Cut To The Race Podcast

F1: Minimum weight increase for the cars pending

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Due to new features, part of the new regulations for 2022 was that F1 raised the minimum weight for the cars from 752kg to 795kg. But that was probably not enough for some teams – the standard parts added more weight than initially thought.

During the tests in Barcelona and Bahrain, this caused problems for the engineers of all teams – probably except Alfa Romeo and McLaren. The problem is obvious: more weight leads to reduced speed.

The teams, therefore, agreed to increase the minimum weight by another 3kg. This still has to be approved by the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council before the first race of the season in less than a week.

Head of the FIA’s single-seater department, Nikolas Tombazis, explained today in Bahrainff why this increase is necessary:

“The issue with the weight is that certain standard components turned out to be a bit heavier than anticipated, and that was not in the team control,” he said.

“So we wanted to compensate for that, or not penalise teams as a result.

“Obviously a lot of teams have been struggling with weight this year, more than normal. As part of the whole package, let’s say, there was an agreement on a 3kg proposed increase.

“That is awaiting F1 Commission approval, so it’s not a guarantee at the moment.”

Are the new tyres provoking the weight problem?

Surprisingly, the significantly larger 18-inch tyres have hardly caused the weight problems:

“In fairness, tyres were only a small amount heavier, I think 100g [more in total] compared to the prediction, quite a small number.

“The wheel rims were about equal weight to the predictions, maybe a smidgen less. And then wheel covers turned out to be a bit more heavier than expected. That was the bulk.

“There’s been quite a lot of effort to make them cheap, because they’re quite expendable. And we didn’t want to have to make [them costly], we could have made them lighter, out of carbon or something.

“The quantities that have been made are quite high, and it could have led to quite a cost increase.”

The likelihood of the application being rejected is extremely low. The weight of the standard parts cannot be influenced so that teams would otherwise be penalised for something not in their hands.

We expect confirmation within the next week.

Feature Image Credit: f1.com

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