt is boasting about his 'green' credentials.


But....the Hosptitality Suites.....what would we do without them?


Moreover, a 190 mile race distance should not require fuel saving, coasting, etc. As has been written here before (I think by Redline), the way to truly drive fuel efficiency would be to simply specify maximum engine displacement and maximum permissible fuel load and let the teams try to maximize performance subject to those constraints. That seems pretty close to the old Group C sports car regs, and we know that those rules produced some spectacular cars.


Rudy. Are the drivers still lifting and coasting in the races?


Kenneth. The PU cars use 40kg less fuel over a race distance than the V8s. 20 cars and 20 races is 16 tonnes, the cars will also run around one and a half race distances through practice and qualifying, so more like 40 tonnes not including testing and demo runs.


Is there a fuel shortage that I don't know about?

I would have thought that all these petroleum companies want to sell as much of their product a possible.


Don't you dare mention how much fuel goes into making these batteries or other PU appendages.

Or how much fuel goes into bringing all these software geeks to the track to write their engine modes.


Sebee, are engine mode creating software geeks heavier now than they were in 2006?


Just add oil, problem solved.


No one seems to have put any actual numbers on what the benefits are? Are we talking tenths here? That would be interesting to know however I must say i will be glad to see the end of them

It probably is only tens maybe less. At 200 kilometres per and hr is around 55 meters per second. So yes the wings and fins are important.


So much negativity on shark wings. I would like to say I like them.

The t-wings on the other hand......not so much.


I would agree - shark fins were a great space to identify the drivers if nothing else. The t-wings always looked likely to cause a Massa style incident so I'm glad they are gone.

Loved the Force India sawtooth innovation later in the season too.


I wasn’t really that bothered to be honest, but I doubt they will be mourned.

Now, let’s all get on with the serious business of who was at fault for the Singapore crash again, complete with misleading stills and totally accurate analogies concerning driving on a motorway!


Exxon/Mobil, Esso, Petronas, BP, Shell, Quaker State, Castrol, Total, PetroBras, Cepsa, Repsol, Pertamina, PDVSA etc, etc... no I don’t see any vested interests here pushing for F1 to use more oil than it saves!


Andrew, Singapore was clearly Lewis' fault.....


Yes, but only because Maldonado hit him from behind!


No doubt about it, MV hasn't learned yet that while it is nice to finish first, first ya gotta finish. Complicated a little by the red car in front trying to imitate MS's penchant for running folks into walls, even when it is your team mate.


The rule is that only one thread per month will be taken over by a Singapore crash rehashing, upon which Sebee will post 50+ times.



It'll be on again for young and old if and when JA presents his 3D findings. Sebee is probably already preparing for such eventuality. But will he recant if the findings go against him? That is the question.



You'll see the two leftward steering inputs by Max highlighted, as some appear to be blind to them.

You'll see Max moving right and out of the way once he knows Kimi will fly.

You'll see how early after lights out Max goes left, because it appears actual footage is not sufficient for most.

You'll see how much space Max has to Vettel and how Vettel is tough but leaves enough space for Max to not do what he did to Kimi.

You'll see how Max was focused on Kimi's blazing start all along and where he was putting his left front wheel.

...I hope!


I just knew you couldn't get enough of me KRB!

You know what's fascinating to me? Cops. I wonder, has a cop ever arrived at a scene of an accident involving two cars and got the same story from both drivers?

Also absolutely fascinating that Andrew M sees stills that show Max precisely steer toward Kimi TWICE with space on the right as misleading. Just fascinating.

But alas my monthly quota on the subject has been more than used up. Let us wait until 2018 to discuss further, right KRB?. 🙂

After all, Singapore is never short of controversy and 2018 will be the 10th anniversary of the event itself AND the infamous biggest fraud perpetrated on the sport. As such, I'm sure we'll chat about that again and see how you continue to justify that nothing was done to the result once FIA learned about the undisputed fraud.

