T-wings out, Halo in for 2018 (maybe)

A new regulation set introduced this season has already seen cars take on a wider stance, most notably with much wider tires reminiscent of cars from the early 1990s.

Together with a lower rear wing, the current package was meant to make the cars look more aggressive, and presumably engage fans through the miracles of marketing.

Instead what has been produced is only mildly different to the cars seen in 2016, though admittedly wider and with bigger tires, and particularly less attractive shark fins and airbox mounted T-wings.

The development race on the billboards now attached to most team's airboxes has begun in earnest, with Mercedes having further refined its T-wing ahead of the Australian Grand Prix this weekend. It's an area of development the FIA isn't thrilled with, and will be looking to shut down for next year.

"A few people feel that they are a bit of an unsightly thing," admitted FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting when asked about the T-wing designs, adding that there's a good chance they'll be banned for 2018.

But while the unsightly T-wings look set to disappear, the halo system looks set to be rubber stamped.

Set to be introduced in the interests of driver protection, the halo has been tested by a host of teams, including during events in 2016. At last year's Russian Grand Prix Red Bull debuted its own variation, a fighter jet style canopy, though that development avenue has since been abandoned in favor of the halo.

"It was agreed by the strategy group and the Formula One Commission that there would be additional frontal protection for 2018," Whiting explained. "So far the halo is the only candidate solution that fits the bill."
Other solutions are being worked upon, though with the 2018 regulation deadline looming at the end of next month time is fast running out for a subtler solution.

Whiting hastened to add that the door remained open if such a solution should be found after April 30, but at this stage there is nothing on the radar to rival the halo device.

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