Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Heavy F1 cars need “significant” weight cut in 2021 – Lowe

2018 F1 season

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Formula One cars have become too heavy because of recent rules changes according to Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe.

The minimum weight limit for F1 cars has risen by 91kg over the past five years to 733kg for this season. With a full tank of fuel, cars now weigh around 838kg at the start of races.

Lowe wants to see weights fall again to improve the dynamics of the cars. He suggested this should be a focus of the 2021 rules overhaul.

Sergio Perez, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
2018 F1 testing day four in pictures
“I think it’s important to produce cars that are exciting,” said Lowe. “This sport is a sport and also entertainment and that means we need cars that are exciting to the fans but also that race competitively.”

“Sometimes those things are in conflict because if you want a lot of interest, a lot of variety like maybe we had in the past, what you end up with is a lot of difference in performance so you lose the interest in the race. So you have to find that balance of a formula that’s restrictive enough so the spread of the grid from front to back is not too large so you have close racing, at the same time you have variety in the cars in their appearance, the noise they make, in the spectacle that we see around corners.”

“One particular point, if I was to pick one thing, is the weight of the cars has increased dramatically over the last 10 years. Formula One is a sprint formula, these are cars that are supposed to be incredibly quick for one lap qualifying and then race in an hour-and-a-half, 300 kilometre race, it’s relatively short. They’re not endurance cars and yet the weight has been increasing to levels that are getting towards an endurance formula rather than a sprint formula. So I think that’s something that needs to be looked at.”

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“The lap times are very strong at the moment because we have a lot of power and we have a huge amount of downforce, higher than ever in history. But the weight is also incredibly high and I think these things ought to be rebalanced. If you have a chance go up to corner 10, the third sector, and watch the cars through the third sector. I haven’t done it this year but I did it the last few years. For me the cars look heavier than they used to. You can see in the way they behave. I think if I were designing for 2021 I would want to see a significant weight reduction.”

Why F1 cars keep getting heavier
Lowe admitted a reduction in car weight is “difficult to do in isolation”. He said: “You’d have to make some other decisions, some of which could be around economics, some of which could be around the specification of the cars and what’s within that.”

“One of the significant weight increases came with the hybrid engines. Bear in mind that if you look at the history, where we qualify now is about the weight we used to race at the start of a race, back when you had 150 kilos of fuel.”

Lowe added that recent weight limit increases due to the wider cars introduced last year and Halo this year (which was originally planned for 2017) had not made a great enough allowance for how much heavier the cars would become.

“The teams were given 10 kilos of weight in 2017 for the Halo, but [Halo] was not adopted,” he explained. “The reality was that that weight [increase] was consumed by all the teams even without the Halo because the weight prediction for 2017 was very inaccurate. If you remember we had bigger tyres, more bodywork, there were many pressures on weight coming from the 2017 regulations which consumed all that that allowance.”

“So another five kilos was added [for] the Halo for 2018. But this is much less than the weight impact on the car.” Lowe estimated that while a Halo on its own weight seven kilos the same weight again has been added to the chassis to strengthen them in order to pass the FIA crash test.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 63 comments on “Heavy F1 cars need “significant” weight cut in 2021 – Lowe”

    1. I imagine most people will roll their eyes at the mention but, if you want to reduce weight, one of the biggest areas to do this is to reintroduce refueling. Because the car has to start with all of its fuel, it is nearly 200kg (~440lbs) heavier at the start of the race than the minimum weight in 2007. If you add back in 30kg(?) of fuel to the 2007 car for the opening stint, still 170kg (~375lbs).

      Various sources online (one of which is the Royal Academy of Engineering) estimates that each additional kg costs about 0.03 sec/lap. Extrapolating that out, the 2018 cars could theoretically be 2-2.25 sec/lap faster on fuel savings alone (assuming the above 75kg fuel reduction in the opening stint, and giving some leeway for possible diminishing returns). Of course you would also save additional weight on a smaller fuel tank and perhaps save time/weight with less bodywork, or tighter fitting—and you might add weight back to allow for a quick refueling connection point. So maybe we assume that secondary weight adds/losses are a wash.

      I’m not sure where you get the additional weight savings that Lowe discusses, maybe simpler power units? But reintroducing refueling should show immediate and considerable laptime reductions. That might also put less stress on the tires/tyres to allow for riskier strategies, or differing strategies (a bit pie in the sky, admittedly). It just has gotten a little boring for me when the only variable is tire/tyre life.

      In addition, refueling with a much smaller tank would also move away from endurance type racing, if that is a goal that people want.

      1. @hobo I’m rolling my eyes.

        Seriously though, I can’t see them moving away from the current philosophy of restricting fuel use because it’s so fundamental to the current engine philosophy. And I think there’s rightly a lot of scepticism about whether refuelling makes races better.

