2022 F1 car model, Silverstone, 2021

F1 teams want increase for “extremely challenging” 790kg limit in 2022

2022 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

Formula 1 teams are pushing for a further increase in the minimum weight limit for next year’s cars, which are being designed to new technical regulations.

The minimum weight is due to rise by 38 kilograms in 2022, reaching a new high of 790kg. However Alfa Romeo’s technical director Jan Monchaux told RaceFans teams have raised concerns with the FIA’s Technical Advisory Group over how they will reach that level without resorting to expensive weight-saving materials and techniques.

“The biggest discussion point lately where all the teams have a clear opinion is the minimum weight,” said Monchaux. “We think a couple of kilos more would certainly help, but also help saving costs. It’s one thing to achieve a target, but at some point it gets very, very expensive.”

Monchaux said the teams “are fairly aligned as far as I can see” in their concern over the weight limit.

The increase in minimum weight for 2022 has come about partly due to the larger wheels on next year’s cars and the introduction of more demanding crash tests. F1 car weights have risen steadily over the past decade (see below) and next year’s rise will be the biggest since the V6 hybrid turbo power units were introduced in 2014.

Poll: Will Formula 1’s new cars for 2022 prove a change for the better?
The latest rise is “quite a severe weight addition on the car”, said Monchaux. “With all the addition on the regs and the challenge of bigger tyres, bigger rims, bigger brake disks, the weight is clearly a big, big topic for all the teams. It’s still being discussed in the TAG with the FIA because we increased by as many 40 kilos and that is going to be extremely challenging. So that is certainly a big factor for us.

Formula 1’s introduction of a new, 18-inch wheel format next year has been Alfa Romeo’s starting point for designing its first car to a different and more restrictive set of technical regulations.

“Even if the regulations are quite restricting or guiding you in a lot of areas about what volumes you can do for things, it’s nonetheless a brand new car with new tyres, which is the starting point,” Monchaux explained. “Therefore, building a car around these tyres to hopefully get the maximum out of them is quite essential.”

The aerodynamic regulations are also very different to the current rules set, with simplified upper wings and a more complex floor intended to generate downforce using the ‘ground effect’.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“We need to get it right with the aero,” said Monchaux. “I suppose all the teams are the same, hoping we are not missing something with these new regs.

“You need to take some brave decisions relatively early because you need to set up the layout of the car: Wheelbase, architecture of front and rear suspension, topology, coolers installation… You have only your own wind tunnel, your CFD, but no real reference from what can be found on the track.”

2022 F1 car model, Silverstone, 2021
Report: A technical director’s verdict on F1’s 2022 car model
Although he is confident in the decisions his team has taken, Monchaux admitted some anxiety about the overall direction of their development, as they will be unaware what their rivals have done until the cars appear next year.

“The decisions we took so far I’m very happy were straightforward and at that moment in time was a no-brainer to do this and this and that for 2022,” he said. “As it’s an ongoing, iterative process, if we would redo some rear suspension tests, topology or cooler installation six months later, we might come up with other conclusions because the car has evolved and things are slightly different.

“So [there is] a certain level of wariness, I wouldn’t say [nervousness], but respect towards some big decisions we had to take, which were quite straightforward for us but only time will tell if they were the right ones.”

The rules have been designed to encourage cars to race more closely together. As a result “the new aero platform is quite a different beast compared to the cars we currently have”, said Monchaux.

“The aero map shapes the behaviour of the car and the changing attitude also with respect to wind and steering is quite different. You have much less tools to regain authority from front wheel wake, rear wheel wake and generate the same kind of characteristics we are used to from the [current] cars.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“So there is a lot of work to hopefully make the best in terms of where we position the car and and recover as much as possible. Sensitivities, wind sensitivities, balance, balance evolution with speed, aero balance – all these things, so far I’m quite happy about what I what I see and what we’re able to achieve. But it’s still four, five, six months now until the first race.

“So still it’s half of the marathon. It’s about now, really trying to maximise as much as possible gains in the wind tunnel and make sure we do a car that is reliable, under the weight limit and [others]. There’s quite a few open topics until we are on-track.

F1’s minimum weight limit, 1961 – 2022

NB. Separate minimum weight limits were enforced for turbocharged and normally-aspirated cars in 1987 and 1988.

2022 F1 season

Browse all 2022 F1 season articles

98 comments on “F1 teams want increase for “extremely challenging” 790kg limit in 2022”

  1. First 768 kg (back when this season was still the plan), followed by 775 and 790, so what’s enough?
    Why wouldn’t 790 be enough for the same target? People can’t make up their minds.
    Generally, the same target(s) should be equally achievable with a stable figure, etc.

    1. I would guess that if teams agree that it’s too tight to get there without resorting to expensive materials, they are probably right about that @jerejj. In the end, it’s not really relevant whether weight goes up by 38 40 or 42 kg anymore.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        17th September 2021, 9:04

        Agreed, another 10 or 20 kilos won’t make that much difference to that lovely ‘nimbleness’. Its the same for everyone so it shouldn’t affect parity and it might help the smaller teams. Longer braking distances too.

        Although they could just make the cars shorter…

        1. Take a look at the graph above. It did not make that much difference to increase minimum weight by 10 year every year, did it? They went up 60 kgs in 7 years…

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            17th September 2021, 10:34

            I think that’s my point @f1mre. It doesn’t matter.

