Last week's meeting of the Formula One Strategy Group established the direction for the sport's development in the coming years. With a number of proposals getting the green-light, the stage is now set for teams to reveal their 2018 cars ahead of pre-season testing.
Five teams brought technical suggestions to the meeting, as long-term plans take shape ahead of the 2019 season. It's not uncommon for teams to disagree in the Strategy Group meetings, however it is where most of the fundamental changes — such as last year's meeting in July where the halo safety system was implemented — are proposed and debated.
What we can expect to see next year are simpler, better looking rear wings, and redesigned barge boards that improve sponsor visibility and car aesthetics.
Some teams wanted the group to reconsider the ban on bodywork, particularly shark fins, which were ruled out of the regulations last year. For them the fins were a solution to new mandatory driver name and number signage, while also providing additional space for sponsors' logos. Reports following the meeting however suggest the proposal lacked the support needed, and the ban will stay in place.
Dieter Rencken and Keith Collantine at F1 Fanatic outline some of the other unsuccessful ideas:
A proposal from F1’s managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn for a simpler front wing design, a model of which was shown to teams, met with strong resistance. According to sources Ferrari threatened to use its veto right over the technical regulations to block the plan, which has now been dropped.
A further suggestion of increasing the minimum number of engines from three to four next year was also rejected.
Brawn's attempts to improve the fundamental aerodynamics will be a mainstay of the next few years. He'll be working alongside former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh who returns to the paddock as an FIA adviser with the goal of reducing operating costs.
Mercedes have announced they will be unveiling their challenger for the 2018 season on February 22nd, the same day that Ferrari will also be presenting their car. McLaren will unveil their new livery and car on February 23rd, with Toro Rosso scheduled for the 25th.