- F1 cars choose to use less color on the car as it makes it lighter.
- This design became popular in 2023 when a certain team revealed a all-black livery.
- F1 teams use vinyl wraps instead of paint as it is lighter.
Over the years, we have seen so many colorful Formula 1 cars on the track. Going from the Williams Rothman livery to the Chrome livery of the McLaren. There is no doubt that some of these liveries were loved by fans around the world. It has a unique look to each car on the grid. In 2018, we saw one of the most colorful grids in F1 history.
However, in recent years, the teams have chosen to have less color on their cars. This means having the carbon fiber on the car exposed and giving it a dark look. In 2024, most of the team has decided to take this route.
Why have F1 teams decided to leave their carbon fiber on the car exposed?
The idea of the exposed carbon fiber became popular in 2023. Before the season began, Mercedes released their challenger with most of the carbon fiber exposed on the car. There was very minimal livery design input on the car. This gave the car a look that was not seen many times in the sport.
The team stated that they did not care about the design for the season and wanted to focus completely on the performance of the car. Their livery was loved by fans as they were the only team to do so. However, now we are noticing more teams follow the same principle.
Back in black. 🖤 Meet the Mercedes-AMG F1 W14 E PERFORMANCE. 😍
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) February 15, 2023
Before the 2024 season started, we saw a lot of teams decided to not cover large parts of their carbon fiber. This gave a dark theme to the 2024 season. Fans felt that the grid would look very dull when compared to previous years.
Some of the teams look good with the exposed carbon fiber. However, the grid won’t look good if all teams follow the same theme. It has also been reported that the lack of a vinyl wrap on the car makes it lighter and faster. Although this is true, the time lost with a vinyl wrap is very minimal. In order to completely wrap an F1 car with Vinyl, it would add 5-6 pounds at the most. This would cost the car only 0.07 seconds per lap.
Do Formula 1 teams use paint on their cars?
None of the F1 teams use paint on their cars. This is for a simple reason. In order to paint the entire car, the team will need to add a couple of layers of paint. This would add a lot of weight to the car. Teams realized that a vinyl wrap was much lighter than painting the entire car.
Hence, today cars use only vinyl wraps on the car. The team will have to wrap each part of the car separately before installing it to the chassis of the car. This involves a lot of work behind the scenes. It’s not as simple as painting a regular car.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 6, 2023
The design will have to be input into the computer which will analyze each part of the car to determine which parts need to be wrapped in what pattern. Then the computer will design the vinyl wrap separately before installing it in the cars.
There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes while wrapping a car. Hence, the teams are choosing to have minimal wrap as it reduces the weight and costs less. With the budget cap becoming smaller every year, every penny can be used by the team to develop the car.
So it won’t be surprising to see more and more teams have a carbon fiber-themed design on their F1 car. Do you think the FIA should implement a minimal color rule? Post your answers in the comments section below.