            Maybe you could define ‘nimbleness’ as a combination of weight, downforce, tyre grip and braking ability. As such weight is only one factor. We know why weight is increasing. Safety cannot be compromised, but different decisions could have made on size, power unit and wheels.

            What would you do different?

          2. Maybe you could define ‘nimbleness’

            I think we have the data already to calculate an approximation: the YoY lap time difference for slow circuits (Monaco, Singapore, Mexico) versus those of fast circuits (Monza, Silverstone, Spa) under similar climatic circumstances.

            Now we just need somebody to crunch the numbers ;)

          3. jff, there are quite a few complicating factors that render such a comparison tricky to sort out.

            In the 12 times that the Singapore GP has been held, the circuit layout has been changed three times, so you’re not dealing with a static layout.

            Monaco has been subtly varying over the years, with small tweaks to corners that have sped up some corners and slowed others down, and the circuit has been periodically resurfaced over the years – for example, the area from Portier to Rascasse was resurfaced not long before the 2018 race. That issue also impacts the Singapore GP, where a significant section of the circuit was resurfaced back in 2019.

            Mexico, meanwhile, introduces the problem of the effects of racing at an abnormally high altitude when compared to every other venue on the calendar. It’s also an unusual choice, since that would, if held at sea level, normally be considered more of a medium downforce high speed circuit.

            You also have the problem that the compounds of tyres used in those races has also varied quite widely over the years – how do you separate that factor out of the equation?

        2. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk I think making the cars shorter may affect the impact safety cell the drivers sit in.

          1. unlikely. most of the length in the past 5 years has come from the gearbox/behind the driver.

        3. My point is that is does matter. Beause the same will happen next year and the next and the next…

        4. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk

          I completely disagree about it being fine increasing the weight. Every year they’re adding more and more weight and in 2026 when the regs. car comes out, they’ll be even heavier by quite a bit with no longer having the MGU-H.

          All this weight greatly effects the cars nimbleness and ability to overtaking, and adding more weight effects the car exponentially, anything that was already designed to handle the current physics and mass in the car and will then be needed to be beefed up to handle that increase in car weight, it becomes an endless cycle. It will be more like a bunch of Rolls-Royce Phantoms racing on the track, than super agile F1 cars of the past.
          As I’ve written here many times before, the length and width is also a serious issue but a lot of that is because of the increases in weight that needs for a stable and solid platform to handle the weight. And of course increased safety specs. But when you increase the mass in the car, you then need to increase the safety measures built into the car to assure the same safety when you increase in mass during a violent accident.

          PS> I think jumping up to 18″ wheel was a very silly idea to suit marketing execs and does not add any value to the racing performance.

          1. @redpill and yet many here don’t seem to think that a heavy car causes problems in IndyCar when it comes to nimbleness and ability to overtaking, even though an IndyCar is significantly heavier than an F1 car – the equivalent minimum weight for an IndyCar for a road course is 855kg. The total permitted width of an IndyCar is even greater than that of an F1 car too, at 2.15m, and total lengths are around 5.13m, which is not exactly short.

          2. @anon

            “IndyCar is significantly heavier than an F1 car”

            That is actually incorrect as well as some of your other numbers, a ’21 spec. Indy car when set up for road racing is currently 771kg. F1 wants to increase the present car of 740kg to 790kg; an additional 88 pounds. So an Indy car is not significantly heavier.
            Wheelbase for an Indy is 3086mm, thats 2 feet shorter than current F1’s 3700mm wheelbase. That makes an Indy car significantly shorter.
            Inday cars are not wider, they’re narrower. Max indy car width is 1943mm, F1 car is 2000mm (2.5″ wider than a Indy)

            No disrespect to Indy but it’s a much lower tier tech car costing only about 1/8th of a F1 car. The MGU-H alone is about the same cost as a whole indy car. There is significant less tech, performance and development in an Indy car (still a very safe & reliable car), F1 should be able to beat Indy’s spec numbers by quite a margin, F1 is suppose to be the pinnacle of racing.
            Indy cars are designed more to go very fast in a straight line (or low radius turn) in a very stable manner without dramatic speeds changes, yet they still have a much shorter wheelbase than F1. Yes, they race Indy on road courses as well but the cars are spec’d out and primarily designed for oval track racing. I like watching Indy racing a lot but much more on the ovals than road courses. They are more even compared to F1 but then Indy cars are more production cars from same builder except for the PU.

          3. @redpill I would suggest from your response that you have not read the IndyCar regulations properly and don’t seem to properly understand the comparisons you are making.

            To quote Clause of the IndyCar Rulebook, “The minimum weight shall include the car in ready-to-compete condition, excluding Driver, Driver Equivalency Weight, fuel and drinks bottle content.”

            Sub-clause of the IndyCar Rulebook then states that the minimum weight of the car excluding the driver is 771kg in road course trim.

            Clause of the IndyCar Rulebook then states that “Driver Equivalency Weight must bring the combined weight of the Driver and Driver ballast to 185 pounds”, which is another 84kg.

            In Formula 1, the minimum weight is defined in Clause 2.4 of the latest draft of the 2022 Technical Regulations (Issue 6, September 2021) as “the mass of the car with the driver, wearing his complete racing apparel, at all times during the Competition.”.

