Some cars are ‘double digits’ overweight – report

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton from behind in the Mercedes W13. Barcelona February 2022

Lewis Hamilton from behind in the Mercedes W13 with tyre smoke in testing. Barcelona February 2022

A report from Germany claims several Formula 1 cars need to shave off at least 10 kilograms to get closer to the new minimum weight.

Auto Motor und Sport quote an unnamed team boss as saying: “I asked around. Some of the cars are two digits above the minimum weight.”

The new regulations have seen the requirement for a Formula 1 car to now be above 795 kilograms, a 43kg increase on their previous iterations.

A significant portion of that weight comes from the addition of larger 18-inch wheels and tyres from Pirelli this season, alongside structural changes in the chassis of the cars that will improve their safety credentials and pass the new, stricter crash tests introduced by the FIA.

But teams have often found themselves needing to add weight to their cars to get over the minimum threshold in the past as any extra gram has a negative effect on lap time, meaning they look to cut any unnecessary weight.

Carlos Sainz behind Max Verstappen. Formula 1 Spain, February 2022.
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, behind Max Verstappen, Red Bull, in Barcelona. Spain, February 2022.

But the AMuS report claims the opposite problem is now the case in several garages, and developing the cars further to cut down any weight will take valuable funds out of their respective budget caps – which leaves a balancing act for the teams as they look to optimise their packages.

Lando Norris said after the first day of pre-season running the cars now feel slightly more “sluggish” while running, especially in slower corners, with the McLaren driver comparing the new machinery to being like driving on high fuel while on a qualifying lap.

Ferrari’s head of chassis project engineering, Fabio Montecchi, also spoke of the balancing act the Scuderia faced while designing their car, claiming the additional weight on the cars caused “conflict” when trying to add aerodynamic performance to the F1-75.

“These objectives often conflicted with each other, so it was necessary to find the best compromise to optimise overall performance,” he said.

“Often the goals of car weight and aerodynamic performance have come into conflict. In those moments it’s important not to lose sight of how well the car performs.”


The final day of pre-season running in Barcelona takes place on Friday, with teams having time to make changes to their cars in time for the official pre-season test in Bahrain from March 10-12.

The following weekend, the highly-anticipated 2022 season will get under way with the grand prix itself on Sunday March 20.