FIA increases minimum weight of new F1 cars for 2022 again

2022 F1 season

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The minimum weight limit for cars built to new technical regulations for the 2022 Formula 1 season has increased again.

The latest technical regulations issued by the FIA have added another three kilograms to the legal minimum. It now stands at 795kg excluding fuel.

The minimum weight limit for cars built to F1’s incoming new rules has been repeatedly increased. The new rules were originally slated for introduction this year with the minimum weight limit set at 775kg. A further 20kg has been added since then.

Next year’s cars will be 43kg heavier than their predecessors. This will be F1’s largest year-on-year weight rise since the V6 hybrid turbo power units were introduced in 2014, when weights rose by 48kg. A separate minimum weight of 150kg is defined for power units, including at least 7kg for the MGU-K and 4kg for the MGU-H.

The new cars for 2022 are being built to extensively changed technical regulations. They include a change from 13-inch to 18-inch wheels which has added to the weight at each corner of the car.

Formula 1’s motorsport director Ross Brawn previously indicated they may reduce the external dimensions of cars in the next major rules change, due in 2026, but not necessarily a reduction in the minimum weight limit.

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F1’s minimum weight limit, 1961 – 2022

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

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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55 comments on “FIA increases minimum weight of new F1 cars for 2022 again”

  1. How much slower?

    1. Approximately 25 milliseconds per kg

    2. According to some simulations I made a while ago, 1% increase in weight is about 0.2% increase in laptime in Monza (the figure depends on the circuit and engine power). For 2022 the minimum weight increase is 5.7% (with no fuel), so 79 seconds of laptime should go up to about 79.90 (again, with no fuel – ie: Qualy).
      Just for comparison, for the same sim, a 1% decrease in power has an impact of about +0.06% in laptime in Monza, so weight increase more than triples laptime increase caused by power loss, by the same (small) relative amount.

      1. That doesn’t take into account the cars new aerodynamics or 18inch tyres so is pointless.

  2. I find the minimum weight for individual components a lot more troublesome than the overall minimum weight. I really prefer ‘overall’ regulations over component regulations in general. The restrictive nature is stifling the innovation that makes the technical aspect of Formula One so interesting. Ideally Formula One cars should need to pass safety and structural integrity tests, adhere to maximum dimensions, possibly a ban on electronic driver aids, and that’s it for me.

    1. The problem with not mandating sensible minimum weights is it leads to spending a huge amount of money chasing negligible weight savings.

      1. @optimaximal it certainly used to, but there’s a cost cap now, yeah?

        1. @justrhysism The cost cap doesn’t apply to engines.

  3. And this increases fuel efficiency and decreases carbon footprint?

    1. @jimfromus
      That math is too complicated for us mere mortals. Please dont hurt yourself.

    2. No as the cars have a maximum amount of fuel the can use during a race, it’s been like that for many years now.

  4. Surely this is just counter-productive? Heavier cars will generate more force when crashing, so will need to be reinforced more, adding more weight, no?

    I’m struggling to figure out where all this weight is even going – the wheels will be heavier, obviously, but the simpler aero shouldn’t be an issue? Is it all extra batteries and hybrid tech??

    1. There is no change to batteries or hybrid tech in 2022, this is an unnecessary change initiated by back marker who claim that the cost cap is making it difficult to use more exotic/expensive/lighter materials.

      1. You say backmarker but RF article in September reporting the minimum weight increase request says it’s an agreement by all teams.

  5. Even F1 cars put on a bit of weight over Christmas

    1. Nice! :O)

  6. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    21st December 2021, 13:54

    In 2021 the FIA used to call it weight but in 2022 it is now mass.

    In ordinary conversation they might be interchangeable in scientific terms they are different.

    1. Scientifically, it has always been a mass limit: It’s specified in kg, which is a unit of mass. They have just used the everyday English term “weight” in place of mass in the past. Maybe they just decided they should get the terminology correct if they are producing technical specifications.