            As IndyCar defines the minimum mass of the car and the driver separately, whereas Formula 1 defines the combined mass of the two, you are making a false comparison in your post because your minimum weights are different.

            If you want to run a direct comparison, you should either remove the weight of the driver and driver ballast from the minimum mass of a Formula 1 car – which is defined as 80kg, and would therefore give a minimum weight of just the car of 710kg – or you should add the minimum weight of 84kg to the minimum mass of an IndyCar, which is where the figure of 855kg comes from. Either way, when you do a proper like for like comparison, the IndyCar is heavier.

            Your figure of 1.94m for the width suggests that you have also misunderstood the way in which IndyCar defines the width of the car.

            Formula 1 defines a total width of the car in terms of the total width of the bodywork, which is 2.0m, with the width of the wheels and wheeltrack defined such that they should also be within 2.0m. IndyCar defines a maximum track width of 1.94m (Clause, with track width defined as the width from the centreline of one wheel to the other wheel.

            The best approximation in that case is to therefore add on the width of half a wheel on either side to get a more representative value for the total width of the car – the width of 2.15m therefore includes the additional width of the wheels, whereas you have ignored the width of the wheels when quoting that figure.

          4. anon,

            You completely right about the drivers weight, I mistakenly forgot to include that factor; sorry about that. That was a fumble that I am made but still, while heavier, it’s not significantly heavier especially when you compare to the weight increases that F1 has introduced into the cars when comparing the increase of 304lbs since 2011. (from 642kg to 780kg) and most likely will keep going up.

            In regards to width of a Indy car that is set up for roads, not ovals is 76.5 inches (1.94m) max and is actually measured from outside rim to rim, the stated wheel widths is used when trying to compare F1 wheel width that is 2m. F1 teams will always go to widest allowed: 2m, the Indy Clause in rule book is speaking about a different matter and measurement. On roads courses, it’s allowed to offset one side for an additional .25″ (6.3mm) still not making it wider than a F1. Using tire widths and not rims is not prudent as F1 tires substantially widen more than an Indy car while racing when tire pressure is played around with.

          5. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            19th September 2021, 8:33

            @redpill I’m only ‘fine’ with it when there is a good reason. Of course light as possible is best for lots of reasons.

            By the way increased weight helps overtaking. It increases braking distances which gives greater opportunity for drivers to use their braking skills. This plus aero have much more affect than the length and width of a car when it comes to the ease of overtaking.

            As far as increased mass requiring for safety structures, yes this is partly true and I’m sure the clever guys at the FIA have done the Math. Its a bold claim to say they didn’t. Don’t forget these new cars will be going about 6 seconds a lap slower. Lower speed is less energy.

            I agree the 18″ are a bad idea, but changes in safety, extra structures halo etc and hybrid systems these are things the nimble cars of the past did not have. We cannot turn the clock back. Sometimes progress doesn’t go the way you expect or want.

          6. @redpill no, the dimension you are stating (1.94m) cannot be from the outside of one wheel rim to the outside of the other wheel rim, because the track width is defined as being from the centre of one wheel to the centre of the other wheel. Unless the wheel has zero width, what you are claiming is physically impossible because the outer rim of the wheel cannot also be in the centre of the wheel.

            You are still failing to understand that, because IndyCar and Formula 1 use different methods to define the dimensions of the cars, you are comparing the wrong values and drawing the wrong conclusions.

          7. @anon There’s numerous sites from Indyitt. com to several Indy teams all quoting the same car width spec, 76.5 inches maximum as rim to rim. This sites doesn’t allow me posting those links. I’m not here to argue about it and there is different published spec info out there.

            PS> I love Indy car racing on large ovals, it’s a unique and a very special type of motorsport racing that we need to see more of. Indy has done a fantastic job of keeping the costs way down, while keeping great racing & safety on ovals.

          8. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk

            I believe you have misinterpreted what I wrote, I never said or implied that FIA or chassis designers didn’t or wouldn’t take safety of the driver first nor me recommending or instigating they shouldn’t. It’s remarkable how safe these cars are, everyone involved needs to be highly commended for it and I’m looking forward to any new advancements in safety in the future. I was speaking about when increasing the mass in a car, safety designers will then need to increase the driver protection to meet those increased loads; it becomes a snowball effect and a vicious cycle unless they can stop the snowball effect by increasing safety without increasing weight or volume or increasing performance or adding new hardware without increasing weight. Chassis designers and engineers must have done an incredible job lightening the 2022 chassis to make up for the significant weight and space that is needed for the new suspension. It’s substantial how much more suspension and hardware that will be added/needed to absorb (literally) the job that the big balloon tires were doing and handle the extra weight of the 18” wheels. I don’t think the tracks times will be as slow as you say, I think it will be about half that, plus the straight line speeds should be just as high and as tire deg should be much better if the dirty air wont be as bad as they say, so lap times shouldn’t fall as quickly and have longer stints. Low time should be because of cornering with new tires, even though lower wall tires give more accurate steering, it doesn’t make up for their other downfalls.

