10 Things I Learned At The Spanish F1 GP

Petrolicious takes us behind the scenes of the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and shares some interesting secrets.

1: AMG Mercedes employs 4 full time graphic painters to spray logos on the car

It’s no secret that top F1 teams are fanatical about every minuscule advantage that they can have over the competition, but AMG Mercedes might take the cake for over the top speed squeezing. Every single logo and graphic on the championship winning cars that we see today is hand painted by four expert graphic artists that work full time for the team. Allegedly using lightweight paints, the team chose this route to make the cars just that much more slippery, although I could see it also just being for bragging rights. 

IWC Schaffhausen logo on frame
Porsche Supercup micro machine

2: This Exists

Porsche Supercup in one form or another has been supporting F1 for decades, and this micro machine has been pootling around the paddock for the last few seasons. Apparently every season they update it to reflect the latest fascia of the GT3 race cars.

3: Lewis and Valtteri do not use the same steering wheel

From a distance they might look similar, but up close you can see that each one has been developed deeply in conjunction with each driver. Pictured here you’ll see Lewis’ wheel, but Valtteri’s layout is slightly different to compensate for each other’s driving and tweaking style.

Crew working on car

4: There are many ways to “sponsor” a Formula 1 team

Brembo for instance exchanges countless hours of engineering expertise and manufacturing prowess to “sponsor” AMG Mercedes through their championship winning seasons.

5: The AMG GTR Safety cars are generally driving at 10/10ths during a course caution

Hamilton famously complained last season about how fast the safety car was able to go, which is why you’ll see pro-drivers behind the wheel driving flat out while the F1 grid behind them appears to be practically standing still.

AMG GTR Safety Card
Gerhard Berger (left, above) and Lewis Hamilton (right)

6: Gerhard Berger is a hat thief

I was snapping away during Lewis’ meeting with Mercedes Benz Chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche when none other than Gerhard Berger ran by attempting to snag Lewis’ hat. I like to think that if I attempted the same move I would be writing this from a jail cell.

7: The pedal box is way smaller than you think it is

It’s almost impossible to fathom how your feet might fit in that tiny box you see below. Drivers frequently describe the sensation akin to having your legs bound in a cast while driving at 200 miles an hour. The mobility is just staggeringly little in there.

Pedal box
Niki Lauda (left)

8: You can sponsor Niki Lauda’s hat

Once a walking billboard always a walking billboard. Rumor has it that to get your logo on his head you’re looking at seven figures, plus.

9: The Champagne bottle drivers are given at the end is made of carbon fiber

It would almost be weird if it wasn’t, no?

Champange bottle made of carbon fiber

10: IWC Watches live full time on the driver’s gloves.

While the real deal would add a bit too much weight, the IWC Big Pilot is stenciled on every pair of gloves worn by Lewis Hamilton. 

Featured Watches

Continue Reading