Niki Lauda: 'Teams wanted shark fins for sponsors'

Niki Lauda watches the action during final practice ahead of the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 7, 2014
© Getty Images
Niki Lauda suggests that Mercedes backed Red Bull's push to ban the 'shark fin' engine cover appendages before they were ever launched in 2017.

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

Some believe that 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 Formula 1.

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 Austrian broadcaster ORF.

"But the other teams said 'We can put sponsors on it', so that's why it was left."

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

Dr Helmut Marko looks on in the garage during practice for the Austria Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring on June 19, 2015
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5Williams-Mercedes16
6Toro Rosso12
7Haas8
8Renault2
9Sauber0
10McLaren0
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20Pascal WehrleinSauber0
21Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes0