F1 cars are built in these British sheds


If you're a bit weird, you'll know that the underside of the 1987 Benetton-Ford B187 front spoiler was painted black. You might even know that it was finished in a light-absorbing satin hue. But you probably won't know that the company responsible for that tiny, singular job back in the eighties has now grown to become Britain's leading F1 paintshop.

There's proper artistry to this - the difference between a well finished rear wing and a shabby one translates to about two thousandths of a second per lap. Or the difference between first and fourth place. Which probably explains why it takes up to six months on-the-job training on top of a normal apprenticeship before painters are let loose on team cars.

There's a weight issue, too - it's all well and good preparing a slippery wing, but it can't be a gramme heavier than a team's very strict kg-per-square-metre target.