      1. Coventry Climax
        21st December 2021, 15:33

        Then maybe they should start using international units too, instead of PSI, Mile, etc.

  7. (I’ll say it again) With the budget cap and separate driver minimum weight there is no need whatsoever to have a minimum car weight.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      21st December 2021, 14:58

      Yeah I agree – set the “driver + seat” minimum weight at something that is easily achievable for drivers of all sizes and then let the teams try and shed weight on the rest of the car however they can. If one team wants to invest heavily in weight reduction whilst another team wants to focus mainly on aero, you’ll have interesting variances between the teams. Instead of one team winning every race, they’ll struggle on some tracks but will dominate on others.

      1. Coventry Climax
        21st December 2021, 15:36

        And that is one of the reasons F1 is getting more and more boring every year.

        1. If you thought last season was boring, you might consider finding another sport to watch.

          1. Coventry Climax
            21st December 2021, 23:36

            As far as competition between drivers you mean? Maybe. But F1 is using cars that aren’t fit for racing actually, which is proven by the use of DRS and the rule changes to make the cars less sensitive to loss of downforce when behind one another. Not that it will do much good as DRS is there to stay. There’s actually a lot of spec classes that provide much better racing. Plus the FIA etc. manages to make F1 more and more about politics and ‘the show’, which is not my cup of tea.
            Then, as far as competition between constructors, the FIA is deliberately heading towards less and less room for clever inventions. And when – FIA forbid- they do come up with something, it’s promptly forbidden.
            So that going towards a spec class with cars that can’t race. And…. those minimum weights?! That’s become utterly ridiculous. I’ve owned and raced road legal sportscars that weigh less. (Around 570 and 740 kg, to be more precise.)
            It’s no longer what F1 should be about, certainly not what it used to be and less and less what attracted me in the first place, nearly 50 years ago.

            Oh, and what I consider to watch or not is entirely up to me, and no one else, thank you.
            If all of us who do not agree with your opinion would heed your advice, you’d have nothing and noone left to talk to, talk about or discuss anymore.

      2. Except when all teams have that opinion it kinda moots your point. Especially since all teams are still financially responsible for their own damages even when it’s not their fault and those materials will not be easy to replace. Pre-budget cap they probably wouldn’t care as much on this, at least you wouldn’t have the consensus they have now to actually *ask* for a minimum weight increase which caused this latest one.

        The teams all asking for it also signals that even the light material focused teams think it’s a challenge and not just the technically weaker backbenchers.

        1. Money saving. Richer teams might start using ballast planks next year like 20 years ago.

      3. Such a rule would need to be very carefully worded as a bright designer would insist on a driver, of microbe proportions, sitting on a very dense slab of material that lowered the centre of gravity significantly over that of a tall driver. You would still have drivers such as Mark Webber, Nico Hulkenberg, etc having to diet dangerously to skeletal form to meet the driver + seat combinations to be competitive where microbes like Vettel or Alonso could strategically place 20-40kg of weight on the chassis floor to get better handling.

        1. Coventry Climax
          22nd December 2021, 15:45

          Then add to the rule that there’s a virtual cage of minimal proportions that should alway fit, and, driver included, determine where it’s CoG should be?
          Phew, that was hard thinking.

          What is it with you guys that it’s always easier for you to come up with problems than with solutions?

    2. Except the teama all asked for it.

  8. What’s behind the increase in weight?

    1. It’s a mix of things, but it’s mainly due to the hybrid power units and certain safety improvements. Harmonising driver weight is another issue as is the use of heavier materials under the cost cap.

  9. Why is making up minds unnecessarily hard? Could someone enlighten me?
    Originally 768 kg (pre-2019 US GP when the upcoming car concept was scheduled for this year’s campaign).
    That should’ve already been enough, but no, first to 775, followed by 790 when even that wasn’t enough for some, & 792 before this (hopefully) final one, so four separate alterations from the original figure.
    I don’t know how to feel anymore about this ridiculous indecisiveness.