            I love seeing the new technology that comes out F1, it’s been that way forever and the ultimate testbed. Like the 50% efficiency PU’s that’s an incredible gain F1 made that that can be learned from and hopefully used in everyday usage.
            I never said or inferred that we turn the clock back but instead we should not forget the past and use it’s history and bones and study why F1 racing was so great back then and learn from it when producing modern day cars for F1 series. The cars are dramatically changing and getting much bigger and bigger but the tracks they race on are not, the scale between the two is off.
            I believe the new size and weight has greatly effected the quality of the racing and overtaking.
            I agree about how slower cars, being heavier, longer brake distance can be good racing, some of my funniest days were racing BMW 3-Series, they were all pretty even and heavy; every driver afterwards is typically smiling and laughing, they’re good fun and required chess game moves to do well. But then on the very opposite side of the scale of weight and braking is racing Karts, smallest, lightest and largest weight/power ratio and there’s tons of passing with all kinds of opportunities if you were smart and good. Racing karts is amazing to do and incredible pure racing. I would love to see F1 get closer to Kart racing than trucks. So yes, to make advances and introduce new tech, you have to take two steps forward and usually one step back. I just would just like see the new racing machines offer great racing and match up with the tracks they race on.

            If you gotten this far, I’m sorry for the long post.

          9. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            20th September 2021, 8:36

            Hehe, I mostly agree with you @redpill, but sometimes those pesky laws of physics can’t be ignored.
            In this universe

            adding new hardware without increasing weight

            isn’t possible yet.

            I’m just playing, I know what you mean, the lightening of other components could offset the extra weight. As for me being cheekily provocative in my interpretation of your post, it was just about getting to the heart of matter. Most of the new mandated safety features in recent times have necessarily meant a minimum weight increase and you seemed to be arguing against such increases. Maybe you know Colin Chapmans secret of “adding lightness”.

            Yes I’ve raced saloon cars and karts. Both were incredible fun. I was successful in karts until I started to grow and the kids who I used to beat started beating me because they were lighter. The saloon cars were much fairer in this respect. I guess this underlines why we spend so much time talking about weight.

            Happy F1 watching.

          10. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk

            It’s all good. Cheers

            PS> Growing up, getting heavier sadly killed my Karting (mostly was the weight). I wish there was a SuperKart series for 85+kg driver, I would be all over it; them racing @ Phillip Island, Zandvoort, Brands Hatch, Laguna Seca, Isle of Man……etc. all for less money than racing at your local track in a decent saloon series.

          11. @redpill 2026 isn’t definitive yet. Why would MGU-K necessarily have to be more powerful just because of the MGU-H removal? The present amount of power/batteries should still be okay. I don’t quite get this thing. By that season, lighter batteries should be even more achievable than now that we’re in season 8 anyway, given more matured hybrid technology, etc.
            In any case, a smaller fuel tank would compensate to an extent as synthetic fuels produce more energy per kg, so the maximum race capacity could even get below 75 kg (Pat Symonds’ words).
            Perhaps, the next PU concept might even feature fewer components. We’ll find out everything.

          12. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk
            Not 6 seconds, LOL. 3-3.5 is what Nikolas Tombazis said on pre-2019 US GP Thursday.

      2. Oskari Kantonen
        17th September 2021, 17:36

        Who cares how expensive the materials are? They have a budget cap and they can choose if they want a light car at the expense of something else.

    2. @jerejj

      Why would MGU-K necessarily have to be more powerful just because of the MGU-H removal?

      Jere, sorry for the late and long rely but ask for your patience to read it; The issues ahead for F1 is pretty complicated.

      When you look deeper into what the MGU-H does and when it offers power and how much power and how efficient is, you’ll realize how beautiful and high performing a MGU-H is in a F1 car.
      MGU-H had helped push thermal efficiency from 25(ish)%, which ICE had been stuck at for decades, to over 50%. The MGU-K also helped but not like the MGU-H does.
      Without the MGU-H, there is a serious hole to fill by ICE and MGU-K.
      I think F1 has done a terrible job marketing how efficient of a Hybrid car that the F1 cars is; thats been a mistake because they’ve done an amazing job. Same with F1 not not describing enough to the public what the MGU-H does and it’s contribution.

      They say their going to increase the the size of the MGU-K.
      The problem is I don’t believe the current energy balance of the present PU with a MGU-H can be maintained without one. In a race the existing MGU-H is constantly pushing energy to the MGU-K. The word is that the 2026 will include a front wheel differential driveshaft feeding/turning a 2nd generator to add electricity to feed the bigger MGU-k to help make up some of what will be lost without the MGU-H. The MGU-H charges the battery without drag when going fast on a straight when the MGU-K is idle. Also without the MGU-H, they will also be turbo lag out of the corners like the Senna-Prost days.
      The problem is the front axle regen will be power limited and very short duration compared to the rear wheel generator and add significant weight. I’m also not sure it will fill the energy gap to keep the much larger MGU-K (electric motor) going. Expect serious MGU-K derates. Now the problem is if the bigger MGU-K does have serious derates, they’ll either need to increase ICE capacity or/and increase battery size. We know they wont increase the the ICE when actually they want to decrease it. Adding more battery capacity will add significant weight and much more generators feeding it (more weight). They would really need to make some significant breakthroughs in battery weight and efficiency (which I really hope they do and awesome if they do).

