Francesco is based on a modern Formula One car, while being stated by the Meet the Cars book to be a 2009 Formula FB1 Prototype Racer.
He has brown eyes, and is painted in the colors of Italy's flag. The red color is seen on his nose cone and across the middle of his bodywork, and the green and white colors are seen on his upper bodywork, sidepods and front wing endplates. The colors are also painted on each side of his rear wing. On his nose cone, he also has a picture of the flag with yellow borders, along with a white circle showing his racing number, 1, in black. These are additionally shown on an idol on his sidepods that shows the World Grand Prix logo and symbol. On his barge boards, he has the allinol logo, as well as the letters "FR", which stand for his racing league, "Formula Racer", and look similar to the Formula One logo. Additionally, he wears black tires and red rims. On his tires, there is text reading "Rotelli Tires Pasta Potenza". In Disney INFINITY, his tires just say "Rotelli Tires".
Francesco started out as being cocky, as he usually boasted about being the fastest racecar in the whole world. He was also arrogant, as shown when he believed that McQueen could not beat him in their races together, which also made Francesco self-centered. It also made him slightly similar to Chick Hicks, but the only difference to Chick is that Francesco did not cheat. He even felt confident that he would win in his home country, but he was proven wrong. However, he does sometimes show care for others, such as when he felt shocked about the other World Grand Prix racers having been involved in a huge crash. By the end of Cars 2, Francesco appeared to become nicer, since he was shown to not be as much boastful as before, and felt calmer racing McQueen in the Radiator Springs Grand Prix. Francesco also often refers to himself in third-person view, saying his name and the words "he", "his" and "him". However, he does sometimes refer to himself in first person, such as when he uses "I" and "my" while stating about being in his hometown Porto Corsa.