What do you think will get more attention? The 10th anniversary of the event or the 10th anniversary of the biggest fraud perpetrated on F1?

Ricciardo Aficionado

Who wins the championship if the result was excluded?



I guess Lewis fans are happy his first was thanks to a fraud.


Ra, the person he wanted to win it, hence the campaign.


"What do you think will get more attention?"

For most it will be a toss up, but from you I would expect nothing less than a complete rundown of what happened, who was involved, who was to blame, something about PUs, what happened afterward, and of course what *should* have happened afterward...and all meant in the nicest possible way 🙂

To be honest though Sebee, as much as you might overdo it at times you do make a good point - It was a fairly significant event in the sports history and it is reasonable that it should be mentioned on the anniversary.


Wanna bet 1 shiny penny that just ahead of Singapore Grand Prix a memo will go out to the F1 media to not discuss the events of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix?

Please refrain from mentioning; fraud, Crashgate, Renault F1 Team fixing the result, the fact that the result stands even though it is fraudulent.

Please don't forget to highlight that Fernando Alonso is a multiple winner of Singapore Grand prix with two (2).

Thank you for your cooperation. Media accreditations for the remainder of the 2018 F1 season will be issued the weekend following Singapore Grand Prix.


A fixed Grand Prix Random! Absolutely 100% fraudulent, fixed and illegitimate.

Actual FIA 'actions speak louder than words' response to learning the entire result is fraudulent and fixed?:
"We're good with it! Let it stand."

...and you guys think results matter. Just keep watching!


Now, let’s all get on with the serious business of who was at fault for the Singapore crash again,



Hold on - you mean we have settled wether Seb was at fault smacking into Lewis? When did that happen?

Last I heard we were on percentages of fault?

And can someone remind me if the Ferrari was really faster or just a victim in the MMC (Mercedes managed championship) delusion?

Merry Christmas to all of you and yours



Good. Glad to see the back of them.


The side of them certainly, but the back of them?

Being that they're essentially two dimensional, I'm not sure it's possible 😉


Looks interesting, but did nothing for overtaking, if anything a fliailing "coat hanger" makes aerodynamic buffeting at high speed even worse.


I don't think we learned to love them, we just stopped noticing them, a bit like we will with the halo.....


Think your right there Tim.
But I’m sure that some on here won’t let us “not notice” them😉
Merry Xmas🎄👍


James, the wait for the perfect F1 car that causes nobody to moan continues......Have a great Christmas!


Until they put the numbers on them. Now, good riddance.


a bit like we will with the halo.....

Hmmm I don't think it's the same thing... but we shall see. It will actually be interesting to see if some drivers are more affected by it than others.


Nick, they have all tested it, I do wonder about night and wet races though.


Nick, there will be a hoo har at the launches, but it will fade.


I dont care about fins and twings, with Liberty running things and the useless ugly HALO, F1 has lost a longtime fan and ardent supporter


Completely agree. I'm out. No further investment of time or money on F1. May possibly watch highlights on youtube.


Db, would you rather have cvc?


IF Ross can work with the FIA to reduce the insanely complicated and expensive front wings and other aero dependencies, remove the fuel flow and rev restrictions, give us NOISE (not microphones on the cars for TV), and make on track racing and close following and overtaking with more than 2 or 3 teams with a shot at a win,make racing the show (not typically American dumbass ‘showbiz’ Like the Michael Buffer bullsh*t in Austin) I MAY tune back in after 2021, but where F1 is now , fuel saving, tyre saving,aero-ugly, and HALO,with an American showbiz bent, I am finally done. CVC had no interest in anything but letting the FIA dictate the sport and taking the money and running , so I will wait a couple years to see if Liberty has a shot at moving the sport back to what fans want can happen, but for the moment I have no confidence. I.e. the ‘fan input’ on the new ugly logo, did ANYONE here get solicited about a new logo? I doubt it


Same here. If Kubica returns I will watch because I'm curious to see how he'll perform. Otherwise it's goodbye F1.

