Formula 1 is a very competitive sport, so saving even a single kilo can affect performance, reducing lap times by a few hundredths of a second. Therefore it is clear that in a race that can be won or lost by thousandths of a second, even reducing weight by one kilo can make the car significantly more competitive.
This year’s technical regulations mandate a minimum weight of 746 Kg. All teams try and get as close as possible to this figure, because the lighter the car the faster it is. Work is carried out in all areas when it comes to materials used, to keep weight down while not compromising safety and reliability. Over the years, weight saving has come from the type of materials used as well as the manufacturing process itself, with truly exceptional results.
Painting a road car usually involves between 25 and 30 kilos of paint, while a Formula 1 car requires just 1.5 kilos. Today, thanks to constant research in this area, the figure is getting even lower, so that the amount of paint required is really very small, which produces a clear weight saving. The paint not only affects the weight of the car, but also its aerodynamic drag coefficient (Cx.) Apart from being light, the paint must also be efficient at dispersing any dirt that gathers on the car surfaces such as wings and other aerodynamic elements, thus altering their profile and performance.
At Scuderia AlphaTauri we are constantly carrying out research into the best technologies to make the paint process more efficient and very quick. To produce the totally original shiny and matte blue and white livery for the new AT01 for example, we use a type of spray booth called Chronotech, supplied by USI Italia. Matteo Melegatti, its Managing Director describes its paint system thus: “The system is powerful, efficient and flexible, the best in its field and the fact we are supplying Scuderia AlphaTauri only serves to reinforce our belief in this. USI Italia is proud to supply the team’s paint shop.”
“Present day Formula 1 calls for a constant reduction in lead times for production and it’s important to work with suppliers that provide us with the best possible technologies,” explained Roberto Azzani, Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Industrial Director. “Painting our cars is an important part of the production process: the finish has to be of the highest standard and the work must be carried out to a very tight timeframe. We are pleased to be working with a company as experienced and competent as USI Italia to improve the quality and efficiency of the process, thus ensuring optimal performance at all times. Thanks to the effectiveness of their equipment, the team has definitely taken a significant step forward.”
The AT01 blue and white colour scheme has already attracted plenty of attention from the fans and has even been voted best livery of the year in a recent poll on the Formula 1 website, taking over 40% of the votes. The AT01 is ready to kickstart the new AlphaTauri era, beginning with the 2020 Formula 1 season’s opening round, the Austrian GP to be held at the Red Bull Ring on 5 July.