The FIA ( International Automobile Federation) is set to clamp down and 'strictly limit' the use of the much discussed and despised T-wings and the shark-fin engine covers in Formula 1 from 2018 following a meeting between the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission on Tuesday (25 April).
Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and Haas have run the winglet in the first three races of the 2017 season, but the appendage has not been well received by all in the paddock. Apart from them ruining the aesthetics of the new car designs, they have also been questioned with regards to safety.
Red Bull Racing suffered an estimated £50,000 damage to Max Verstappen's car after he ran over a piece of the T-wing that had dislodged itself from Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes during the second practice session. Christian Horner was livid following the incident and called for it to be banned immediately.
Apart from the wings and the shark-fin, the FIA will also tighten regulations over the oil used by teams during qualifying and the race. The use of different specification of lubrication will be banned in 2018 to prevent teams from using a high performance substance for qualifying and a more durable one for the race.
The FIA has also instructed the teams to mark names and numbers of their respective drivers more clearly on the cars. And that rule will come into effect from the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix later next month. The F1 Strategy Group will also be represented by all the teams from now on with the previous practice of only Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Williams and Red Bull having a permanent place being abolished.
"A constructive meeting of the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission took place today (25 April) in Paris, with all members in attendance including FIA President Jean Todt and, for the first time, Chase Carey, CEO of Formula One Group," the statement from the FIA read on the official site of the sport's governing body.
Below is a summary of what was discussed:
Sporting and technical changes
There have been some corrections and additions to the technical and sporting regulations for 2018, which will now be passed to the World Motor Sport Council for approval:
- A number of more integrated solutions for additional frontal protection have been studied, and the decision has been taken to give priority to the transparent 'shield' family of systems. The FIA aims to carry out track tests of this system during this season in preparation for implementation in 2018
- 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
Driver names and numbers
Information was given to the teams that, 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.
Representatives from the non-member teams will now be invited to meetings of the F1 Strategy Group to have access to the discussions, demonstrating the effective commitment of both the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holder to improve transparency in the sport.