F1 clamps down on unpopular sharkfins, T-wings for 2018 season

Tech Corner: Bigger, Faster, Stronger (2:46)

As Formula 1 enters a new era of car design, how will they stack up as the season starts in Melbourne? (2:46)

Formula One has announced 2018 will see a clampdown on sharkfin and T-wing designs, which have become an unpopular feature on this year's cars.

F1's new era started in 2017 with faster, wider cars which have already been successful at dramatically increasing cornering speed and lowering lap times. However, a drawback to the regulations was a loophole concerning the rear of the car, which has seen some teams place a T-wing on top of the fin-like structures which run down to the rear assembly.

Fans and drivers have been critical of the designs, while Red Bull boss Christian Horner called on the FIA to ban T-wings altogether after seeing Max Verstappen drive over one in Bahrain after it had fallen loose from Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes W08. On Tuesday, the FIA confirmed it has made changes to the regulation boxes around the engine covers in order to "strictly limit" the unpopular designs for next season.

Mercedes has run two different T-wing designs this season, one of which can be seen below:

In a wide-ranging meeting, several changes were agreed for 2018 -- including inviting non-Strategy Group members to observe future meetings. The decision-making body currently consists of the FIA, the commercial rights holder (previously Bernie Ecclestone, now Liberty Media) and five of the teams, something which had led to criticism from smaller teams in previous seasons.

The Strategy Group also confirmed it is taking measures to ensure oil is not being burned as fuel, following several queries this year that some teams have been doing so for a performance benefit. It also confirmed red-flagged races will be resumed with a standing restart, while tyre manufacturer Pirelli will be allowed to develop its wet-weather tyres for 2018 using previous specifications.

In good news for fans it also agreed that, from this year's Spanish Grand Prix onwards, F1's sporting regulations will be "strictly enforced" to ensure the visibility of drivers' names and numbers on the cars will be clearer in preparation for proper implementation in 2018. This follows calls for F1 to follow in the footsteps of IndyCar, where each car runs an LED display giving fans real-time updates on that driver's position during a race.