FIA and F1 teams to meet with two issues spotted with current F1 liveries

Jamie Woodhouse
Cars follow the Mercedes of George Russell at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

Cars follow the Mercedes of George Russell.

The FIA intends to address with the Formula 1 teams concerns over a lack of distinguishability between liveries, with bare carbon not the only issue.

As teams battle to trim weight from their Formula 1 challengers, a common approach in recent years has been to leave areas unpainted, though that comes with the caveat of less vibrant liveries thanks to the exposed black carbon fibre.

FIA to discuss livery concerns in F1 Commission meeting

And in addition to the carbon, the FIA also is concerned that similar colour schemes between some teams is adding to difficulties distinguishing liveries on the track.

Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s head of single seater matters, confirmed that these concerns will be discussed with the teams at the next F1 Commission meeting, though he stressed that the governing body wants to achieve a way of collaboration going forward on making liveries more distinguishable, rather than enforcing it through regulations.

“As always in F1, it is a bit more complicated than maybe meets the eye,” he told

“One issue is that cars have a bit too much naked carbon, because obviously the weight of paint, so the cars have a bit too much black.

“There has also been a lot of work done by all teams to change the type of paint or indeed a lot of it nowadays is extremely thin films, to keep the weight as low as possible.

“And another issue is that some teams seem to use similar colour schemes, so they end up with cars that maybe look visually quite close to each other. We’re discussing it still with the teams, and it will be discussed in the next F1 Commission.

“We need to get to some process where teams in some way or other communicate with each other and say: ‘Well, if your car is blue here, mine will not be blue there.’ Or something like that.

“But how exactly that process would work [remains to be seen]. It’s not a regulatory process.

“We don’t want to be making regulations about liveries as the FIA, but we do want cars to be distinguishable.”

Tombazis confirmed that the FIA also wants to make it easier to identify which driver is which in a team, with the “more recognisable helmets in the olden days” now far less of a factor as drivers alter designs throughout a season, while the Halo also obscures the view of the helmets.

Once more though, Tombazis said this is “not something we want to put in a regulation”, but rather reach a point where teams “see it as the common good” that it is easier to tell their cars apart.

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While speaking on the Sky F1 podcast, former Aston Martin strategy chief Bernie Collins responded to a fan question asking why teams cannot use coloured carbon to make liveries stand out more.

She explained that this would complicate the manufacturing process and would not lead to vibrant colours anyway, though offered hope that the dull black may not be here to stay.

“I believe there is methods of colouring carbon fibre, because you can either colour the resin, which would give a little bit, but it’s not going to look as good as the paint that we currently have,” she said.

“So carbon fibre works best when it’s black, just because the resins and everything works right. So you could tinge it, but you wouldn’t get like a Ferrari red, you’d get like a very sort of dull sheen to it I think.

“The big problem with colour in the component, for example, is that if you can imagine a sidepod on a car and when it lines up and they mount it together, that’s when they paint it, whereas if you’re putting the paint on at the manufacturing level, you have to be very clear that’s going to end up with the right position further down the line in terms of the car.

“So you’re making the manufacturing of that component much, much more complicated.

“I think that there’s potential that we start the year with a lot of these carbon strong liveries and as teams find ways to save weight through the year, then more and more paint may go back on.

“Because the car is generally the heaviest at the beginning of the year and then teams start to find ways to make it lighter as they build knowledge and reliability or whatever the case may be. And as we get more and more into the regulations then hopefully teams will start down that path as well.”

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