Formula 1 Racing

FIA insists 30kg weight cut for 2026 is realistic despite teams’ doubts · RaceFans

Valtteri Bottas, Sauber, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

The FIA is sticking by its plan to cut the minimum weight limit by 30 kilograms in 2026 despite Formula 1 teams warning they may not be able to reach it.

The sport’s governing body revealed its plans for F1’s next generation of technical rules early this week. They described the concept as a “nimble car” which will be slimmer and shorter than current machines, with narrower wheels.

It has set the minimum weight limit at 768kg. However several teams have expressed doubts this will be achievable. Williams team principal James Vowles predicted it will be “incredibly difficult” to bring car weights down that far while also incorporating the other features demanded by the rules such as the larger batteries required for the new hybrid power units.

However the FIA’s single seater director Nikolas Tombazis says they are “quite determined to reduce the weight of the cars.” He acknowledged the new rules will mean some car parts become heavier but believes the overall reduction in weight is realistic.

“We’ve been working on a range of assumptions based on work that Jan [Monchaux, single seater technical director] has been doing in collaboration with the teams. And we’ve got a range of areas where we know weight will go up and we’ve got a range of areas where we know weight will go down.

“What we have as a target is based on a challenging but what we feel is feasible target. Clearly we are going to be still asking teams for some estimates about the weight savings they can make and so on and we are going through that process.

“But we are pretty determined to reduce the weight in a significant way, which is the first time it is happening, I think, in Formula 1 since probably the eighties or something.”

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The minimum weight limit was just 605kg in 2009 but has risen steadily since then. Part of that rise was due to the introduction of a maximum 80kg allowance for the drivers’ weight in 2019. That will rise slightly in 2026, Tombazis confirmed.

“The feeling was that 80 could penalise a few of the slightly heavier drivers and we are going to be going to 82 kilos.”

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