Due to the 2022 regulatory change, the minimum weight for Formula 1 cars has increased to 798kg , but that has not been enough for teams to meet or come close to that weight and some teams have already tried radical solutions.
Also taking into account the new budget ceiling, the teams have encountered a series of difficulties when it comes to finding solutions to reduce the weight of their single-seaters, since they cannot waste money on new parts that ultimately do not fit what in a they initially expected.
Therefore, a simple and cheap solution for many teams was to reduce the number of parts of the car that were painted, leaving some areas where the carbon fiber was visible to the naked eye.
In the last two grands prix, first in Australia and then at Imola, Williams surprised everyone with an increasingly darker design compared to the one they had put on track during pre-season testing and the first two races of 2022.
However, the engineers at the Grove team had gone much further in their initial plans, even going as far as discussing the possibility of forgoing the FW44’s paint altogether, but were ultimately held back by obligations to sponsors. .
“We approached the directors with a proposal that was to completely remove the paint from the car,” said Williams team performance director Dave Robson .
“But that’s where the engineers clashed with the marketers. We all want the car to look impressive, which is part of the sport. We are also aware that the design is important to the identity of the team.
“This year it is very difficult to reach the minimum weight. The key point is also the new budget limit, so we cannot use light and expensive materials. The FIA could set a minimum weight of 500 kg and nobody could reach that.” , concluded the Williams .
After four disputed races, the Grove team is in last position in the constructors’ standings, with only one point and sensations that reflect its results, the main reason why its engineers are betting on very radical solutions in their search. performance constant.