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Teams wanted ‘shark fins’ for sponsors – Lauda

Niki Lauda has suggested Mercedes backed Red Bull’s push to ban the ‘shark fin’ engine cover appendages before they were ever launched in 2017.

Some believe the large stabilising fin, and the antennae-like ‘T wings’ also seen in winter testing, have ruined the otherwise aggressive look of the wider and faster new cars.

Christian Horner revealed recently that Red Bull argued for banning the shark fins, but was outvoted due to the “usual paranoia” in F1.

But Mercedes team chairman Lauda has now indicated Mercedes also backed the ban.

“The fin was a huge discussion in the strategy group,” the F1 legend revealed to the Austrian broadcaster ORF.

“But the other teams said ‘We can put sponsors on it’, so that’s why it was left,” added Lauda.

However, no 2017 team actually launched its new car with prominent sponsorship on the shark fin.

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