With the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship around the corner, PPG and Williams Martini Racing are gearing up for their fifteenth year of partnership. This longstanding relationship has been driven by a shared passion for perfection, innovation and results.
Williams has been synonymous with top-level motorsport since the 1960s, and is the third most successful team on the grid with 16 Formula One Championship titles to its name. PPG has been developing world-class paints and coatings that its customers have trusted for more than 130 years.
Keeping a car looking like new – while travelling at speeds over 200 miles per hour – and being bombarded by grit and gravel – is vital in a sport with millions of viewers. As Williams’ official paint supplier, PPG has perfected a durable, high definition finish for all-important identification on the track.
“Our technicians work closely with Williams engineers, designers and promoters to develop coatings that achieve the best look at the lowest possible weight, while meeting the sport’s changing aesthetic requirements,” .
The downside of achieving the right look is that the more paint applied to the vehicle, the heavier it becomes. In a sport where success is measured in fractions of a second, 80 grams of added weight from the coating on each panel can dramatically impact a car’s performance.
The bespoke paint system created by PPG overcomes this challenge by removing the need for an additional lacquer coat. This allows Williams to reduce the weight added during the paint process by 48 percent.
“Every gram saved gives our drivers the possibility of achieving faster lap times,” says team founder and principal, Sir Frank Williams.
PPG tested 36 different primer and combinations to find the perfect formula for the team’s racing cars. Individual panels are weighed before and after the coating process to ensure they do not exceed their target weight. PPG continues to innovate and has recently developed a semi-matt finish specifically for racing cars to reduce glare from the brighter and lighter colours that are replacing traditional high gloss finishes.
Patricia Phountoucos, EMEA Communications and Branding Manager at PPG Refinish, comments: “We are proud of our longstanding association with Williams Martini Racing and are delighted to be marking this special milestone with them in 2018. The world of Formula One racing is the ideal place for us to showcase our advanced coatings technology, alongside our commitment to solving our customers’ challenges.”
The 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship season will begin in Melbourne, Australia on March 25, and conclude on November 25 in Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi. Williams welcome new driver, Sergey Sirotkin, who will be looking to emulate the success of his teammate, Lance Stroll. Lance broke several records during his debut Formula One season last year, becoming the youngest ever rookie podium finisher as well as the youngest front-row starter when he lined-up second on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix.
“PPG’s advice and contribution to the paint and coatings we apply to our Formula One car is highly regarded, and more important than ever before. We are constantly striving to save weight, and it has been a focus in the development of the FW41, so PPG’s assistance and innovation in this area is of significant value to us. The opportunity to produce faster lap times is increased with the amount of weight we save in the application of our paint. We also think it is the best looking car on the grid!”
Paddy Lowe, Williams Chief Technical Officer