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T-wings out, Halo in for 2018

NEWS STORY
23/03/2017

Mat Coch writes

A new regulation set introduced this season has already seen cars take on a wider stance, most notably with much wider tyres reminiscent of cars from the early 1990s.

Together with a lower rear wing, the current package was meant to make the cars look more aggressive, and presumably engage fans through the miracles of marketing.

Instead what has been produced is only mildly different to the cars seen in 2016, though admittedly wider and with bigger tyres, and particularly less attractive shark fins and airbox mounted T-wings.

The development race on the billboards now attached to most team's airboxes has begun in earnest, with Mercedes having further refined its T-wing ahead of the Australian Grand Prix this weekend. It's an area of development the FIA isn't thrilled with, and will be looking to shut down for next year.

"A few people feel that they are a bit of an unsightly thing," admitted FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting when asked about the T-wing designs, adding that there's a good chance they'll be banned for 2018.

But while the unsightly T-wings look set to disappear, the halo system looks set to be rubber stamped.

Set to be introduced in the interests of driver protection, the halo has been tested by a host of teams, including during events in 2016. At last year's Russian Grand Prix Red Bull debuted its own variation, a fighter jet style canopy, though that development avenue has since been abandoned in favour of the halo.

"It was agreed by the strategy group and the Formula One Commission that there would be additional frontal protection for 2018," Whiting explained. "So far the halo is the only candidate solution that fits the bill."

Other solutions are being worked upon, though with the 2018 regulation deadline looming at the end of next month time is fast running out for a subtler solution.

Whiting hastened to add that the door remained open if such a solution should be found after April 30, but at this stage there is nothing on the radar to rival the halo device.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Hobgoblin, 24/03/2017 10:21

"if they're banning the T-Wing on aesthetic grounds, can't they make a more aesthetically pleasing halo device? Come on RBR - you know you can do it!"

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2. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 24/03/2017 5:06

"Just stretch some cling-film (glad-wrap) over the halo and you can have an enclosed cockpit; and whilst they are at it, those exposed wheels must be dangerous etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

I know, just to get more manufacturers involved, why don't the FIA ban open wheel racing entirely and stick to electric - hydrogen fuel cell powered tin-tops (sorry GRP-tops) grrrrrrr."

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3. Posted by edllorca, 24/03/2017 4:48

"Would have been plenty easy to ban the sharkfin and TV antenna by first testing date, why wait a whole year? They are appendages and would not affect the car much at all (unlike front wing or floor changes)"

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4. Posted by mickl, 23/03/2017 13:19

"They're not replacing the shark fin, it's the T wing that''s being banned, a coathanger like thing that teams have started attaching to the rear of the shark fin."

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5. Posted by Willie, 23/03/2017 13:04

"What's a "T-wing?""

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6. Posted by TedS, 23/03/2017 12:37

"so they replace the ugly shark fin with the ugly halo... which is simply a knee-jerk reaction to a very small fraction of a percent issue for F1..."

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