‘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.”

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.