Vasseur: Teams ‘played a game’ with FIA weight limit

Date published: April 30 2022 - Frank Parker

Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur is interviewed. Sao Paulo November 2021.

Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur has said teams “played games” with the FIA after the new weight limits for the 2022 regulations were increased.

Regulations for the new season have dramatically changed the cars enabling closer racing, but have also added weight to the new machines.

Part of the new weight limit is to accommodate updated safety measures employed by the FIA, as well as a swap to 18-inch wheels for 2022. New standardised parts have also upped the weight of the cars, bringing the new machines up to 795kg.

However, teams voiced their concerns over the new regulations with several struggling to bring their cars below the line. As a result, the teams and the FIA reached an agreement to raise the limit by 3kg to 798kg following pre-season testing.

Vasseur, however, feels hard done by as his outfit have been the only team to stay below the limit since the start of the season. The Alfa Romeo boss has accused his fellow competitors of “playing games” in order to get the weight limit increased, putting his squad at a disadvantage.

Valtteri Bottas' Alfa Romeo being worked on. Imola April 2022

“Honestly, I don’t understand all the comments because I think it’s the target for everybody that when you are designing a racing car the weight is always target number one,” said Vasseur, quoted by Autosport.com.

“Nobody can be surprised with the weight at the last minute. I think some teams played a game with the FIA, expecting the FIA at the last minute would increase the minimum weight [even more].

“But this would have been completely unfair because during the project we took some decisions in terms of complexity also linked to the weight, and we made our choice. And you know the F1 world is like this, that everybody’s trying to play a game.”

It has been a struggle up and down the grid and extreme measures have been employed, with some outfits even exposing bare carbon by scraping paint from their cars to get themselves in line with weight limits.

Vasseur has pointed blame squarely towards the teams’ own designs rather than the regulation weight limits being unachievable.

 

“It was crystal clear the target of weight was completely achievable, that we are able to not be overweight,” said the Alfa Romeo boss.

“If some other teams are not at the weight limit it’s because they took some other options, perhaps with some other advantages but with the constraint of the weight.”