'Unsightly' shark fins are not here to stay, suggests Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting

Liam Lines
Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari, complete with a white 'shark fin': Getty

Charlie Whiting, Formula One’s race director, expects shark fins to be banned following a negative reaction from fans of the sport.

The fins, which have featured on cars during pre-season testing in Barcelona, are a consequence of rule changes which come into effect at the start of the forthcoming 2017 season.

Engineers believe the fins will improve stability and down force in corners, but fans have criticised them as an eyesore and Whiting does not believe they will be a permanent feature.

“Next year, I think there is quite a good chance that that will be done because quite a few people feel that they are a bit of an unsightly thing,“ he said.

“I personally don't have anything against them, but it was something that was always going to be possible. I think the reaction of everybody probably wasn't expected.”

Shark fins last appeared on Formula One cars back in 2011, but they originate from the 2008 Red Bull RB4.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner believes the fins ruined the ‘fantastic’ new look for the 2017 season, telling Sky Sports: “I think the cars look fantastic, the only thing that lets them down is the shark fins.

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

I think the cars look fantastic, the only thing that lets them down is the shark fins.

Christian Horner

He went on to add the issue surrounding the development is an issue that will be resolved in time, but it isn’t a major issue to worry about right now.

He said: “In the interests of aesthetics, it was requested they be removed. That went to the F1 Commission and unfortunately it was immediately rejected by the majority of teams.”

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

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