F1 cars have become progressively heavier over recent rule cycles, with the 2022 regulations resulting in an increase of 46kg, largely due to further safety improvements such as reinforced impact structures.
The new generation of cars has a minimum weight set at 798 kg without fuel. Add a full 110kg fuel load and that means the cars weigh over 900kg when they line up for the start of a grand prix.
We are far from the pre-hybrid era, where cars weighed between 595 kg in 2008 and 642 kg in 2013 without fuel.
This booming weight has become increasingly unpopular among drivers, who lament the sluggish behavior of new cars that belies their monstrous performance.
Asked by Autosport about the impact of the new regulations, Verstappen said the cars were now “extremely heavy”, but added he didn’t think there was a quick fix as most of the weight gain was the result of additional security measures.
“I think following has been a bit better, so that’s positive,” Verstappen said. “But of course the weight of the cars, they’re extremely heavy, which I don’t think is great, which I don’t really see a quick fix for.
“But overall, what followed and all that was a bit better. It’s hard to expect it to be better, but for me, at least, you have a better chance of racing.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
“But then again, on some tracks it’s still very difficult to follow, but that’s also in combination with the overheating of the tires and all that, so there are a few things to look at.
Verstappen’s thoughts were echoed by some of his colleagues, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll hoping a weight reduction could make the cars more nimble in future regulation cycles.
“I think the weight of the cars has become too heavy and I would like to see that improve in the years to come,” said the Canadian.
“There are certainly a lot of things that we can change and do better, but on the face of it, it’s something that I think would be good to improve, to make the cars a bit more fun and nimble to drive. .”
Mercedes’ George Russell agreed with Verstappen and Stroll, but admitted the safety features behind the extra weight would make a significant reduction difficult.
“As Lance and Max said, lighter cars would be great, but you can’t have everything in the world,” Russell added when asked what aspects of the new cars could still be improved.
“The reason we are heavier is because of safety, so yeah, I don’t know. I really can’t choose one, because there are too many compromises.”