If F1 were the only show in town I would put up with all the nonsense that they've been shoving down our throats. But we've got Supercars, indycar, Moto GP and countless other categories where it's still about the spectacle, and not about fuel saving and wrapping everybody up in cotton wool.


Perfectly said.....


Kind of ironic, huh? We're removing the T-wing and shark fin because they look bad, but here's a halo!


Dren, the Fia giveth, the Fia taketh away......


Twenty drivers wearing giant G-strings over their heads - I'm not sure that's ever going into the inconspicuous basket Tim 🙂


Random, people will get bored of moaning about ut, my prediction for first race report without a halo rant, is Russia....


That's true. People get bored of moaning about everything that's wrong with F1. And then they get bored with F1 and switch off.

It's a bit like going to a pizza restaurant to find that there is not enough cheese on the pizza. You complain but then you come back the following week and it's the same thing. You complain a couple more times and when you go back again you find to your amazement that there is even less cheese now than ever before. Eventually you'll start looking for a new pizza restaurant. And there are plenty in town.


Its ok though Luke because some people are so in love with the Chef that even if the pizza had no cheese they would still say its the best pizza in town.


Sars, and some hate the guy so much, that it wouldn't matter how good the pizza was, they would still say it stinks.


And then others will take a bite and say whilst its not the best pizza they have ever had, its certainly not the worst and yet somehow people will still think they hate the Chef. Interesting....


Sarsippious, that would be a moderate and well balanced response, still waiting for you to post one of those.....


Hmm, not so sure about that.




Home run KRB!

Random, this just happened! I'm making guacamole asap!


Tim, I didn't stop noticing those hideous appendages, but realised that complaining was doing nothing good for my blood pressure. (Same for the poor-sounding, super-obvious-is-a-stop-gap-solution, hybrid.)

Kind of like what will happen with the halo 🙂


They’re simply hideous. I understand that the aim of the engineer is to go fast rather than look pretty, but any sport that can write its rules to promote an elegant solution is all the better for it.


No, not so much.
I guess we can look forward to much cleaner designs in the next regulation change, all the VGs will have to go to allow cars to follow. The question is what areas will the teams be allowed to compete in? There's engine, suspension, electronics, chassis (aerodynamics):
We want-
unique designs but close racing (same performance)
high technology but low cost
high speed but overtaking
stupidly high noise levels - really?

Someone has managed to square the circle in the recent past, can Brawn/Carey do it for F1?


That's my problem with F1 its always gives you this promise of looking forward to the next regulation change that is years away while they shove down your throat all the stuff you don't want. You deal with it because it may get better then they improve a small aspect and ruin more and repeat with more stuff to look forward to. They always create a carrot to keep you looking forward like these new wider cars more aero wider tyres etc... next year two 4 time champions fighting for their 5th etc.. It like a soap opera or television show where they leave you on a cliff hanger just to keep you there even though the product is actual $#it.


The new cars were supposed to look good which was one of the major motivations for bringing in the new design changes, so why then does the FIA let them have these ugly additions added on to completely uglify the entire grid? Why do they not ban them the first day they see them? What is the point of having the FIA when they bring us junk like the current PU’s and sleep through shark fins and T wings...


Too right, should have been removed before the first practice session in Melbourne.


Yeah get rid of them. There’s way too much aero at present. The cats touch each other and there is carbon fiber everywhere giving punctures and the unfair random element of safety cars or VSC.
Simplify - limit the appendages based on area in square centimeters whilst allowing more development under the car to maintain similar downforce and lap times.


Isn't it primarily the undercar generated turbulence which causes or at least aggravates the effects "dirty air" for the following car?


Get rid of them both ! , who cares ? , just have a standard front and rear aero package , is anyone really going to turn up to work on monday morn and say " gee red bull had a new vain on the front wing yesterday , how great " ... come on , does it really matter ? we just want racing , not making old rich men richer ....... think about Indy car mid 90,s , Mansell , Andretti , Al Unser , Jac any day , any one could win . today Merc , then the rest ..... , not see any of the big corporates getting into F1 now the ciggies have been banned ..... , ok enough


If they went for a standard aero kit, I'd have nothing to write about!


