Lando Norris, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

FIA confirms further increase in F1’s minimum car weight to 798kg

2022 F1 season

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The FIA has formally adopted a further increase to the minimum weight F1 cars must adhere to for the 2022 season ahead of the opening race weekend.

In the newest version of the 2022 Formula 1 Technical Regulations – issue 10 – published today, the minimum weight without fuel that cars must maintain at all times during race weekends has been increased by three kilograms to 798kg. This change was expected following discussions between the FIA and teams, but had to be officially approved by the World Motor Sport Council before it could be confirmed as a regulation.

The move sees the minimum weight of F1 cars increase by a total of 46kgs between the end of the 2021 F1 season and the start of the 2022 championship.

With the latest revision, Formula 1 has almost matched its single largest year-on-year weight increase since minimum mass jumped 48kg with the adoption of hybrid V6 turbo power units for the 2014 season. The new heavily revised cars for the 2022 season are now comfortably the heaviest in the history of the sport.

Several drivers have spoken about the weight of the new generation of cars having had a noticeable impact on handling. Sebastian Vettel – who will miss the season opening race this weekend after testing positive for Covid – described the cars as feeling “lazy” due to their increased mass.

“I think the cars are different to drive mostly because they’re so heavy,” said Vettel. “So you feel the mass and they feel a bit lazy. And speaking to others, everybody’s having the same sensation.”

Further changes in the latest issue of the technical regulations include the addition of a provision for a single stay to be added either side of cars on the floor of the bodywork, which was agreed during testing. With the return of sprint races confirmed for the 2022 season in the Sporting Regulations, restrictions preventing teams from adding ballast or other substances to the cars during sprint races has been adopted back into the technical regulations.

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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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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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44 comments on “FIA confirms further increase in F1’s minimum car weight to 798kg”

  1. This isn’t fa

    1. Whoops

      I mean to say that this isn’t fair to Alfa Romeo

      1. Haha. Since when did FIA cared about fairness?

      2. @ruliemaulana Or Mclaren. 795 should’ve stayed as effectively ‘tough luck’ message since AR & Mclaren are blameless for the other eight teams’ struggles.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          17th March 2022, 18:09

          Yeah but Mercedes and Ferrari would have answered for them anyway. Unless you make your own engine, you don’t have a voice in F1 anymore.

          1. Teams who had hit the target now get to run balast down low, so still an advantage to the teams that are the lightest.

        2. @jerejj on the other hand, it has been explained previously that the 3kg increase is because the standardised parts that the FIA are supplying to the teams are overweight by that same amount – you might say those two teams are blameless, but by that same logic, every team is also blameless for the fact that the FIA has also failed to provide the parts they promised they would.

          The increase in the weight allowance should really be seen as a case of the FIA adjusting the rules to compensate for their own mistakes, having committed to provide components to the teams that have turned out to be heavier than they first told the teams that they would be.

      3. Oh I wouldn’t say that. When you have issues with the floor that needs strengthening like AR did in testing, you may find that extra bit of weight allowance handy.

      4. Ferrari told them: this or worse software support for your engines…

        1. I don’t believe Ferrari teams are the most affected by weight.

    2. Is there any explainatiion for the increase? Were teams complaining they couldn’t make the weight?

      1. @Ajaxn Yes, eight teams.

  2. So how exactly is this gonna improve on-track battles?

    1. @apophisjj No difference because racing quality & overtaking are about aero & tyres rather than weight.

    2. @apophisjj I’m sure it won’t but the extra 3kg of allowance was being asked for given that by the current regs the teams were struggling to get their cars down to the minimum of 795. Now that the minimum is 798 the teams can relax a bit. I’m sure some can’t get their cars down to the 798 either, but at least that is an easier target to hit than 795.

      1. johnandtonic
        17th March 2022, 19:24

        This should have been resolved through the budget cap. The teams have the money and choose where to spend it to obtain an advantage. This was the perfect opportunity for the the FIA to make a clear statement about the budget cap and that altering the rules is not an option.

    3. johnandtonic
      17th March 2022, 19:27

      It will not.

      The drivers say the cars are fat and lazy. The Teams/FIA say have a few more Big Macs.

    4. @apophisjj I respect your sentiment about heavy cars, however weight has little negative effect on on-track battles. The Australian Supercars weight a whopping 1400 kilos and have much more on-track battles than say an F3 car (550 kilos). On-track battles are about the ability to race close to each other and exactly that is what they addressed over the winter.