      “smaller fuel tank would compensate to an extent as synthetic fuels produce more energy per kg”

      I also read the message of Symonds saying that synthetic fuels produce energy per kg but I think it’s really a misnomer and misleading. Currently fossil based fuels produce about 20% more performance and mileage than any known synthetic fuels produced. As of right now, with synthetic fuels they will need to actually increase the fuel tanks to obtain the same amount of laps and speeds of current F1 cars using 100% fossil fuel being used today in F1. There is no known sustainable fuel that has been made that can match fossil fuel. I certainly hope they do find new methods and fuels to change that issue and match fossil fuel. So as of right now, they’re not able to reduce gas tank size for same performance. They have four more years, actually I think less because they need to know what the fuel chemistry is so they can design the ICE for it. As of right now, it looks like the ICE will deliver less HP/efficiency/reliability and relying more on MGU-K and battery size. All of this will mean much more weight, needing more power to make all that weight go faster.

      I’m seriously all for creating more tech and developing better hybrid and electrical vehicles; it’s a great endeavor and very much needed! In regards with F1, the dilemma is that getting away from ICE and with currently available tech and what PU manufacturers are willing to develop is that future F1 cars could easily not be as fast or go the same distance of current F1 cars. Will fans be ok with with that? F1 cars going slower and completing less laps? There’s good reasons why Formula E is not remotely as fast as F1 and try to hide that fact.

      F1 and the teams are able to create new tech that no one else has been able to do so I truly hope they can solve this issue. It will greatly benefit everyone outside of F1 and would be a massive achievement.

      *I hope you got this far in my post and understood what I was saying (my writing lately is terrible)?

      PS> MGU-H only really works when the ICE is maxed out, running at full capacity the whole time racing, running at very high revs producing incredible amounts of heat like when F1 cars are racing and not at all viable to cars driving on the road. It’s understandable why car manufactures don’t want it but it’s still a beautiful bit of tech.

      1. @redpill I wouldn’t mind if races were shorter as 305 km isn’t a must for a decent race anyway. For example, Super Formula races are shorter (between Monaco’s distance & F2 feature races) but still long enough for getting good racing. All F1 races could be 260 like the Monaco GP for 100% consistency. Doing so would more easily allow for smaller tank size.
        Slower F1 cars, I’d be less okay with, though.
        Nevertheless, I had the patience to read your reply throughout.
        Overall, very well explained + also understandable.

        1. @jerejj I for one would also not like to see the cars go slower but this is very real by removing the MGU-H and not increasing the ICE; something has to give.
          I know the MGU-H is being dropped to appease VW but I instead really think they should keep it and have it supplied to all teams by one source (all receive equal sealed units) like they do with some other parts in a F1 car. That way VW doesn’t need to develop one (bolt on and go) and still be competitive until F1 finds new technology to replace the MGU-H that is as useful and practical for common road cars while still producing the 50% or more thermal efficiency.

          This would keep f1 cars going fast or faster, help with not increasing weight, not increase costs (actually reduce) and still be the most efficient hybrid motor in the world, all the while they try to figure out a suitable replacement of it.
          I cant see why the current teams would care since they’ll have all agreed to drop what they already developed and the MGU-H tech doesn’t have much practical uses for them in the retail world so might as well they all share it and benefit rather than just drop it.

          1. @jerejj

            PS> I forgot to add to my earlier posts that if they were able to reduce the drag from all the static downforce, then that would greatly effect mpg/extend how many laps they could go with same sized fuel tank at same used power. The laps times would also go increase a lot due to slower cornering but still accomplish same max straight-line speed.

            You might want to read todays article in Motorsport dot com with title “The opportunities and headaches of F1’s 2026 engine plans”. It doesn’t directly touch what I was speaking about but adds more info and helps describe why there could be issues figuring out what do next and still keep VW happy. its still a long road before they get to a solution.

  2. Makes sense. But off course at the same time heavie cars will be criticized for being even less nimble

    1. With a minimum driver&seat weight and cost cap there is NO minimum weight required IMO.

      Teams can decide if they want to spend their development money on aero or on lighter materials.

      1. That’s a very good point. The whole purpose of the minimum weight was to give the less lavishly funded teams, who couldn’t afford the exotic super lightweight materials, a more level playing field. With the cost cap that’s irrelevant (assuming they can enforce it properly). They also banned some of those materials anyway.

  3. OOF! How depressing. I think if these new cars achieve their stated aims of enabling closer racing, the next project should be figuring out how to make F1 cars smaller and lighter. An interesting point I read a while back is that additional weight required to achieve safety specifications can be a vicious circle – you make cars heavier to be “safer” but that means they have more kinetic energy when going at a particular speed, requiring stronger cars to meet the safety requirement.

    Another example of this is the halo. I believe that a key test for the halo is impact from a wheel. So bigger and heavier F1 wheels requires a stronger, heavier halo. Conversely, lighter wheels may mean that the halo can be lighter.

    Finally, allowing more powerful regenerative braking would make the brakes lighter. However, this wouldn’t necessarily make the car lighter as it would require more energy storage whose weight may more than offset the brake weight saving. However, this could help with the aforementioned halo issue.

  4. Truck racing in no time!

    1. It already is a SUV racing league, pickup trucks on the way.

      1. Me: 100+ kills confirmed
        You: 0 kills

    2. I suppose that a car that relies so much on downward air pressure needs to be hefty to withstand those forces.

      So maybe, mandate a shorter car? One that doesn’t have as many downforce planes.

