Ferrari has managed to find a loophole in the revised bodywork regulations for the 2017 Formula 1 season and has applied a rear ‘T-Wing’ to its SF70H F1 car.
The T-Wing is also seen on the Mercedes-Benz W08 and is the result of what is likely an unintended loop in the rulebook. The aero rules state the rear ‘shark fin’ must be a minimum length and the rear bodywork must be a certain width, however there’s a 50mm gap between the fin and rear wing that aero engineers are free to work with. The result of the small 50mm loophole is the tiny rear wing element seen on both the Ferrari and the Mercedes.
It’s not clear if the T-Wings purpose is to deflect turbulent air away from the low rear wing, or if it simply serves to provide more downforce to the rear end. It’s possible the FIA will ban the component come race season as it may have the potential of becoming a projectile, or they may simply close the loophole. If the wing flexes significantly under pressure other teams may also protest it as a moving part, but it’s much too early on to be definitive.
We’ll know more as the season opening Australian Grand Prix in March begins to draw closer.