It was always a mystery how heavy the F1 mechanics lifted and pushed the car. Since I wrote about the weight of racing go-karts, some of you wanted me to discuss an F1 car’s weight.
F1 cars must be at least 798kg (1.759 lbs) by 2022. The original weight requirement for F1 cars was 795kg (1.752 lbs), but the FIA increased that by 3kg because many teams were operating their cars over-weight.
What does 798kg consist of? Is that the fuel required for an entire race or a qualifying session? What is the weight of the drivers? Let’s find the answer! Be aware that the numbers listed below are estimates, and no one else knows the exact numbers.
F1 Cars are lighter than regular cars.
The minimum weight requirement for a race-ready F1 car (including the driver and dry tires) is 798kg. As I mentioned above, the initial weight requirement for 2022 is 795kg. The 3kg increase was due to Alfa Romeo and F1 teams running cars with heavier weights.
As you may have noticed, I should have mentioned the fuel’s weight. A fuel tank can hold 110kg. If the car has a full fuel tank, then the importance of the vehicle is 908kg (2.001 lbs).
However, cars can rarely run on full fuel tanks as the driver can manage fuel consumption during races. However, running on more fuel on high-speed tracks such as Bahrain or Monza is better because the car consumes it on long straights.
The cars are also allowed to run on just 1-2 laps of fuel during qualifying so that they can be as light as possible. A random car may be called to the weighbridge. A penalty will be applied to any vehicle that weighs less than the minimum.
F1 cars must be as light as possible to be as fast as possible, unlike go-karts. A difference of just 10kg can make a Formula 1 car go more quickly by a few tenths. It is crucial during a qualifying lap.
However, there is no maximum weight limit. Despite teams trying to make their cars as light as possible, they can still make them weigh 10 tonnes, and the FIA would still consider it legal to race.
Before the 2022 regulation, however, teams used to drive underweight cars, adding ballast throughout the vehicle. Similar to Karting, drivers can add lead ballast to meet the weight requirement and ensure that their kart is evenly weighted.
The engine is the most significant part of the 798kg weight limit. The F1 engine must be at least 150kg to qualify as the essential part of an F1 car. The steering wheel, which is approximately 1.3kg in weight, is the lightest F1 component. As you can see, there are some requirements for other car parts.
|Engine||Minimum 150kg (331lbs)|
|Steering Wheel||~1.3kg (3lbs)|
|Front Wing||~10kg (22lbs)|
|Fuel Tank||Maximum 110kg (242.5lbs)|
|Chassis||No Set Weight|
Nevertheless, the driver’s weight is just as important as the car’s.
What Do F1 Drivers Weight?
Most F1 drivers are between 60 and 70kg (132 to 154 lbs). It is worth noting, however, that F1 drivers must be at least 80kg (132-154lbs) to carry all the equipment required (racing suit and helmet, gloves, etc.). Their seat is 80kg.
Many drivers like Daniel Ricciardo praised the rule change as it allowed taller drivers more food. Teams with lighter drivers would have a better chance of winning since their cars would be weaker overall.
The driver’s equipment and the car seat weigh approximately 5kg. To meet this requirement, drivers must be 75kg. The team will add ballast to the driver’s weight to achieve the required weight, which gives them an advantage in weight distribution.
Here’s a table listing the weights of F1 drivers.
|Alex Albon||74kg (163lbs)|
|Lewis Hamilton||73kg (161lbs)|
|Nicholas Latifi||73kg (161lbs)|
|Max Verstappen||72kg (159lbs)|
|George Russell||70kg (154lbs)|
|Pierre Gasly||70kg (154lbs)|
|Lance Stroll||70kg (154lbs)|
|Charles Leclerc||69kg (152lbs)|
|Valtteri Bottas||69kg (152lbs)|
|Kevin Magnussen||68kg (150lbs)|
|Lando Norris||68kg (150lbs)|
|Fernando Alonso||68kg (150lbs)|
|Mick Schumacher||67kg (148lbs)|
|Esteban Ocon||66kg (145.5lbs)|
|Daniel Ricciardo||66kg (145.5lbs)|
|Carlos Sainz||64kg (141lbs)|
|Guanyu Zhou||63kg (139lbs)|
|Sergio Perez||63kg (139lbs)|
|Sebastian Vettel||62kg (137lbs)|
|Yuki Tsunoda||54kg (119lbs)|
F1 Drivers Are Weighed after a Race
Every driver must park their car in the pits immediately after the checkered flag has been waved. It can be done when the race has been completed for various reasons. The main reasons are technical and medical.
On average, a driver will lose between 2-4kg and 3-4 kg during a race. Drivers are weighed after each race to find out how much weight they lost. It is because drivers might lose more weight while racing on hot tracks like Singapore due to sweating too much.
It is essential to know how much weight a driver has lost. A driver who loses more weight during a race will have to stop training as hard the following week to avoid injury.
Technically, weighing the driver after a race is easier and more efficient than considering it afterward. The car will weigh the same at the race end unless the team modifies any parts of it after qualifying.
It’s also a good idea to weigh both the drivers and the cars after the race. It is because drivers must celebrate or give interviews.
Who is the F1 driver with the most weight?
Alexander Albon is the most overweight F1 driver on 2022’s grid. He weighs in at 74kg. Lewis Hamilton closely follows him, the heaviest F1 driver compared to his height.
Who is the lightest F1 driver?
As is expected, the lightest F1 driver is also the shortest. Yuki Tsunoda is 54kg. Sebastian Vettel is my favorite driver, closely followed by Sergio Perez.
F1 Car Weight over the Years
Many people have claimed that the 2022 cars in F1 are the heaviest. As you can see, this is partly true. However, the vehicles of this year are some of the most serious ever.
Here’s a table showing the changes in car weight over time.
Most cars in the 1950s were heavy, but we have seen a steady decrease in weight since the 1960s.
F1 started to have more regulations over the years, which meant that cars became more similar in weight. Between 1994 and 1995, modern F1 had the most significant weight difference.
The FIA devoted a lot of effort to improving safety in F1 cars after Senna’s tragic accident at Imola in 1994. It resulted in a nearly 100kg weight increase. The F1 cars would remain the same weight for 15 years, as no significant modifications existed.
However, F1 cars experienced a steady increase in weight in the 2010s and 2020s. It can be attributed to safety innovations like the halo and advanced chassis.
What is the Most Heavy F1 Car Ever?
The Talbot Lago T26C Grand Prix is the heaviest F1 vehicle ever. It was used for the 1951 World Championships. It weighed in at a staggering 950kg (2.094lbs), which means it weighed more than a ton with its driver.
What is the Lightest F1 Car Ever?
Lotus 12 Climax was the lightest F1 car and only ran in the 1958 World Championship. It weighed only 320kg (705lbs) and was fourth in the 1958 Belgian Grand Prix.
In their 72-year history, F1 cars have seen many weight changes. The latest F1 vehicle, despite being the most weighty in recent years, is still the safest. The fact that the F1 cars 2022 are heavier is not something anyone should mind. They are designed to prevent fatal crashes.