Aston Martin consider weight-saving livery tweaks as F1 cars edge towards 800kg

2021 F1 season

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Aston Martin is considering changes to its car’s livery for the 2022 Formula 1 season as it seeks to save weight while also improving its aesthetics.

New technical regulations for next year will increase the minimum weight of cars by 40 kilograms. The latest rise, to 792kg, was confirmed by the FIA earlier this month.

Teams have been given a higher minimum weight to account for changes to the design of next year’s cars, including the introduction of 18-inch wheels.

Aston Martin CEO Otmar Szafnauer confirmed to RaceFans they could adjust the shade of paint or leave more areas of their car unpainted to achieve a weight saving.

“We’re looking at all that mainly because next year, I think a lot of the cars are going to get heavier due to the regulations as well as because of the 18-inch tyres,” he said.

“So we’re looking everywhere to save weight. And paint is one of those areas where if you do a good job, you can save, and we too are looking in those areas now.”

The team previously known as Racing Point switched from a striking pink livery to British racing green during the off-season. Szafnauer said they are also hope to improve the appearance of their 2022 car, particularly when seen on-screen.

“The ethos of the colour has to stay the same,” he said. “Aston Martin Lagonda, who have helped us with the colour, their design team are now looking at what else can we do to make it maybe a bit more distinctive on television, but without ruining the ethos of the colour in person.

“If you look at the car in the sun, it’s wonderful, so we want to keep that, but when it’s on TV, make sure that the green comes across a little bit better. That can be done, and that’s what they’re looking at. But not a big departure.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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40 comments on “Aston Martin consider weight-saving livery tweaks as F1 cars edge towards 800kg”

  1. Maybe it will time to pose minimal requirements like 10cm less wide and 40 cm shorter will make the car also lighter. So the car will be 190cm wide and 4,5m long it has also they became more nimble more room on track.
    But i am not so sure the car is going to weight much less then 790kg if you make it smaller as more components are standard and bodywork isn’t so heavy.

    1. The size of the car not so much but the biggest contributing factor is they need to beef up the suspension elements to support heavier wheels and thinner tires. The thicker walled tires mean some of the movement could be absorbed by the tires now they need to accomodate that in the suspension geometry. Heavy wheels also mean heavy unsprung weight and more rotational mass which needs stronger security incase they crash.

  2. I seem to remember that Jaguar has the same issue with their version of British Racing Green. It was too dark so they created “Jaguar Racing Green” that was lighter and was picked up better on TV. If I can remember that (hopefully rightly) then how did an entire Formula 1 team forget?!

    With the weight, would it be a case of going to a matt finish?

    1. I do believe you are correct. I recall that Jaguar did indeed revise their paint color and application due to the added weight of the BRG scheme that they wanted to use.
      As for the matt finish that Red Bull and Ferrari are using, I wonder if there are not some added aero benefits that no one wants to talk about. I doubt that A. Newey would pass up on even the slightest benefit nor would he entertain anything that would work against the goal … ever faster.

  3. I’ve yet to see “British Racing Green”, only a mossy, dirty, dirge green.
    Like a lot of things from British past… not actually as good as you remember them.

    1. @eurobrun given there never was a formal definition of “British Racing Green”, given the term was used as generic shorthand for “a British team that is using some sort of shade of green as their livery”, it’s as accurate as the past usage of that term was.

        1. erikje, to quote from the article you link to:
          “There is no exact hue for BRG – currently the term is used to denote a spectrum of deep, rich greens. “British racing green” in motorsport terms meant only the colour green in general – its application to a specific shade has developed outside the sport.”

          Did you bother reading that article at all then, given it makes the same point that I did (i.e. that the term was used mainly generically used to denote a British team with a green livery)?

          1. The true British Racing Green was on the front cover of Motorsport magazine in the 1950s. There were different shades used, BRM very dark green originally, Aston Martin with that lovely metallic shade on their DBR4 and, for me, the best ever was on those fabulous Vanwalls of 1957/8.

  4. You could start with not putting so many sponsor logos on the halo and cockpit sides. From the T-cam the car looks like a cluttered mess.

    1. You mean the most visible part of the car on on-board camera views. I bet the small halo sponsorship is much more expensive than some of the bigger sponsors on the sidepods.

    2. Arguably those sponsor logos are the most important component on the car. Without those, nobody’s getting paid.

    3. It would be helpful for identification if the teams put the driver’s name or initials, or something, on top of the halo. I have to wait (for most teams) for the commentator to identify the car during in car shots. Actually, the FIA should mandate this.

      1. a thousand times, this!

      2. Coventry Climax
        29th October 2021, 17:31

        How about requiring driver numbers to be a size of say, 60 cm high, 6 cm wide, in black on a white, circular background, placed well visible and on both sides of the car?

  5. The increase from 790 to 792 became official this month, as the most recent updated technical regulation version came out on the 15th when the last WMSC meeting occurred. Anyway, this indecisiveness is ridiculous – first 768, followed by separate increases to 775, 790, & most recently the present 792. People can’t make up their minds.