      1. @yaru Yes. 790 was already 15 up from the previous one, so that should’ve been enough for all teams.
        790 versus 792, or 792 v 795, shouldn’t make a difference as they’re close to each other, weird stuff.

  10. Since 2009 they’ve added 5.7-6.65s of laptime in weight increase. Truly the pinnacle of motorsport.

    1. Yet WRs were broken a lot in 2019 to the point where they had to mandate downforce reduction for safety reasons.

      1. @yaru That was last year.

  11. Coventry Climax
    21st December 2021, 15:41

    A quick search on the internet gave me the top 10 best brands in this weight class as being:
    Leopard, Abrams, Armata, Challenger, Black Panther, Merkava, TK-X, Leclerc (!), T-90MS, VT4

    1. Now there is a race I would watch..

      ..on tv, from my home, far away from the action…

  12. Man, an Indy car weighs 714 kg without the driver……..

    1. But it has less power and about 5% of F1 budget and stricter and simpler aerodynamics., Yet it arguably produces better racing. Weight is not an issue. Even if F1 cars weigh 900kg, they are still likely to be the fastest race car, as it can afford more expensive aero setups and development, better brakes, Rich manufacturer developed power units. Weight of the cars is a non issue to me, more important is to get closer racing and passing without aids like drs. Heavy saloon cars can provide better racing than light weight open wheeler cars

  13. As long as the cars are deemed safe I dot understand why the keep increasing the minimum weight

    After all, it’s not a maximum weight.. cars are allowed to be heavier if teams can’t hit the minimum target

    All this does is reduces yet another avenue of performance gain

      1. @yaru @the-edge
        I’d say his question is a legitimate one. I don’t feel it is explained there at all. The article features a td complaining they can’t seem to reach the minimum weight. Well, then be above it. Which is absolutely fine. With the budget cap a team must consider where to spend the money. If one team can make a lighter car than the others at the expense of lacking development somewhere else on the car, that’s fine by me.

        Dear teachers, it’s too hard to score A+ on every test. Could you please lower the benchmark for everyone?
        No, get a B, it’s fine. If someone want’s to study for an A+ on this subject and therefore doesn’t have enough time to study for the other subject and get a C there, that’s also fine.

  14. mercedes havent spend their development token on this years car,next year they will be the top dogs.

  15. Minimum weight rules, except driver, now that there is a budget cap is illogical and against the essence of the sport.

  16. I loved watching the late 90s/early 2000s 800kg CART champcara with 900hp. F1 will be a bit like that next year but with 25years ahead technology. Should be fun, hopefully lots of overtaking like in those Indycar years

  17. Why don’t they listen to the drivers and fans? We need lighter and smaller cars die overtaking. How hard van it be, FIA?

    1. Edit:
      Die = for overtaking.

      This site needs an edit button!

      1. “We need lighter and smaller cars for overtaking overtaking”??

        1. You’re wrong. Lighter cars mean shorter braking distances, which dicreases the room for overtaking.
          Also, lighter cars mean faster cornering, therefore less braking – again, less room for overtaking.

          People driven by nostalgia conflate and project their dislike for some characteristics of current F1 cars onto other unrelated characteristics (i.e. “F1 cars used to be light and sound great, today they are heavy and sound badly, therefore I hate them being heavy”.), and so hate on the heavier cars, but those are actually better for the sport.

          1. Fair enough. But I’ll think lighter and smaller cars with ground effect and way less aerodynamics are better for overtaking than big heavy cars. Because the tires wouldn’t overheat so fast. And lap times would still be great. Maybe i’m just a purist on performance. It’s the pinnacle of motorsport.

          2. @Slimmie205 @amian
            If it is overtaking that you want: they could make them narrow, that would give more racing lines. Extremely narrow. And remove 2 wheels. Remove braking capacity so the braking zone is 6 times longer. The result is lots of overtaking but I feel we end up with a series that already exists ;-)

        2. Want to increase overtaking and save money? Mandate ferrous metal brakes…….

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