Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes are all significantly over the 798kg weight limit, while Alfa Romeo’s approach changed ahead of the new season to ensure they kept weight to a minimum.
Brand-new technical regulations were introduced ahead of this year as a ground effect aerodynamic philosophy came into effect in the hopes of promoting closer racing.
The tyres were also enlarged, and the changes have collectively made the cars significantly heavier than they were last year.
Such were the difficulties of keeping the weight down that the FIA had to increase the limit to 798kg from the initial 795kg after Alfa Romeo were reported to be the only team to have made weight.
This would appear to still be the case, and Jan Monchaux, technical director at the Swiss team, divulges that they have differed in their approach from previous years in that they have prioritised weight management alongside reliability.
“Until now, we’ve always had the tendency to be reliable, but to start the season with too much weight. I don’t want that anymore,” he said.
Dr Helmut Marko, a senior Red Bull advisor, has recently confirmed that his team will be bringing an upgrade to Imola in a bid to reduce their car’s weight, but he emphasised that getting the weight down to the limit, particularly with the increased stringency of the new budget cap, is not a short process.
“We can’t lose weight overnight, but only step by step. It will take longer for us to reach the limit,” he explained.
Auto Motor und Sport estimate that Ferrari’s car weighs around 208kg, 5kg lighter than that of Mercedes and Red Bull, who are the “most overweight”, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
Measures to try and shed weight have been extreme. A full paint job on an F1 car can account for around six kilograms, according to Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder.
Aston Martin saved 350 grams when they removed some paint from their car, and Mercedes and McLaren have also been busy during the early part of the season scraping sections of paint from their cars to cut down on weight.
The Woking side’s 2022 challenger, along with Williams, reportedly weigh just over 200kg, and the Grove outfit have reportedly parted ways with some of the blue around the cockpit in a bid to relieve their car of some weight.
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has insinuated that Alfa Romeo are the only team not struggling to keep their weight down.
“Weight is an issue for everyone, except for one,” he said, pointing to Alfa Romeo.