Well you might be able to write more than a paragraph about the actual race for a change.


I think perusing the articles from the time when these cars were state of the art illustrates that you would find plenty of interest to
write about, Jake, even without aero bits:

As I said yesterday, Liberty’s public pronouncements indicate that the sporting and entertainment aspects are paramount. I suspect that they would trade the current high tech time trial cars for the kind of racing spectacle shown in that clip of the Glover Trophy.

Aerodynamic-dependent, on rails cornering produces low lap times and high speed parades broken up by tire changing contests. Since F1 teams show no sign of giving up that approach, aesthetics ultimately don’t matter.


Singapore 2017 ?


There might be some good, closer racing😊


but then the chat would all be about Newey's standard aero flexing more than others at speed etc 😉


@ Jake B-L just apply the standard media solution...if there is no real story just make one up!!!! F1 journalism 101.


And if you need any help with that Jake, just ask Sebee 😉


I wonder if Jake was aware of the ocupational risks before he took on his new know, us.


Come on Jake, it's F1 - You'll always have something to write about 🙂


here here


I was extremely disappointed when the cars showed up to testing with both the shark fins and T-wings. I couldn't believe F1 had shot itself in the foot again by allowing ugly designs to proliferate during a rule change that was intended to make the cars sexy again. I detest the T-wings and couldn't believe they were allowed to persist for the entire season, even in the face of the change averse rulebook. The shark fins I grew to appreciate over the year. I certainly didn't mind when they were on course to be retained before McLaren made their move. I'm sad we'll never get to see how beautiful this generation of cars could be, as next year the looks of the car will be destroyed by the halo which compared to the minor irritation of T-wings and shark fins is an abberation. From what has been reported it appears the fans don't want it, the designers don't want it, and most importantly the majority of drivers don't want it. I don't see how it would have prevented any injuries in F1, but can think of plenty of ways it could create accidents, or minimally complicate them. Imagine if the spring from Barrichello's car had been deflected down an inch into Massa's visor for example. F1 may be facing up to it's issues these days, but still has a long road ahead before dysfunctional isn't a word used to describe its rulemaking operations.


It wasn’t so much that the FIA allowed them, its more that added some new regs without considering how they interacted with the existing rules or how the teams would be able to exploit them. Hopefully this is something that Ross Brawn (he of the devious mind) will be able to keep on top of this type of thing in the future.


Maybe I'm missing something but how can something so flimsy and wobbly produce meaningful and consistent downforce? The same comes to mind when I see front wing elements wobbling in some of the slow motion shots.


Shark fins have looked cool since Jaguar D-types sported them in the 1950s. Mandating plain and clear driver identification pn them helps too.


Whatever is needed to keep F1 the pinnacle of Motorsport.


The lesson the be learned is that there is far, far, far, too much aero dependence in F1. Shark fins and coat-hangers are just the ugly tip of the iceberg.


Appreciate the details, as always.

In the overall, however, am wondering when (or if) we will ever see a return to the time when driver skill/car control was relatively more important (and probably less expensive) than aero development.

A Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year to all !


I don't mind the fin, it has been common on recent WEC cars without any real complaint. I just wish they had used it to clearly show the driver number which seems to be something that teams want to hide.

But the T wing? No - it looks just like the squashed wire coat hanger so often seen on rusty Cortinas and Granadas in the 1970s, I think it had a Ford part number.


The FIA mandated the fins for WEC cars to prevent the cars from flying if the skidded sideways. WEC cars have wide flat bottoms and are more susceptible to lift off once the airflow over the front of the bodywork stops pushing the car down and gets under the side of the car,


To be clear..not like Picasso, but some cheap image filter that imitates a Picasso effect in digital form.


do people watch that?


