The Williams Formula 1 team has been accused of harming its long-term future after unveiling a radical weight-saving technique on its car.
That comes as Alfa Romeo said rival teams were “playing games” with the sport’s governing body in order to have the rules changed to their advantage.
Williams, which is reported to be interested in signing Australian Oscar Piastri for 2023, has large areas of its car unpainted, in order to save weight.
READ MORE: Struggling batter dumped from Australian Test squad
READ MORE: Broken $800M ‘deal’ puts NRL grand final ‘up for grabs’
READ MORE: Secret practice round reveals Tiger Woods’ next move
READ MORE: 174kg Aussie beast set to be unleashed on NFL
Instead of painting sections of the car in dark blue or black, the unpainted carbon fibre was exposed.
Most teams are believed to be running overweight cars as a result of the new rules that were introduced for 2022, with Red Bull reportedly 10kg too heavy. Earlier this season, Aston Martin said it had saved about 350 grams by removing paint from the car, while McLaren has done likewise.
In a sport where times are measured to the thousandth of a second, no performance gain is considered too small.
Writing for the-race.com, Jim Wright, a Williams marketing and commercial staffer for more than a decade, hit out at his former team.
“Frankly, it was a coffee-spluttering moment when I read the comments attributed to head of vehicle performance Dave Robson who admitted the destruction of the visual identity of his team’s car, which has rendered the team virtually un-marketable, whilst carefully avoiding stating categorically what effect the paint-stripping had made on laptimes,” he wrote.
“It’s my hope that (team boss) Jost Capito, as he gains more experience in F1, will realise the utter folly of compromising the commercial lifeblood of his team.”
Williams has scored just one point this season and is last in the teams’ championship.
Alfa Romeo is believed to be the only team running its car on the weight limit, perhaps one reason behind its much-improved performance this season.
In 2021, the team managed just 13 points and finished ninth in the constructors’ championship, from four races in 2022 it has 25 points and sits fifth.
Speaking to motorsport.com, team boss Fred Vasseur accused his rivals of trying to get the FIA to raise the minimum weight limit, instead of improving their own cars.
“Nobody can be surprised with the weight at the last minute, I think that some teams played a game with the FIA expecting that the FIA at the last minute would increase the minimum weight,” he said.
“But this would have been completely unfair, because during the project we took some decisions in terms of complexity also linked to the weight, and we made our choice. And you know that the F1 world is like this, that everybody’s trying to play a game.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!