F1 teams removing paint from cars as Mercedes admit current set-up is too heavy
Formula One teams are removing paint from their cars as Mercedes admit that their current set-up is too heavy following the first grand prix of the season.
Mercedes were able to achieve a podium finish in Bahrain on Sunday as Lewis Hamilton crossed the line in third, one place ahead of new team-mate George Russell.
However, team chief Toto Wolff has admitted that their cars are currently too heavy going into this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Wolff has revealed, via The Sun: "If I would make a best guess then probably Red Bull and ourselves, from the top 10 cars, we're probably the most overweight.
"And then there are some that are on the weight or just above it. That's quite a lap time advantage or disadvantage.
"But you need to be clever about it. Some have taken the decision to go light, and they are benefiting from that at the moment.
"I think there is definitely room to improve, and to chip away some of the bits that we have on the car that are too heavy."
Cars are up in weight this season, with an increase from 752kg to 795kg, whilst F1 chiefs have agreed for an extra 3kg if needed.
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As a result of the weight issues, several teams are understood to now be leaving parts of their car in bare carbon fibre after choosing not to paint them in order to save a few grams.
McLaren and Aston Martin have both confirmed they have removed paint from their cars, with Aston Martin technical offer Andy Green admitting: "Weight is a big, big issue.
“These cars are heavy by regulation, and to get down to the regulation weight, it's a challenge.
"We went through the whole car from front to back, and we took paint off wherever we could. I think in total we saved about 350 grams."
Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, who missed the Bahrain Grand Prix due to Covid, has also described the cars as feeling "lazy", explaining: “I think the cars are different to drive mostly because they’re so heavy.
“So you feel the mass and they feel a bit lazy. And speaking to others, everybody’s having the same sensation.”
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