Hardly. WEC reminds them it's time for a WC break.


wasn't that the same sport a few people on here were raving about it being more fun to watch than f1! they raved about it so much webber left f1 to join them.
i wonder where they all are now. complaining about f1 and how boring it is and yet refused to support their favourite motorsport.
the lies have it again!


WEC cars are hideous! That Toyota looks like a Picasso. They haven't looked good since R15 era.


They have not looked great for yonks. Last time they looked great was in the Film "Le Man" when
Steve McQueen raced.


Not a fan of the Shark Fin
Not a fan of the T-Wing (Coat Hanger)
Not a fan of the impending Flip Flop cage.

All three are aesthetically poor.
But of the 3 if one had a choice I'd get rid of the Flip Flop roll cage first. As at least Sauber Alfa Romeo boss will have somewhere to hang his coat🤓.
Plus Toro Rosso boss can use the Shark Fin slice a water melon while Honda changes another engine👍.


Didn’t actually mind the shark fin, but the T wings looked awful.


This sport feeds off of innovation. I think t-wings and shark fins are perfectly fine. If they are ugly, we may as well say front and rear wings are ugly too (they are).


It a giant paradox F1 they want to be so innovative yet rules are so strict where we don't see any huge innovations because of cost and it becoming a space race. We also have the fastest car starting first which theoretically should mean that the person in first should be difficult to pass as they are the fastest, add to that the fact that aero causes the following of a car to be difficult compounding the problem against what people want cars battling as they do in go karts. People want go kart style racing just on steroids in the form of "open wheel" cars. They want to be the fastest but use the least energy. It suppose to be a sprint race but is currently operating as and endurance race. So many conflicting points.


The only think good about the fins was that the driver numbers could finally be seen in such a way as to have the *possibilty* to identify the drivers from my couch. As far as the T-wings are concerned, Clarks4WheelDrift said it best.


I love the cars since about 2013 they've been looking a lot bigger and faster. Like they have more weight to them.

I love the shark fins and the complex front wing designs. I love to see t-wings wobble on the slow mo replays. It's like outer space.

Looking forward to seeing the halo get incorporated into the aerodynamic designs in 2018. Formula 1 has never looked better. The cars in the 1980s and 1990s were too simple looking.


Possibly feeling the effects of the heatwave in the land down under. Else medication could be required.


Just so you know Bryce it's comment bait from a lame imposter, so ignore him.




Now you're getting it, although I'm pretty sure that's copyright.

Try Toolo instead 🙂


Fins, NO
Coat Hangers, NO


Shark fins, surely are a bit of a misnomer, besides being ugly. Insult to sharks! As for the flimsy coat hangers: Hmm, not sure that they were really just bent antenna ariels to improve communication with the Drivers in places like Monaco and Singapore. 😉
The REAL innovation was surely on the FI, the little serrated edges on the trailing edge and on top of the Dorsal fin.
As for the proposed face cage, or Halo, "posterior ugly"!
As an aside, there won't be any reduction in aero gimmicks to aid overtaking, because it is contrary to the best interest of the guys running up front. Mercedes was fine in clean air, but only average in dirty air. So, it behooves the designers to make it a more difficult for the guy BEHIND you to overtake with a simple aero tweak, especially if you can get a positive for your car as well. Very simple concept, and one that needs addressing.


Get rid of all the add ons. Hell not only will cars look better but think of the weight saving which is desperately needed.


Agree. Furthermore, I would include the Mguh and Mguk in the list of add-ons to get rid of.

That stuff makes the cars heavy, ungainly and insanely expensive, while doing absolutely nothing for the spectacle of the sport. In fact, the opposite is true.

Let's have light, agile 550 kg 900 bhp cars back and let them race flat out from start to finish. In other words, let's have F1 back.


I don't think we can have it back anymore.

With these halos, it's like a sex change operation - no undo in that.

Unless perhaps someone dies because of it.


The next is fully enclosed canopies and when that happens the few hundred viewers left will leave too.


