From T-Bone To T-Wing


The innovative but out-of-place ‘T-wing’ has been the talk of the paddock. After Mercedes unveiled this wing, most teams managed to get themselves one too. This is when Mercedes went further and got themselves two! I wonder how many will they have by the time we reach Melbourne. Either way, along with the ‘T-wing’, the shark-fin inspired whiteboards need to be banned by the FIA. But for these aero additions, the 2017 cars look sleek, sexy and stunning.

Like Gary Anderson pointed out on Autosport – these aero parts, if they move excessively while in motion could either be deemed illegal or ineffective. In this week’s episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and I tell you that the ‘T-wing’ should go the ‘T-bone’ way – outlawed!

Car Launches, Liveries & Overtaking

Sauber’s cool blue does stand out and reminds us of an old Formula 1 team. However, the team ’25 years’ decal also indicates that the team lacks sponsors too. So that’s two elements Sauber will lack in 2017 – sponsors and speed! By the way, Williams’ unexpected reveal robbed Sauber of their pole position.

The same can actually be said about the Mclaren-Honda team too. The team’s new management is working hard to move on from the Ron Dennis era (dropping of the MP4) and evoke the nostalgia and legacy of Bruce Mclaren by reverting to the orange livery. The team’s orange-black livery seems like a cross between a Spykar and Midland car. Let’s remember, neither of those cars were quick.


The other recall the orange-black offered was that of Fanta Zero. Now if I were Mclaren-Honda, I would stay away from anything and everything ZERO! While Mercedes conducted two full race simulations on the opening two days of the first test in Barcelona, Mclaren changed their Honda power units twice. Even a drag racing car’s engine lasts longer was the message I saw a few Formula 1 fans exchange on WhatsApp. (The Joke Is On Mclaren)

Force India Aiming To Be Mclaren?

Force India is working hard to be the old Mclaren of the new Formula 1 era – going by their adopted silver colour which evoked mixed reactions on social media. I wonder why the team dropped the Indian tricolor design which was voted as a fan favourite on social media a few seasons ago. The VJM10 has a ‘forehead’ and ‘nostrils’, thankfully no adult body parts yet.

Ferrari’s Missed Tribute To Jules Bianchi

As a name, Ferrari’s SF70H is a disappointment. There were leaked reports that their 2017 car would be named the SF17T-JB as a tribute to Jules Bianchi. While the pre-season timings seem impressive, the Ferrari car has a large whiteboard (shark-fin inspired!) which make us feel like they’re flying the Italian National Flag! (Ferrari Missing Historic Bonus From Formula E)

Red Bull Racing’s RB13 launch campaign turned more heads than their timings, but I am sure that’s set to change. Toro Rosso’s ‘Superman’ colour livery looks the stunning of the lot but their start to the 2017 Formula 1 Season was ominous after the Renault engine failed in only 6 laps on their filming day. Lastly, the Renault’s yellow-black taxi scheme seems underwhelming and they surely ran out of money to pay their team kit designer.

Will Max Verstappen Be Able To Overtake?

Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa have already reported their concerns of the aero heavy cars’ ability to follow each other closely – an issue that has led to a lack of overtaking in the past. If Hamilton states overtaking as a worry, Formula 1 should sit up and listen. Especially since there’s only one Max ‘Overtaking’ Verstappen! (The FIA Bans The Verstappen)

Social Media Freedom

The post-Ecclestone era has already begun on a good note. Liberty Media has given the teams the liberty to upload video content on social media – a practice that was banned under Ecclestone’s regime. In fact, as we near the start of the season, there will be a set of regulations that will be released for teams and drivers to follow. This move should impact the fans as well as sponsors. Good move, Lewis. After all, he was one of the first to encourage Liberty Media to do so.

RAI Wins Hamilton’s Helmet Design Competition

Lewis Hamilton’s helmet design competition was won by Rai Caludo. Now there’s little you can’t win with a RAI(kkonen) in your name!

Tune in!
(Season 2017, Episode 08)
Co-hosted by Mithila Mehta and Kunal Shah, the Inside Line F1 Podcast is a weekly show on Formula 1 that attempts to simplify the sport and business of Formula 1. This show also aims to add some much needed humour to the otherwise serious sport of Formula 1. In 2016, the show has crossed 150,000 listens and is top-rated on iTunes and Audio Boom. The show is available on Kunal’s F1 Blog and partner websites such as Motorsport, Firstpost, NDTVAuto, Sport360, Sportskeeda, Scroll, Talking About F1, Motor Octane and others.

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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