Formula 1 teams are increasingly leaving large parts of their cars unpainted as they strive to reduce weight and improve performance.
This is around 46kg higher than last year. But with larger wheels, stronger impact structures and an increased use of specification parts, teams have found it ever more difficult to hit the minimum weight limit.
While there has been a trend towards teams cutting back on the painted areas of their cars in recent years, this has increased noticeably since the start of the 2022 season. One of the most striking examples can be seen on Williams’ car, which appeared at this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix with far fewer painted panels than it ran with in pre-season testing.
Other teams have taken a similar route since the season began, including McLaren and Aston Martin. McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said trying to reduce the weight of the cars involved balancing a number of different compromises, and they were eager not to risk reliability.
“It’s still an ongoing challenge for lots of teams, including us as well,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “The aim is clear, to get down to the minimum weight as quickly as possible.
“But you need to factor in when do you bring which upgrades? What is the budget you want to invest when? When you go about rate reduction reliability is always a topic as well. So it’s quite a complex challenge.”
Weight is one of two key performance differentiators between teams this year, according to Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack.
“The reasons why teams are performing and others not are lying with aerodynamics and car weight at the moment,” he said. “So while we make progress on the weight side, we have struggled on aerodynamics, so this is something we need to really focus on.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix
- Aston Martin’s first points reward “immense” effort by factory after Melbourne crashes
- Verstappen becomes 14th driver in F1 history to score more than one ‘grand slam’
- Transcript: “I need more power” – Hamilton and Russell’s contrasting fortunes at Imola
- Ferrari backs increase to six sprint races as F1 Commission meets in London
- Ocon blames pit equipment after penalty for near-miss with Hamilton in pits
10 comments on “F1 teams peel off paint in bid to reduce weight”
23rd April 2022, 14:52
I thought that vinyl wrap finishes were lighter than paint. Has any team tried wrapping parts rather than paint?
23rd April 2022, 17:38
Here is why the paint
23rd April 2022, 15:13
Got to admit the black/blue Williams actually looks better than the blue/blue version.
23rd April 2022, 16:14
Bit ridiculous, next they’ll be giving the drivers laxatives so they go for a poo just before the race! In fact a poo would probably weigh more than the amount of paint they are peeling off.
23rd April 2022, 17:09
I really wouldn’t be surprised to hear that does already happen to some degree. Maybe not laxatives, but a nutritionist sanctioned regime, which can encourage #2s before a race
23rd April 2022, 17:30
Well they wouldn’t want a racing driver touching cloth (or nomex) for 1.5 hours of a race.
HT Onk (@pweb87)
23rd April 2022, 18:51
There is a minimum weight limit for driver + seat
23rd April 2022, 17:11
Let’s not forget this is how Mercedes became known as the Silver Arrows in the 1930s…
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
23rd April 2022, 19:52
@psynrg It’s a good tale, but sadly it’s not true.
23rd April 2022, 21:26
@keithcollantine Wow. Keith, ever the font. Shattered one of my favorite ‘tales’ from the history of F1. Arrgh, Sometimes fake news can be the best narrative!
Comments are closed.