      These cars could well be one meter shorter without compromising critical component packaging, all that would suffer would be the amount of surfaces that they can cram in the “coke-bottle” area.

      1. I’m curious how teams plan to meet the regulated front/rear weight balance if they are already over the minimum weight without ballast. They will certainly be even heavier as they will need to ballast the front or rear unless they are exactly on with the chassis weights. Make the minimum weight 650 kg and let the teams figure it out. I know the lower ranked teams are concerned that the upper rank teams will have an advantage re weight, but there you are. This is getting old. Maybe remove the minimum engine weight; I recall that engines were in the 90 kg range for the V-10 engines.

    3. @tommy-c @faulty

      Truck racing in no time!

      No kidding, we’re not too far from it now.

      Did you know that current F1 cars are now literally the same size as a Ford F-150 pickup truck but with an even longer wheelbase and just as wide, they’re 20% longer overall than a LMP1 Hypercar and 250 lbs heavier than a F1 car 10 yrs ago. Did you know that current F1 chassis wheelbase is the same length & width as a Rolls-Royce Phantom (EWB) 4 door, the extended wheelbase version?

      Present length of an F1 car (total 5,500 mm L max). There is almost no car retail manufactured car made with that long of a wheelbase (3,700 mm L) unless you include Rolls-Royces, limo’s & 8′ bed pickups but especially not any sports cars of any kind. Not even the super cars like Bugatti Veyron’s….etc that are only really designed to go straight super fast and track straight & stable, they’re way shorter than a F1 car.
      The car width use to be 1.8m, now its 2.0m (6″ diff.), doesn’t sound like much but it adds up when you have two cars overlapped vying for the same bit of track, that’s 12″ less heading into a corner. The wheels got wider in 2017 and next year, the wheels will now be much heavier with the bigger rims, it will be harder to accelerate and much hard to brake with heavier wheels. The cars increase in weight next year by 88 lbs and now they want to add even more.

      On top of that cars will also not be getting smaller because for driver safety needing to be increased because of the weight being added, with increased weight thats a lot of mass being thrown around in a crash (aka: a heavier hammer).

      In regards to safety, I’m also concerned about new wheel size making it much heavier and its effects (increased energy) in a crash but thats for another thread.

  5. By time 2022 gets here you can throw the original plans out the window… same old story in F1, governance be it CVC, or Liberty proposed changes to the sport for the better and slowly one by one the teams push back and we end up with such a watered-down end product that it often goes against the original purpose.
    The front wing has already gone from 3 to 4 elements when at 1 stage they were considering not even having a front wing. The rear wing has gotten bigger despite the fact we were told the underbody would generate most of the downforce. Drivers crying for more nimble, narrower, lighter cars that aren’t so aero dependant and instead they get bigger and heavier with increased dimensions and more downforce. 2022 cars will be a washout in terms of meeting their original objectives of closer more competitive racing.

      1. +1 or more.

    1. +1 spot on

  6. With the continuing rise of obesity in the world, it makes sense F1 cars are following suit.

    1. Thank you! Just what I was thinking. There should be minimum size of the hole (cockpit) restrictions and no body shaming of any kind allowed. (Think Nigel Mansell’s unfortunate public humiliation when he tried to get back).

      Or F1-lightweight, F1-middleweight, cruiserweight etc. focusing on minimum weight of the drivers following Olympic boxing weight classes. These bright ideas just coming to me as I type – I’m on fire today!

  7. Sigh, just set the minimum weight to 600 kg and let the teams figure it out.

    We have gone so far down the slippery slope of overregulations that a team is now basically whining, coz it thinks it’s 5% heavier than minimum regulation…

    Where is the opportunity to develop the car in a direction that you as a team want to follow rather than what is regulatory mandated?

    1. Too lazy to check myself, surely there must be some volume/weight restrictions on the drink bottle and length of straw too.

  8. Yeah, let them change all rules to suit them. We have a cost cap in place. So how high can costs go? No higher that 145 million. Then what are they talking about?

  9. Easy solution, reduce the wheelbase of the cars. Was surprised on Wednesday watching the Schumacher doc on Netflix when my wife commented on how short and small the cars looked. To me they didn’t look small… today’s cars look massive!

    1. That’s because of the huge, heavy, overly expensive and bad sounding hybrid units F1 for whatever reason chose to use.

    2. Couldn’t agree more. Current F1 cars are larger in footprint than an American SUV, and then wonder why it’s so difficult for the cars to pass on tighter tracks.

    3. You’re correct. I actually think that there’s a hidden feature here – teams will have to choose whether to have a heavier, longer wheelbase car, or a lighter short wheelbase car – and accept the tradeoffs. More diversity in car design could lead to more interesting racing, and differing strategies.

  10. Just leave it as it is, it’s a minimum weight after all. It’ll add another consideration for the teams when they’re trying to add the million aero bits they want if nothing else! Pick and choose what is worth the weight.

    1. Exactly, it’s not a minimum and maximum weight limit at once!

    2. So we’re back to penalising taller drivers for their weight and having them instructed to starve so the team can save a few kg’s on the entire package again?

      Yes, it’s a minimum, it was raised to be above the natural weight of the car for a specific reason.

      1. IIRC the driver weight is a minimum of 80Kg, so drivers can’t be lighter than that (their seat gets ballasted if they are).

