As the 2017 Formula 1 cars launch this week, several of them, so far, have what is being called the “shark fin”. Mercedes was not one of them, or at least their fin was nowhere near as prolonged as Force India, Sauber or Renault.
What Mercedes did try out was something being referred to as a T-Wing and the team aren’t completely convinced they will stick with it.
“We have seen many pictures of other cars, but from now until the first race we will have a continuous programme of evolution,” he said.
“As you have seen, the launch spec was without the little T-wing, and then we tested it – and then we will carry on in Barcelona day by day testing different configurations.
“We will have as well a longer tail configuration to be tested in combination with new rear wings for Melbourne.”
This created some discussion points among fans and pundits but it seems Mercedes has reserved the right to add a shark fin or even the T-Wing come the first grand prix in Australia.
Let the drivers tweet, Snapchat and Instagram!
If it was up to Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton, he’d like to tweet or post pictures of the progress Mercedes is making this season as he’s called for a lift of the video and picture ban F1 currently has on the drivers and teams. No one can take pictures or video inside the paddock without approval from the FIA/FOM to do so.
I’ve written about this before because then CEO, Bernie Ecclestone, knew this was the product, this was the asset of F1 and to let everyone video, snapchat and tweet pictures, in his mind, eroded the industry and revenue stream.
“If you look at football, social media is so much greater, they utilise social media a lot better in football, in the NBA, in the NFL,” Hamilton said during the Mercedes 2017 launch at Silverstone.
“In F1 every time, for example, I would have posted a picture or a video, I would have got a warning from the FIA, or notice telling you to take it down.
“This year I am hoping that they will change that rule, and allow social media for all of us, because social media is obviously an incredible medium for the world to communicate with.
“It is a super easy free tool to grow for the sport, for us to use, to share it, to engage with other people.
“There are people who are following me who have not been F1 fans for a long, long time, but one of their friends who happens to follow me or one of the other drivers has said to follow, and [they have] since started to watch the races.”
Lewis is a different driver, however, and he’s made maximum use of social media for building his brand and even Ecclestone, at the time, praised his work on promoting F1 but that had limits inside the paddock. What Lewis did in his personal life was applauded but not allowed in the paddock of F1.
Lewis is correct in that other sports use digital media to greater effect but there is also a flip side of that coin with some sports getting in hot water over some fo the things its players and pundits have posted online.
Lewis ascribes his brand as bringing fans into the sport and I have no reason to doubt that as I think he makes prolific use of the medium but that doesn’t always translate for every driver and every teammate. Then there is Liberty Media’s feelings on the matter as well. They may agree with Lewis and see this as a way to promote the sport without paying for it. Time will tell.
The flip side to that coin is that there are things that one should not discuss in public, and “tweeting” is about as public as it gets without being there in person. Given that there are things that the teams prefer to treat as “national security”, I seriously doubt they want their drivers to air things out in public.
Why not? Our President does it daily when he escapes adult supervision.
Your honor, I rest my case.
While tactically placed and humorous, let’s keep politics out of this site. We have fans all over the map politically and I don’t want to lob political grenades here as it’s not a political website, it’s about F1. F1 politics? That’s a different issue. :)
Seriously??? People can slag the crap out of Vettel and everyone else but no politics?
Yes, I hear all the political discourse all day long and there are plenty of places for waxing poetic over ideology and politics…just not here. It is the fastest way to drag a community into disarray when we start poking people’s galvanized political positions. We didn’t do it with the previous administration and I don’t want to start now. I’m not interested in what people think of politicians, I’m interested in what they think about F1. :)
It’s odd timing for Mercedes to put the T wing on the car. If they thought it was going to give them a big advantage, surely they would wait until the second test to confirm its performance. Putting it on during a filming day is to allow all the other teams to see it, and start testing the concept to distract them from their own programme of development. Either that or the real trick development is somewhere else on the car.
With Ferrari also having a T wing at their launch, maybe this isn’t quite the cynical distraction I thought it was.
I’d love for someone like Craig Scarborough to get in there. He does a good job considering with @ScarbsTech
I just know it’s ugly. Along with the shark fins.
I think this is more smoke and mirrors. What do they call that zebra paint red bull uses during testing? “Dazzle-paint” or something like that? The paint is intentionally shaped into a pattern that fools your eyes into misreading the shape of the object. Remember the logo placement hiding the exhaust?
I think this is an optical illusion. There is no T-wing. It’s a hologram or something!
No, but seriously, I think they know exactly what they are going to do and this is just smoke and mirrors.