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Formula 1 teams stripping PAINT in drastic bid to find extra pace as Mercedes boss Wolff admits new car is too heavy

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FORMULA ONE teams have taken drastic action to try to speed up their cars – by not painting them.

This year’s models are heavier, up from 752kg to 795kg, AND chiefs agreed to allow an extra 3kg.

Mercedes’ cars have been deemed too heavy by team principal Toto Wolff
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Yet many teams are leaving parts in bare carbon fibre rather than painting them to save a few grams.

Aston Martin’s chief technical officer Andy Green said: “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.”

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McLaren have also opted to ditch some paint to shed a few grams while Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team’s car is too heavy.

He added: “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.

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“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.”

Several drivers have spoken about the weight of the new cars having a noticeable impact on handling.

Sebastian Vettel – who missed the season opening race of the season in Bahrain after testing positive for Covid – described the cars as feeling “lazy”.

The four-time world champion said: “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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