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‘Unpopular’ F1 shark fins set to be addressed despite support from teams

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Formula 1’s sporting managing director Ross Brawn says he plans to address the ‘shark fins’ that have appeared on cars ahead of the 2017 season despite teams backing their usage.

Barcelona hosted F1’s first collective test running in 2017 earlier this week as teams got a chance to complete laps with their new-look cars following an overhaul of the technical regulations.

One consequence of the technical changes has been the appearance of shark fin engine covers, which have been met with a negative response from fans, but Brawn is looking to address them.

“As always with new regulations, there are a few little hiccups,” Brawn told the official F1 app.

“We’ve got the unpopular shark fin on the back. I think in time we need to address those.

“Part of the objective of the new rules was to make more exciting-looking cars. We don’t want to spoil it with peripheral bits that take away from that.

“But that’s normal with new regs.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed in Barcelona that he was pushing to ban shark fins when the new regulations were discussed last year, only for the majority of teams to support their usage.

“I think the cars look fantastic, the only thing that lets them down is the shark fins, proportionally,” Horner told reporters.

“It’s something that we raised at a Formula 1 Strategy Group meeting last year, to ask that all teams remove them because it is pretty marginal the performance gain that they offer.

“In the interest of aesthetics it was requested that they be removed. That went to the Formula 1 Commission and unfortunately was immediately rejected by the majority of teams.

“Hopefully it’s something that can be addressed for next year because I think the cars look great, it’s just a shame that this shark fin has crept in again through another loophole in the regulations.”

Hamilton, Red Bull teammates both go to NASA before USGP

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
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One of the more intriguing United States Grand Prix adventures occurred on Wednesday, as both Lewis Hamilton and the pair of Red Bull Racing teammates, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, all went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston – in separate sessions – before heading onto Austin.

Hamilton posted on his Instagram story on Wednesday that he’d “quit his day job in a second” to work at NASA and become an astronaut, and the unbridled enthusiasm spoke to the three-time Formula 1 World Champion’s love of different life aspects entirely outside of racing.

“(I) had an incredible day yesterday, having a bit of a comedown today,” Hamilton said today at the FIA Press Conference. “I was just buzzed all day yesterday because it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. It’s always something I’ve been fascinated about, space and space travel particularly.

“So to actually go there… and I had a million questions. I’m sure the guy got fed up with me. I asked a lot of questions and I got to see a lot of great things, some of the new technology they are working on and yeah, I want to go back.”

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team posted a gallery of Hamilton’s adventure on its website, linked here, and a few samples are below.

As for the Red Bull pair, the young duo of Ricciardo and Verstappen were equally awestruck by the experience.

“There really are a lot of similarities between this and F1, just the technology alone,” Ricciardo said. “I had a guest come to a race last year, when they got into the garage they were like: ‘this is like a space station’. We went to mission control here and it’s really like what we have in the Ops Room in Milton Keynes. Even the safety technology is similar. The astronauts go through the same measurements, a similar kind of HANS device etc. It’s really cool.”

Verstappen added, “There are quite a lot of comparisons, if you really want to talk about it we could go on for an hour! The control center looks pretty similar to ours. We share a lot of the same technology. It was really interesting for us to see that and I bet it would be the same if they could see ours.”

Here’s a link to Red Bull’s gallery and some teaser shots below.