On one hand, it is often fascinating to see creativity unleashed in the pursuit of performance.

On the other hand, things like the shark fin and t-wings seem...erm, silly, if not entirely wasteful of time, money and brain power since they will likely never be seen in F1 again, if anywhere else for that matter.

I am not one to think everything in F1 should have real-world usefulness, nor do I believe the rules should be so tight that unique solutions are all but eliminated, but if any new gadget or doohickey can't even pass the test of time of one season then greater efforts should be made to prevent their introductions in the first place.


Quite frankly, I'm surprised that both were not banned at the beginning of the season.


Sharkfins .. bwoah .... T-wings no no
Happy to see them both gone next year ... only sad they're replaced by something worse.


One step forward, two steps back.

That's F1 M.O.


Just out of interest, in the F1 'Good old days' with no engine restrictions - how many would a team get through in a season?


As many as they wanted or needed.

Certainly a fresh one each Grand Prix, so that there was no driver demoted back and GP going fans weren't punished end of the season with all these penalties.


"T Wings" remind me of the UK era when cars had retractable wing mounted aerials, these were normally broken off by vandals and replaced by a wire coathanger suitably bent. These of course went rusty and never gave decent reception. Seeing these on F1 cars to me drags them down to the status of secondhand Ford Granadas, Vauxhall Vivas, Victors etc. Back when prawn cocktail was an exciting new starter. (no doubt those of my age can also still remember the Bernie Inn's entire menu!) These "T wings and shark fins" were the F1 design equivalent of surf and turf.
It is agreat pity that those in charge have so little imagination or indeed mettle and cling grimly to the current design parameters. This, when so much could have been done with erergy recovery from the four wheels via electric braking Audi call it "recuperation". It was in Max's proposed rules for cost capped teams, as was full movable front flaps. (during the perid we did have them in F1 nobody dared use then dynamically and instead they were wasted on trim effect only, when they could have been used for braking and steering) Lets have ABS then the overtaking dives can be later under braking. Aero steering vanes. Less overall downfoce. Limit the front wing to three horizontal separate elements, two of which may move controlled by the driver or as part of the steeriing and braking.

A lot of the problem is the way the regulations are written and re-written so as to prohibit any new idea, so they are all directive/specific whereas in many parts they need to be non-directive, to ban an effect not a method.
I would also introduce a dynamic ground clearance measurement (Laser, mirrors highspeed camera etc) to be set across a fast straight flat part of the track at track height.
However of course keeping the grid penalties for engine/PU component replacemant and reducing the allowed number to just three per season is just ludicrous.


I do happen to like the shark fin design. It's not the first time it has been used on F1, and it's also used on WEC LMP1 and LMP2 cars.
Not so much the T-wing. However, I'll take 10 T-wings over a halo.


I can't say that I actively disliked eithe, with that being said however I disliked the T-wing more that the shark fin. The Shark fin could at least be put to some use for example the drivers number/initals. I think the Mercs did it best with the drivers number and a flag for their nationality.


the shark fins and t-wings are the mvp's of the season


@James Allen.

Does it not bother you that a certain poster leaves so many comments every article? On this article alone there are about 40 comments from said poster and if we’re being honest they are not informative to say the least, it is the same tedious narrative he pumps out daily. IMO it seriously detracts from your website.

Or are you only bothered about volume of comments? I can’t understand how you allow this poster to splatter poorly written nonsense all over your brilliant articles.


I seem to recall that in the Bernie days, we were told that the size of the wings on an F1 car could not be reduced because that was advertising space that brought in money. At the time, another series, it might have been WEC, was running cars with the 'shark fin'.

So, silly me thought that you could decrease the size of the wings and replace that advert space with a shark fin. The benefit of reducing the size of the wings is of course that you get better racing. If you had smaller wings, or perhaps even no wings, you'd reduce the loss in aero efficiency that occurs when one car tries to get anywhere close to another car. Reduce the size of the wings, and cars can follow each other through corners and there's more overtaking and passing action in a race. If you race cars with no wings and got rid of the tracks that produce boring racing from their layout, then you could have a very exciting F1.

