The minimum weight increases by three kilograms. Nevertheless, the top teams in particular continue to pursue a policy of raising the limit even further. That would be a real slap in the face for Alfa Romeo.
Formula 1 cars have never been so heavy. At the moment there are 795 kilograms in the regulations. 43 kilograms more than last year. Another three kilograms will be added by the start of the season. Nine out of ten teams voted in favor of this increase. Only Alfa Romeo was against it. For good reason. The C42 is the only car in the field that is under the weight limit and can be ballasted.
Everyone else is between five and 20 kilograms above the new limit. Ironically, the cars of the top teams have apparently put on the most bacon. That's why there were early attempts to persuade the FIA to increase the weight.
The world association generally takes the position that you don't want to rush the teams into an expensive arms race to slim down their cars. But that only applies if everyone is above the minimum weight in a similar window.
An outlier down
If there is an outlier down, as in the current case with Alfa Romeo, the case is more complicated. The FIA does not want to penalize teams that have done a better job with the weight. That's why the rulers only allow the teams an extra three kilograms.
Sauber team boss Frédéric Vasseur can live with that: "The reasons for this increase are understandable. Everyone had to reinforce their floors because of the bouncing, and the wheels are also a kilogram heavier than the prototypes."
But the Frenchman would have no understanding for further concessions. "That would be unfair to us." Red Bull in particular advocates raising the minimum weight even more. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said on the subject: "We would have preferred five kilograms to three, but we can live with the compromise."
Vasseur is of the opinion: "We invested our money in a clever solution in the rear to save weight. Others may have put it in their aerodynamics. It would be a shame if we were penalized for our way."
Sauber trick with a short car
The paddock radio reports that with the C42, Sauber has built a shorter car than the rest and saves weight in this way. That would also explain why Hinwil is again building the gearbox housing and rear wheel suspension itself this year. This would not have been possible with the architecture that Ferrari is supplying. Head of technology Jan Monchaux disagrees: "I don't think our car is shorter than the others. We're building the transmission and the rear axle ourselves again because it's cheaper for us than buying them from Ferrari."
Sauber boss Vasseur cannot understand the argument of the big teams that he has triggered an expensive arms race. "The nice thing about the budget cap is that everyone is free to decide how they spend their money. The cost limit prevents exactly this arms race. It's the same for everyone."