Williams’ engineers have requested if the entire F1 car could be stripped of it’s paint in order to save weight.
The British team have already begun removing the FW44’s paint in the opening stages of this season in Australia with more changes last time out at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Some blue paint has been removed from the car’s nose, engine cover and sidepods revealing raw carbon fibre.
The engineering department’s request to reduce the weight by removing paint had to be approved by Williams’ marketing chiefs, so it didn’t take away from the livery and sponsor exposure.
Williams’ head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson, revealed his engineers went as far as asking about the chance of stripping the entire car back to carbon.
"Of course. Absolutely,” he smiled, when probed if the idea was discussed.
The 46-year-old was very understanding when the fully stripped back FW44 was declined as the team needs to keep an identity.
"It's just the thing that engineering meets marketing, isn't it?" he said. "We all want the car to look stunning, which is part of the sport.
"And it's not just about the livery on the car; it sets the tone for the whole brand which is clearly really important.”
The Grove-based squad are not the only outfit to resort to shedding paint to get closer to Formula 1’s minimum weight limit of 798kg.
Aston Martin, Red Bull and McLaren have stripped paint off their cars as the teams struggle with the weight of F1’s heaviest cars in it’s 72 year history.
All teams have been desperately working on weight-saving solutions but Robson doesn’t think Williams will want to put the paint back on later in the year.
"The paint scheme is a little bit more than purely an engineering decision, but I would imagine that it will stay because it will be expensive and time consuming to find the weight some other way," he explained.
"If we're happy with how the car looks now, you're better off spending that engineering budget on something else and making the car quicker. I hope it stays like this."