        It is worth remembering though that both the hybrid engines/batteries and the strength of the cars is the reason for why these weigh so much. Hopefully the new engine regs can allow the weight to drop again with some simplification to the engine design. I’m happy for the added weight for the safety systems they now have, halo and the crash structures have done a great job over the last few years.

        1. Technical regs specify engine and storage battery weights and SG location.
          5.4.1 The overall weight of the power unit must be a minimum of 150kg.
          5.4.2 The centre of gravity of the power unit may not lie less than 200mm above the reference
          5.4.3 The total weight of the part of the ES that stores energy, i.e. the cells (including any clamping
          plates) and electrical connections between cells, must be no less than 20kg and must not
          exceed 25kg.
          I suppose this relates to “Road Relevancy” as common road cars are significantly heavier now than 20 years ago. Don’t expect that weights will come down without the wholesale removal of some parts. Add in the front wheel energy recovery system (4WD) and other attendant bits … 1000 kg here we come.
          SUV racing is upon us.

        2. @mysticarl @rekibsn

          Actually the PU’s will be getting much heavier in 2026 when they eliminate the MGU-H and increase lower energy density bio fuels. They’ll need to add heavier components to make up for the lost power than came from the HGU-H. Bigger battery and a generator to harvest energy from front wheels, also increased fuel tank size and fuel amounts..

        3. Carl Parker. It is less of an advantage than before minimum weights was introduced (58 kg Takuma Sato vs 74 kg Jenson Button at BAR Honda) but lighter drivers still have a benefit compared to bulky hulkenbergs near to 80kg minimum weight as teams have more options to play around with ballast.

          1. There are specific regulations around weight distribution so it’s not like it was 10+ years ago, but yes there’s still some small benefit.

  11. I feel like I am missing something, but as I understand right now the teams want to increase the minimum weight limit because they are struggling to reach it without great costs?

    I feel kinda dumb, because intuitively it would make sense increasing the maximum weight limits. I know the article is correct, but what am I missing?

    1. It is a bit confusing, but the issue is that when they set the minimum weight to 790kg, all teams will target this as the max as well. So due to the forced use of bigger tires, bigger rims, bigger brake disks, the weight reduction must come from somewhere and teams will now need exotic materials and/or techniques to reach that magical mark of 790.

      1. @rufernan Thanks for explanation. I find it unfortunate that it’s so cutthroat that any kg above the minimum weight is seen as disadvantage big enough to lobby for increasing the minimum weight

  12. No, remove MGU-H, fuel flow rate limit and bring it back to 500 kg.

    1. Why remove the MGU-H?
      Let teams decide if they want to carry an MGU-H or more fuel/battery.

  13. If these clowns, Brawn, Domenicalli et al will be pushing to have more “sprints” while making the cars still more and more unsuitable to them, we can safely assume that F1 is in very bad hands.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur
      With 41 years in F1 between them, and countless titles (OK, not countless, I just couldn’t be ar$sed), in top flight roles at the biggest teams, by referring to them as “clowns” you have just highlighted your own ignorance

      Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt

  14. I remember when the 605kg F1 cars needed heaps of ballast to get to that weight. Weight isn’t a major issue. Some of my favourite ever cars, the champcars of late 90s and early 2000s were 800kg with 900hp and manual shifting and the racing was great.

  15. Stephen Higgins
    17th September 2021, 11:28

    They’ll be driving tanks at this rate.

  16. I have never been sure why F1 introduced the larger wheels and brakes for 2022. If the cars have had the smaller wheels for this many years then why not continue. It just seems like extra weight for no good reason. These are supposed to be ‘racing’ cars.

    However, we are where we are. I would just tell the teams to get over their bleating and get on with it. They employ some the best engineers and designers in the world so I am sure they are capable of designing a car to meet the minimum weight limit. They might need to make a few cuts elsewhere but I think they should just get on with it.

    It has been documented many times that the drivers say they would prefer weight to be kept to a minimum. More nimble and ideally shorter, lighter cars are what the sport should be aiming for.

    1. bigger tracks next to the SUVs race! smaller and less complex rules does it fit in the box ? min 500kgs use what engine you want!

    2. big cars were introduced because mercedes only knows how to manufacture those. mercedes sucks at making light cars

  17. This is F1. Sure the lighter materials are more expensive, well if you can’t afford them then do something else.
    Sorry to be so blunt, but I don’t agree with the premise of raising the weight limit further because those at the back of the grid have less money. Distribute the prize fund more evenly if they can’t afford such materials, we’re not talking diamond here.

  18. id say an easy way to decrease the weight would be an imposed max wheelbase of 3 metres, then a little smaller front and rear wings to match. the car will look better, be lighter and the team will be forces to somehow make it all fit.

  19. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    17th September 2021, 12:05

    Under the cost cap they don’t have less money.

  20. remove the driver and make it remotely controlled. That’d solve weight and safety issues. And pave the way for celebrity guest stars to “have a go”.
    It’s a win-win for everyone but the racing fans, teams and drivers.

  21. If only we could have cars that weighed 600kg with 950 bhp….


  22. I think people should take into account we are talking about racing cars not road cars. A light road car is anything under 1500 kg, so adding 10 20 or even 40 kg isn’t a huge issue. But adding 38 kg of weight to this years cars, well that’s around a 20% increase. For the drivers that’s a huge difference in handling- changing direction and will also impact on fuel consumption and tyre wear.
    So adding even more weight will be like driving a sedan compared to this years cars and must be terrible compared to cars of only a decade ago.

