Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is eager to persuade McLaren to make a U-turn on its veto against fin engine covers on Formula 1 cars in the 2018 technical regulations.

While the T-wings looked set to be banned with the fin covers to remain, McLaren has reportedly issued a rule veto to see the fin become outlawed from next season which has prompted late design revisions for F1 teams on their 2018 challengers.

McLaren’s executive director Zak Brown says the veto was made for commercial reasons, to give more visibility to the rear wing which he hinted will hold a new major sponsor for the Woking-based team, but Horner is keen to change the decision.

“I think the problem is that a month ago or so we’ve had a meeting and I think we all agreed we’re going to leave the fin as it was and stick the number there,” Horner said. “As usual fashion we left the meeting and things changed.

“Zak decided he couldn’t see his rear wing, and he’s obviously signed a major sponsor for next year that he’s trying to give as much coverage as he can and McLaren presented another variant. The problem is that the aerodynamicists decided that this screws up the rear wing and we don’t want that.

“So I’m not quite sure, as we sit here, what it goes back to. I think it goes back to what’s in the regulation which is no fin. So we just got to work out where to stick the number. So, maybe we’ll have another chat and see if we can persuade Zak this weekend to put the fin back.”

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene was also quizzed on the issue during the FIA team principals press conference in Abu Dhabi and poked a hole in Brown’s reasoning for vetoing the fin.

“What is quite funny is that Zak said that the fin was interfering with the rear wing, and said he would like to have more commercial space,” Arrivabene said. “So somehow he is removing the fin and doesn’t have that commercial space anymore. On top he needs to find space for the number, so I think there is something wrong here.”

Brown defended his call for more visible space on F1 cars in Abu Dhabi by explaining the front wings, engine sidepods and rear wings are all obscured by the aerodynamic designs on the cars.

“We don’t think enough commercially about some of the technical regulations that we discuss and so that there, if you look at today’s car, front wings are no longer commercially viable,” Brown said.

“We’ve got bargeboards and aerodynamic devices blocking the chassis side and now we’ve got this big engine fin that blocks the rear wing, so that was really more of a case of starting to free up some commercial locations on the car.”

 

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