F1 Strategy Group agree to limit shark fin design in 2018, amongst other changes


Valtteri Bottas with T-wing. Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

A number of changes to the 2018 sporting and technical regulations were discussed and agreed at the F1 Strategy Group meeting in Paris on Tuesday 25 April, with FIA President Jean Todt and Formula One Group CEO Chase Carey, both in attendance.

The changes and corrections made have now been passed to the World Motor Sport Council for approval.

There were a number of topics of interest on the agenda, with the below being the areas affected by the alterations.

Cockpit protection

So far, the halo device has been given the most scrutiny and testing time, but from 2018, the FIA are hoping to prioritise the shield system, similar to the ‘Aeroscreen’ design developed by Red Bull Racing. Development of the transparent screen was put on hold last year however, as it did not pass all the required tests, and further work was requested before the FIA were willing to select it.

The shield however has been chosen by the F1 Strategy Group as the best option, and the FIA aims to carry out track tests of this system during the 2017 season, in preparation for introduction in 2018.

Shark fins

The controversial shark fin and T-wing structures introduced on this years cars were also a key area of debate, and following on from feedback provided by the F1 teams, these designs will be strictly limited next year, by making changes in the regulation boxes around the engine cover.

This is good news for many, who had deemed them unsightly and in some cases a safety hazard due to the amount of movement they generated.

Red flag re-starts

It has been decided that a change to re-starts following a red flag should be put in place. So from 2018, in the event of a red flag period during a race, the race will resume from a standing start, instead of the current safety car procedure.

Oil use

Following the suspicions of Red Bull that one of their competitors may be burning oil as fuel during qualifying to give them an advantage, measures will be put in place to ensure that this is impossible to do from 2018.

On top of that, it will be stipulated that only one specification of oil may be used for any given power unit during an event

Pirelli tyres

It was also agreed that Pirelli would be allowed to develop 2018 wet weather tyre compounds using previous specification cars and wheel dimensions

Driver names and numbers

There was one rule change that will come into force almost immediately, as of the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 12/14, and that is concerning the display of driver names and numbers.

Following complaints of them being difficult to make out and indistinguishable at times, the visibility of drivers’ names and numbers on the cars will have to be clearer from this date forward.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, representatives from non F1 Strategy Group teams will be allowed to join in upcoming meetings, in order to improve transparency in the sport.