    1. The closest road relevant elements of F1 is the increase in weight over the past 2 decades.

    2. If 38Kg is 20%, then 100% = 190Kg I think your arithmetic may be off a bit…

      1. @rsp123 Yep my mistake

    3. But adding 38 kg of weight to this years cars, well that’s around a 20% increase.

      20% of what?
      38kg is more like 4-5% (fuelled-up or ‘Vettel’-empty).

  23. I feel so badly for all these teams. With all that is going on in the world they are struggling. Maybe we can start a go fund me? And the new slogan should be We whine as one.

    1. LOL. It must be rough for them.

  24. I’m too dumb I guess. Increase the minimum because they won’t be able to slim the cars down to hat limit… unless they save money on other things… That sounds ridiculous. Just let the minimum stay and let the teams figure out where they want to put their money

  25. You could probably drop about 10kg per wheel, just by dropping down to 13″ rims. So smaller brake disks, calipers, less weight so smaller tethers and mountings, more tyre wall flex so smaller suspension parts. The wheels would be lighter themselves, less metal with the reduced size, and most of the volume would be air in the tyres. Of course it would also be safer, much less mass being thrown around in a crash, so the crash structure and mountings could be slightly smaller, and less risk of a wheel coming off and hitting someone. But Pirelli wouldn’t like that, coz who buys 13″ tyres, they don’t look street racer cool.

    So on second thoughts lets have massive rims and ultra low profile tyres, stupid DJs at every event blasting out “music”, flashy graphics for every stat that you can imagine, cheerleaders, team mascots, time-outs, free guns with every hotdog sold, sponsors on safety cars, enough commentators to populate a small town, multi-screen red button split view drivers eye cameras sponsored by alcohol companies, but don’t drink and drive, and of course GP’s for the highest bidder Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea all sponsored by Kalashnikov and Chopchop razor sharp swords for quick beheadings.

    Wow, got a bit off topic there, but seriously, Liberty is doing a great job (at killing a sport I used to love, but can now just tolerate).

  26. How difficult can they make this?

    Publish rough specifications for a racing car – even provide profile templates for the major defining length and width sections so that the cars look ‘similar’ only. Mandate that they are open cockpit (with halo), open-wheel, and must run an internal combustion engine only of up to 2500cc. (i.e. to save weight they can go with lighter more powerful ones if they go Colin Chapman’s route). Clarify the crash testing parameters.

    Then see what innovation the teams come up with under that cost cap of $145M.

    1. That would make F1 a ‘Formula’ based series – but they aren’t interested in that kind of thing.
      Spec is the present and future!

  27. Please stop with the weight increases; 690kg was too much to Sebastian Vettel to handle in 2014, I can’t imagine what 790kg will be like for him in 2022!

  28. Just like when the turbo-hybrid engines were introduced.

    The minimum weight for the cars was originally mooted for somewhere around 660kg, but that proved unrealistic as the new technology was much heavier than expected so it was bumped up to 691kg and even then it was a struggle get anywhere near that limit. For teams and drivers!

    Part of me hopes the next generation of power-units with be will lighter than what’s currently in use (anything to keep the minimum weight below 800kg without compromising safety of couse) but you’re going to need a tongue of gold to convince engine manufactures and Ross Brawn otherwise.

  29. If I may ask, why would all teams want an increase in minimum weight? If all of them want it, that means all of them have trouble achieving close to the minimum?

    But that should be fine right, since “all” of them have problems and not just one group? Even if they are a little far from it they are not gonna get disqualified.

    I can see it as a problem pre-cost cap since some teams can use expensive light materials to get close to the minimum (as noted in the article) but any teams using that now will have issues with the cap. Or rather the team that can design close to minimum with the cheapest cost would have the performance advantage but they would have earned with with smart and effective engineering, which is a thing you want to promote in F1 and part of the competition.

  30. 500kg gang unite!

  31. we need a new series

  32. We hear the same thing every time there is a regulation change and within a few months, oddly, teams have sussed it out and have cars they are shifting ballast around in to get it over the minimum weight.

    The cars should ben as light as possible and the minimum weight shouldn’t be easy to meet.

  33. The solution is easy. Chop down around 2-2.5 meters from the cars and limit them to 4.5 meters.
    It would immediately save several kilos and would improve racing compared to these busF1 cars that we have now.

  34. Dear Keith.
    The graphs on this site never work well on mobile. They end up squashed and numbers and axis labels disappear as the graph tries to make itself fit into the screen. My phone screen resoltuion is FHD portrait but this doesn’t prevent this issue. Something for your coding team to look into. Perhaps a wider format or you intersperse the advertisments vertically throughought the page like other websites.


  35. Why don’t the engineers do some actual work and get creative, remember that word? The rules don’t say all cars must be a certain weight only that they can’t be under that weight. We have been told that all teams engineer their cars to be underweight so they can use ballast to improve the balance of the car are each race track so come up with some new ideas already! Surely this is a sign of poor organization and poor performance by the aero dominated design staffs in F1 today.
    The regs are way to prescriptive, F1 is a spec series done in the most expensive way possible.

Comments are closed.