    1. They don’t need to make up their mind.
      Since we have the cost cap, the minimum weight rule is totally obsolete. The minimum car weight (not the driver/seat requirement) was only introduced to stop teams spending ridiculous amounts on design/engineering/materials to shave off the last gram.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        28th October 2021, 11:43

        As long as they keep the minimum weight for the driver & seat set at a reasonable limit so drivers aren’t put on extreme diets to make the car weight less, I agree. Let them spend their budget how they want.

      2. The two are interlinked due to the rising number of components that are built to a standard specification.

        The way that the cap has been structured is such that the minimum weight regulation is coupled to the way that they are enforcing the cost cap, so they cannot have one without the other.

        1. You lost me.
          Explain that again, please.

          1. jff, as mentioned on this site in the past, the technical regulations are being restructured to fit around the cost cap regulations, with one of the areas being the introduction of an enlarged list of standard specification components.

            The minimum weight is being driven upwards in part by the introduction of those standardised parts, because often the driving factor for their design tends to be cost, rather than being the lightest possible design. In addition, the cost cap mechanism is intentionally making a lot of the areas where there could be a greater potential for weight savings off limits for that sort of development by enforcing minimum weight requirements or standardised designs for those components.

            That is why I am saying the two are currently interlinked – there has been a conscious decision to use the minimum weight restrictions within the technical regulations as a means of introducing rule changes that also form part of the cost cap.

          2. anon
            Now I understand, and convinced that the min weight doesn’t make sense at all.

            More standardised parts might increase the total weight. But there is no need to formalise that further with a total car minimum weight.
            If teams want to spend all their money on lighter ‘free parts’ rather than aero, then let them. No need to stifle them even more.

        2. Disagree. It’s fine to have standardised components without a minimum weight limit when there’s a budget cap. It should be up to the teams to decide if they believe it’s worth spending their budget on more exotic materials to save weight.

          With a budget cap in place, we should be looking to reduce the restrictions of regulations (not immediately, once the new cars have settled a bit); as it should be up to the teams to decide how to best allocate their budget for performance.

          1. @justrhysism that runs counter to Liberty Media’s current philosophy – they see controlling development as a means of enforcing the cost cap, with the rules intentionally being highly prescriptive as a result.

            For example, Brawn and Tombazis have talked about how, having failed with the original plan to impose a standard specification gearbox from a third party onto the teams, they instead made the regulations significantly more prescriptive to deliberately discourage the teams from significant R&D spending on gearbox development.

            That is the viewpoint that is driving those regulatory changes, and why the two are interlinked – they are intentionally using the technical regulations as a means of enforcing the cost cap by making the rules tighter and more prescriptive, and through the restrictions on minimum weights of both components and the car as a whole.

            Of course, it also has the side effect, or perhaps has the intention, of doing what Liberty also wants, which is to make the performance of the cars much closer by making them semi-spec in nature as well – bear in mind that Brawn has talked about how Liberty Media will be much more aggressive against those who are seen as pushing the bounds of the regulations too far.

            You might want looser regulations, but Liberty Media aren’t interested in that because it runs in the opposite direction for what they want.

      3. Coventry Climax
        29th October 2021, 17:38

        So they DO have to make up their minds, and decide to scrap that minimum weight rule.
        The positives of lighteer cars are enormous; with the first couple that come to mind being more nimble cars, less impact on crashes, and considerable fuel saving.

    1. good pic – yellow with the current “BWT” pink would be interesting

  6. I still feel that posting a minimum weight is just wrong.The team should be free (within the rest of the regulations INCLUDING safety) to produce a racing car to the weight of their choice. We have a cost cap in place now so give the teams more freedom to be creative.

    1. @ahxshades I agree.

      However I don’t mind the minimum with the new cars. Once the teams have figured out the cars after a year, maybe two, I think the regulations should be eased as the budget cap reaches its minimum.

      Allow the teams to decide how best to find performance within a given budget.

  7. Probably they should just call Dr. Now.

  8. next years car will have a matte green color

  9. Maybe dye the raw carbon fibre as they make the tub, so they wouldn’t need to paint it ??

    1. Lol, don’t know if that is actually possible or feasible or desirable. They could instead get rid of both cockpit lead weights.

    2. Ignoring that adding ‘dye’ to prepreg carbon materials might affect physical properties, it’s pretty hard to dye something that is naturally black. The first ply against the mold is typically a layer of adhesive that gives a smooth outer finish.

    3. That would be even heavier I guess (if it were possible).
      You need less paint to cover one side of a carbon part, than to fully dye all the carbon fibres.

    4. Can carbon fiber be dyed?
      Carbon fibre has taken a leaf out of Henry Ford’s book. You can have it in any colour you like, as long as it is black. By its very nature, carbon is black, and consequently as nice as any lacquered finish might look, if you want it in any other colour you have to resort to painting over the surface.

  10. Yes. They’ve been doing it fr years in cycling.

  11. Reading the title I thought they landed Slim Fast a sponsor

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