        1. @keithcollantine – I know it’s not a loved idea, that’s okay. However, refueling does not have to change the fuel restriction. It would simply allow for multiple low(er)-fuel runs rather than one full tank. In a small way that might increase efficiency. If I don’t have to carry fuel around that I don’t need yet for 50 laps, I can be more efficient. Yes, that is in the weeds and is not headline stuff that they can tout. But it’s true.

          I also understand the skepticism about making races better. To that I say, why not switch to a single tyre/tire for the entire race? If fuel strategies are really not that useful, why are tyre/tire strategies? The only reason some races have any pit stops at all (Monaco) are because they are forced to do so by the regs. Personally, I find the current regs less interesting because if the undercut doesn’t work or if you push too hard, you have no chance. Whereas sprint stints on low fuel and softer rubber were actually interesting.

          I have zero interest in making cars dangerous again or artificially less reliable, or introducing random sprinkler (BE) gimmicks. But I do think there needs to be some area that forces strategy decisions that can lead to blunders or miracles. Maybe refueling isn’t it, but something. As it is, it’s becoming monotonous, unfortunately.

          1. @hobo The big advantage of tyre strategies over fuel strategies is that tyre strategies are naturally convergent, which increases the amount of on-track battles. However, the current format is getting increasingly more predictable. As with refueling fuel loads at the start of the race are hidden and therefore unknown to the opposition, fuel load can be used as a surprise weapon, which may decrease predictability. Also the cars are lighter at the beginning of the race, while fuel and tyre saving may not be as widespread as nowadays, especially if the tyres become more durable, which I think is positive. However, history has shown that durable tyres are detrimental to racing (see, for example, 1988, 1992 and pretty much the whole Bridgestone era). Also, fuel consumption nowadays is less than during the V8 or V10 era, so fuel load will make less of a performance difference. Therefore, differences in fuel loads are unlikely to contribute much to on-track overtaking. The increased danger of pitlane overtakes might however, make the pole-sitter’s life a little harder, which I think is a good thing. Still, I think reducing the car’s dry weight is a better solution. Then the cars can also lose some “bad” downforce to improve racing without affecting lap times. But even if overtaking is really hard, the tyres can still make a difference. If the softer tyres allow for different strategies, then 2018 may become a really interesting season.

            1. @f1infigures Yeah, but only four more than in the preceding season, so it didn’t really make a difference.

            2. @f1infigures – I think you make a lot of great points. I’d be fine with dry weight reductions, but I think there are fewer of them to be had with wider cars and tires as well as the Halo and DRS, etc. But if they are there to be found, those would be great. I would also like refueling for the weight savings and strategy opportunities you refer to.

              Your point that fuel loads are much lower now, so they would have less of an impact is one I hadn’t considered and is a good point. Cheers!

      2. @hobo I’d rather refueling stay banned, Don’t think it ever really added anything positive to the racing.

        Yes they could sprint more & yes cars were lighter, But the fuel strategy been way more important than the actual on-track racing with drivers having very little input into the strategy was never a good thing.

        At least with how it was before/after refueling when it’s all down to tyres the drivers have more input, They can extent a stint & affect strategy far more than they ever could with refueling because fuel strategy tended to be locked down on Saturday with not much scope for change. With tyres it’s more fluid as wear can be better/worse than expected depending on conditions or how a driver is driving the car.

        I think the only problem with how things have been since 2010 is the rules dictating they run both compounds/forcing them to make at least 1 stop & all the restrictions on compounds & artificially increased degredation. If they went back to the way it was pre-1994 with teams having full freedom to run whatever compounds or whatever strategy they wanted (Including the return of possible No-stops) I think things would be more interesting.

        1. @stefmeister – Fair points, I think. And I agree that the tire/tyre regs are problematic. But when you lose competition in that area (sole supplier) you have to do something to create advertising opportunity (mandatory pit stops, and compound usage) and you have to protect the supplier (regulations on materials) because if they leave, you have no tires.

          My larger point is that I think driving out areas of competition has been an issue over the last decade, and that has led to less competition on track as well. Refueling may not be the answer, but something has to give.

      3. If you want in-race refuelling then for very obvious safety reasons it shouldn’t be part of the race, so you need to have a mandatory minimum stopping time, e.g. 14 seconds. Cars would also need to be modified to include a drive disconnect mechanism that activates when the refueling system is attached to the car so as to prevent the car from driving off with the fuel hose still attached.

        1. @drycrust – I understand what you are saying but I disagree. By that rationale, current pit stops should be mandated as well. By allowing them to be competitive, wheel nuts are somewhat commonly not attached properly leading to unsafe circumstances.

