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F1 teams take drastic action as Mercedes chief admits cars are too heavy

F1 teams are dealing with very heavy cars and are taking matters into their own hands to try and manage it after Mercedes chief Toto Wolff highlighted it as an issue

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F1 preview: A lap of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

F1 teams are taking evasive action such as not painting their cars because they are too heavy. The 2022 models weigh 795kg, an increase from 752kg in 2021 and on top of that, chiefs have allowed an extra 3kg.

In order to try and manage the extra kilograms, the likes of McLaren are opting not to paint sections of their car. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted his team’s motors are overweight and claimed it is a disadvantage as his side endeavours to extract more pace from their model.

“If I were to make a best guess then probably Red Bull and ourselves, from the top 10 cars, we’re probably the most overweight,” Wolff said. “And then there are some that are on the weight or just above it. That’s quite a lap time advantage or disadvantage.

“But you need to be clever about it. Some have taken the decision to go light, and they are benefiting from that at the moment. I think there is definitely room to improve, and to chip away some of the bits that we have on the car that are too heavy.”

Other team principals also expressed their concerns, as Aston Martin’s chief technical officer Andy Green added: “Weight is a big, big issue. “These cars are heavy by regulation, and to get down to the regulation weight, it’s a challenge.

“We went through the whole car from front to back, and we took paint off wherever we could. I think in total we saved about 350 grams.” Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto agreed that F1 cars should be looking to reduce the weight of the cars rather than increase them, but accepted the 3kg increase is an acceptable compromise.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the F1 cars are too heavy REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“At first, we should not forget that the current cars are a lot heavier compared to the last year,” the Italian said earlier this month. “And I think that increasing the weight is never good for the sport and the speed. So there have been discussions, and we are discussing to increase by 3kg the minimum weight.

“I think that’s a good compromise among all the teams. But I don’t think we should increase further, because finally as Toto said, it’s an area of competition. I think for the future we should try to reduce and not increase the weight of the cars.”

The 52-year-old is still buzzing after his team’s 1-2 at the Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend and will look to build on that result at the Saudi Arabia GP this Sunday.

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