I'd still take that trade. I'd trade shark fins for smaller wings and better racing.

In terms of getting better racing by reducing aero disturbance, I'd get rid of the T-wings. I'm not the sort of uber-purist who things they are ugly. But sometimes they flap around so much this last year that they do look a bit silly. But since to me less aero means better racing, the T-wings would be an early candidate for stuff that can go.



I would love to know why moving aero is banned in F1? Is it because they do not want aero to over shadow suspension and other "Car like elements" ? If so, then that sounds very flawed because cars , even road cars have to cut through air. Infact the last time i checked, companies like Mercedes include the low drag co-efficient number of thier design in highlighting thier extreme fuel effciency on thier product brochures.

If F1 wants to be road relevant, why cannot they use modern day computers to have active aero? I can understand a decade ago maybe the processors were not fast enough to run complex Artificial Intelligence Stability Programs -so unnatural emergency braking or accelerating in a corner might have been a deadly situation.

Infact, AI is fine for road cars, but for F1 they should have DRIVER CONTROLLED ACTIVE AERO.. just like adjusting brake balance on the fly.. they should be able to tweak the level of aero drag(downforce) while driving - and then, let the road car programs use that data for their Artificial Intellgence Programs! That is a nice way of feeding tech and information from F1 to road cars.

I dont mind if the wings become overtly simple again, because moving complex aero elements will probably be too much for the designers to simulate at current capacity.. but over time I am sure F1 engineers will make a great push into the unknown and soon complex aero elements with moveable aero bits will also happen. I am sure it will look SUPER COOL then, watching such dynamic TRANSFORMING while on straights, changing on approach to turns, evolving around the corner and finally a different stance accelerating out the corner. Like the brake bias, the drivers should be able choose how much aero drag for every bit of the track with a slider.

Why do we denounce AERO so much like a dirty word? If they can reduce drag with moving aero on the straights.. Speeds will get too fast maybe? Great then! With less energy right? Fuel save! And use it to power through on high speed turns with wings turned to ultra grip Mode. AERO is relevant to road cars aswell, and the future of road cars.. because Cars have always been, even now they are and forever will cut through air - on earth. Active aero is relevant in millions of road cars worldwide.. and F1 drivers should be channelling thier talent and lessons into Computer programs for road cars.


And right after I posted my above comment I feel the urge to delete it and alas there is no delete button. On road cars, with an average speed limit of 70 miles per hour, their simply is not enough need to generate grip via aero, because at those speeds, the suspension itself can be tweaked passively by design or actively to generate all the grip needed for public road operations.

Besides most mass transit roads now are more or less Non meandering (instead of following the contours of the land like a few decades earlier). Hence road cars simply have no need for Massive Aero generated grip. Infact road cars simply need to have the lowest possible drag passive design will alow and the suspension can handle all matters of grip.

So all that remains is track racing action -Sports, Entertainment and Recreational Driving- that generates the need for Aero generated super grip (an over kill on everyday roads). WIth that in mind lets shift back to F1.

If High downforce wings make high speed corners a spectacle to behold, but ruins racing by generating dirty air on the straights for cars that follow - Active Aero probably is the need of the hour for F1 (even if it has no road relevancy?)

But then James, I wonder how it feels even now when you have three cars close together and the last two have thier DRS open, how is it for the third car when the car ahead of it suddenly closes its DRS wing before a corner? Is it smooth to just follow behind a DRS enabled F1 car on a straight but gets doubly tricky with the sudden dirty air just before a corner?

Perhaps you could find out and tell us How that feels @James? If its predicatble, then perhaps Active driver controlled aero (not the toy like ON /OFF DRS concept, but a tractable , driver controlled skill based one) is a must to ensure F1 remains a good racing spectacle showcasing driver and engineering skills at its best.

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