Red Bull and Verstappen could pull away from Ferrari by shedding weight

Red Bull and Mercedes are reportedly 10kg over the 798kg weight limit introduced this season due to the new technical regulations.

Reports suggest that Red Bull will save 0.25 seconds per lap as a result of the weight-saving measures that they will introduce ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Red Bull have appeared to have the edge over Ferrari on the straights in the early going of the 2022 season, but the Scuderia have shown superior pace in the corners.

They used this to their advantage in Bahrain as Charles Leclerc beat Max Verstappen to the race win in the opening round of the year, with the Dutchman suffering a late reliability-induced DNF.

However, the Milton Keynes squad answered back with victory through Verstappen a week later in Saudi Arabia after another exciting battle with Leclerc.

READ: Mercedes were ‘quite happy’ prior to Hamilton getting knocked out of Q1 in Jeddah

It is reported that Ferrari were around 15-10kph slower than the Honda-powered Red Bull in Jeddah, partly owing to the high-downforce set-up they ran to maximise their pace in the first sector.

It appears that Red Bull and Ferrari are neck-and-neck in terms of pace at present, so any small advantage may prove pivotal come the end of the season.

One of the areas that this championship could be won and lost is in the weight department.

Due to the naturally heavier cars under the new technical regulations, the weight limit of this year’s machines was increased to 795kg.

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However, Alfa Romeo were reportedly the only team to meet that weight limit, while everyone else was over.

It has been reported that Ferrari are 5kg lighter than both Mercedes and Red Bull, who are sitting at around 213kg, still over the weight cap despite the FIA bumping it up to 798kg.

Toto Wolff and Dr Helmut Marko have both affirmed that Mercedes and Red Bull have been struggling the most to keep their weight down, but the latter also disclosed that there will be upgrades introduced in Imola that should help with this.

“Our car is definitely more difficult to tune, but we will lose some weight in Imola,” the Austrian told Servus TV.

READ: Leclerc looking to ‘unlock more performance’ from Ferrari F1-75

“That should give us a significant time advantage, time gain in other words.”

In total, estimate that Red Bull will shed eight kilograms as a result of their solution to the weight issue, saving them a quarter of a second of lap time.

That kind of a weight gain would have put Verstappen on pole in Bahrain in the opening round of the season.

Ferrari are said to have more power at their disposal should they require it, while Mercedes are reportedly expecting a new floor ahead of F1’s first visit to Italy this year as this fascinating season under the new technical regulations continues to unfold.