  3. Since we have minimum safety standards and a budget cap, the minimum weight is totally unnecessary.

    What’s next? A speed limit during the race?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      17th March 2022, 18:13

      They should have a seat+driver minimum weight to stop teams forcing the drivers to lose dangerous amounts of weight and then remove all other weight limits.

      If most teams are struggling to hit the initial target, it doesn’t sound like many will weigh much less anyway but it allows those who can lose some weight to benefit from their hard work.

      1. @petebaldwin There is a seat/driver minimum weight…80kg from memory…ballast is added to the seat area to bring the drivers up to weight.

        1. @asanator Yes, a separate driver-specific 80 kg since 2019.

    2. This is a very good point. Though not speed limit, but we have rev limit. There has been since about 2004. But it’s not relevant with current engines. If I remember correctly, the rev limit is 15 or 16 000 today but they rarely go above 12 500.

      1. The fuel flow is capped at 12,500, so there’s no real point in going over 12.5k RPM except for overrun.

  4. Sorry, am I missing something? Were the rules not ratified over a year ago? Minimum weight is a minimum not a maximum. If 80% of the field can’t hit minimum, tough luck don’t change the goal posts. An over weight welterweight in boxing can’t say he will fight another welterweight if the at weight guy puts on weight

  5. I’m an idiot. I don’t understand what this tiny difference is going to make. I can think of a reason regarding budgets: the last kilo’s and grams to save are the most expensive, low budget teams catch a break with a rule like this.
    But there is a budget cap anyway, so that can’t be it.

  6. There is sad joke about the americanization brought on by Liberty is mimicking the waistlines of too many Americans… it’s getting fat!

    1. @x1znet Cars getting fatter had already been ongoing long before the LM takeover.

      1. But not the efforts to grow the American audience… remember all of Bernie’s efforts for a New York (aka New Jersey) Grand Prix?

    2. I was just going to say that F1 needs to go asap to the biggest loser

  7. This is just ridiculous now. F1 used to be nimble quick cars. now they are trains on rails. doesnt matter if they are faster over a whole lap. they look boring in the corners.

    1. Exactly, 20 years ago there weren’t many overtaking moves, but those cars were much more interesting to watch, especially the onboard camera.

  8. JohnnyRye (@)
    18th March 2022, 0:24

    I honestly don’t care about the weight in particular, sure I’d prefer lighter cars, but IF the racing is better then who cares really.

    What I don’t understand is why they had to raise the minimum in the rules. If a team can’t get to the minimum, then that’s on them. But why prescribe it in the rules?

    1. But why prescribe it in the rules?

      If a backmarker can’t make the weight, then that’s just bad luck.
      But when big teams spend their resources elsewhere – a rule change is requested. Big teams get what they want.

  9. An extra 3kg, this must be gauling for the teams who managed to shave everything only to find they can now add a few more kilos.

    I wonder where they’ll apply this. Stronger brakes, secret fuel compartments [aka ferrari], or over weight drivers… If you had an extra 3kg to play with where would you spend it?

    1. in my wife’s brassiere..?


  10. I guess 3kgs just about covers the weight of those new floor stays.

  11. So I think my Toyota Corolla is now lighter than a formula 1 car. and I have air conditioning.

  12. And I know my airplane is lighter than a Formula 1 car; and just as fast (200 mph)

  13. Painful how the FIA eliminates an element of competition.
    It’s as much a skill to make the lightest car possible as it is to make the most powerful engine possible.

  14. Something I forgot yesterday: In hindsight, perhaps this late change means the figure remaining unchanged for next year as the latest technical rule update from 18.2 have 796 kg for next year marked as yellow, possibly meaning another increase was planned, but since the minimum is now already above 796, hopefully, no further increases anymore.

  15. Very sad. hopefully the loss of some of the hated hybrid going in 2025/6 will address this but they are basically open wheeled SUVs. And like most SUVs theres only one person in them

  16. I don’t understand the need to increase minimum weight because teams can’t make it. Its the minimum right? Meaning a weight no car can go lower than. I can see the maximum being raised if cars couldn’t cut weight but raising the minimum because teams can’t reach it just seems pointless and stupid. Can someone enlighten me?

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