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F1 2022

How the increasing weight of F1 cars is giving teams a headache

F1 cars will become even heavier in 2022, leading to a whole host of considerations for teams and drivers. RacingNews365.com spoke with Alfa Romeo Technical Director Jan Monchaux for some insight into the situation.

F1 2022 car
Interview
To news overview © F1

F1 car weight has become a "big, big factor" for teams and drivers to consider ahead of the 2022 season, according to Alfa Romeo Technical Director Jan Monchaux, as the sport prepares to enter a new era.

Amid overhauled technical regulations, the minimum weight of an F1 car will rise to 795kg, an increase of almost 50kg compared to the 2021 season (752kg). Just over a decade ago, in 2008, cars weighed in at 595kg – some 200kg lighter.

There are several factors behind the increase, such as the much heavier turbo-hybrid power units that debuted in 2014, and various safety advances in recent years, which include the Halo cockpit protection device.

F1 cars continue to gain weight in 2022

In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com, Monchaux described the move to the 2022-spec cars as "extremely challenging", with even more safety-based changes, bigger wheels and a whole host of other adjustments on the way,

"We have increased safety, which comes along with quite a severe weight addition on the car, but with all the additions on the regs and the bigger tyres, bigger rims, bigger brake discs, the weight is clearly a big, big topic for all the teams," he explained.

"It is going to be extremely challenging; it is certainly a big, big factor for us."

How will the rule changes affect the drivers?

Monchaux added that the latest rules overhaul, and the weight-gaining factor, will likely make things more challenging for the drivers out on track.

"I suppose a touch more difficult," he said, when asked if the next generation of cars will be harder or easier to drive.

"It's going to be heavier, which is not necessarily great, and I suppose, even if all the teams are very creative, we will struggle to recover the authority we used to have on some specific aero characteristics, as was the case [before].

"There are also some serious changes in terms of damping; [there's] no hydraulic suspension anymore. All the topics related to ride will worsen. The tyres and rims are getting much heavier; unsprung weight will also make the ride more complicated.

"I would assume that they might be trickier to drive, especially under very windy conditions, or some extreme conditions."

F1 car weight over the years

Year Weight
1995-2008 595 kg
2009 605 kg
2010 620 kg
2011-2012 640 kg
2013 642 kg
2014 690 kg
2015-2016 702 kg
2017 728 kg
2018 734 kg
2019 743 kg
2020 746 kg
2021 752 kg
2022 795 kg

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