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F1: FIA call off car weight reduction for 2023 season

Mercedes F1 car.
  • The FIA’s technical advisory group is said to have abandoned plans to reduce the weight limit of Formula One cars
  • Formula 1 will instead stick with the 798kg limit from the 2022 season
  • Many teams struggled to meet the minimum weight limit for 2022

The FIA’s technical advisory group is said to have abandoned plans to reduce the weight limit of Formula One cars, instead sticking with the 798kg limit of 2022.

The weight of the Formula 1 car has risen dramatically in a relatively short period, with 2013’s cars limited to 642kg, 156kg less than the cap for 2022, but there were plans to reduce the maximum weight both the car and the driver can weigh.

The regulations from 2022

Leclerc in his Ferrari car.|PHOTO: F1|

Following the shift in regulations for 2022, the cars went up from 749kg to 798kg, which was commented on by the drivers, with World Champion Max Verstappen saying the cars were “hefty now”.

However, as the Dutchman also stated, he did not “see a quick solution for that,” and it appears that the FIA has reached the same conclusion, as plans to lower the limit have been scrapped.

The FIA had hoped to reduce the limit by 2kg, as revealed in the technical regulations published in June 2022. Still, Auto Motor and Sport reports that the technical advisory group has decided to maintain the current limit.

Despite introducing carbon fibre as a significant component, modern F1 cars are significantly heavier than their predecessors.

The Ferrari 375 F1, used in the sport’s first season in 1950, weighed only 560kg, making it 238kg lighter than the RB18.

However, as the sport has evolved, technological advancements have caused the weight to rise. Following the introduction of turbo hybrid engines in 2014, the limit increased from 642kg to 691kg. The prohibition of expensive but lightweight materials, improved safety measures, and larger tyres meant that the limit eventually reached what it is today.

In 2019, the FIA introduced a minimum driver weight of 80kg, which was welcome news for the paddock’s taller members, such as 1.85m George Russell. The seat weight would make up the difference for those unable to reach the limit independently.

Teams struggling with car weight

Lando Norris

Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the McLaren.|PHOTO: F1|

Many teams struggled to meet the minimum weight limit for 2022, with Aston Martin being the worst offender. The AMR22 weighed 815kg at the start of the season, increasing by 3kg by the Australian Grand Prix.

Red Bull also had weight issues, with the RB18 weighing 810kg before losing 8kg before the race in Imola.

It’s unclear why the original slight weight reduction was scrapped, but Pirelli’s new tyres are said to be a little heavier.

The new 2022 ‘ground effect’ cars were slightly slower than the previous 2021 generation, but FIA technical boss Pat Symonds believes F1 will pick up speed this year.

“With normal development, we can break the old records this year,” he said.

“However, these cars will always be faster in quick and slower in slow turns.”

Another factor is that, to prevent ‘porpoising,’ the floors will have to be 15mm higher in 2023, which is expected to slow down the cars.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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