          I get it, potential fires are a concern and rightly so. But so are wheels that spin off and hit mechanics, other drivers, etc. Again, I’m not interested in making things highly dangerous, but many, many other series use refueling. It isn’t some archaic and unreasonably dangerous act. One needn’t make it as onerous as you suggest, in my opinion.

          1. @hobo I thought there was a fail safe system associated with the wheel nut so that when a new wheel is put on there is a locking mechanism that prevents it from coming off unless it is removed with the aid of an air gun. So if the wheel nut fails or hasn’t been done up incorrectly the wheel will remain attached to the car, although controlling the car is another matter. So yes, there have been cases where the wheel nut failed, but I believe usually the wheel stays attached to the car.

            1. @drycrust – Agreed with your point, and “usually the wheel stays attached to the car.” But you were saying that refueling would mean pit stops would have to be locked down to draconian levels due to safety concerns. Yet fuel mishaps are also very rare and other series navigate fuel stops just fine. I was only making the comparison that pit stops have other dangers that have not be locked down to avoid competitively fast and (risky) stops.

            2. @hobo Sorry for the delay in replying, I had too much email and in desperation sent what I thought unnecessary to the junk folder. I was looking for something else in there and saw an email regarding your comment.
              Yes, the delay is slightly draconian. The reason for the 14 second delay goes back some years when someone said how great it would be to have in-race refueling, so I said it would be okay as long as it was there was a minimum refueling time, I think I suggested something like 11 seconds. Then sometime latter the issue cropped up again and I suggested a delay of 12 seconds. As you can see we are now up to 14 seconds.

          2. @hobo Were the front tyres really narrower in 2010 than they were the season before? I don’t really see a difference between them.

      4. @hobo Yeah, but it was detrimental to on-track overtaking.

        1. @jerejj – I’d like to see some hard analysis on that. But, assuming your point as true for the moment, that would mean that on-track overtaking is the goal. Which would mean DRS is amazing, and all pitstops are detriments. That is taking your comment to a little bit of an extreme but that would be the result.

          I think there is room for nuance.

          1. @hobo No need for analysis on that. The evidence is here: http://cliptheapex.com/overtaking/

            1. @jerejj – There is need for analysis, or at the very least visibility into analysis already done. Perhaps you have purchased access to detailed info on the site you reference, but since I—and presumably man others—have not, nothing is as clear as you state.

              What I assume you are trying to say, and correct me if I am wrong, is that overtaking was higher without refueling and lower with refueling, yes? I used the first visible (free) chart on the page you cite that shows overtakes per season from 1981 through 2016. Refueling was banned from 1984-1993, and overtaking dropped by 16 per race. Refueling was allowed from 1994-2009, where overtakes dropped another 9-10 per race. So refueling is not the issue here. It may be an issue, but it did not cause overtaking to tank.

              For example, in 2010 with the reintroduction of the refuel ban, overtaking increased to only 1993 levels. And even that only came about with double diffusers and f-ducts, narrower front tires, increased reliability requirements, no testing during the season. Overtaking jumped way above 1980s levels in 2011 with DRS, but has dropped every year since, until 2015.

              My point? Refueling is not the issue. Refueling did not cause the largest drop in overtakes, nor did its ban cause the largest spike. The earlier ban coincided with a reduction in overtakes, the recent re-ban coincided with an increase and then drop off. Other regulations were at play throughout and I would posit that they played a larger role in the change in overtakes +/-.

              Again, my point was in reference to Lowe’s comments about weight. If overtaking is the concern, then aero is probably the biggest area to tackle along with budget parity and then perhaps things like tires/fuel.

            2. *many

              *until 2016

          2. @hobo The teams & the FIA also did some analysis a few years back when the idea of refueling was put forward & the analysis they came back with also suggested it would be detrimental to the racing.

            They concluded that overtaking would likely decrease as it had done before because of the way refueling changes the dynamic of a race & the way they handle strategy.

            I think it was Pat Symmonds who said that the issue with refueling is that its predictable, You know what your doing & can tell pretty quickly based off sector times what others are doing. However when it’s down to tyres it’s less predictable because you can have an idea on what your doing but the way tyre wear works will inevitably mean that your always having to adapt your plans based on if tyre wear is better/worse than expected. It’s also harder to read what other drivers are doing because while you may have there sector times you won’t know exactly what there tyre wear is like.

            Ah it was Pat….
            https://www.foxsports.com/motor/story/f1-refueling-return-opposed-011616

            1. @stefmeister – I didn’t see any reference to any analysis. And if the teams feel that way, so be it, though I do not necessarily buy in to what teams are saying as proof that things are actually that way. If it was beneficial to the teams in some way, it wouldn’t matter how it impacted the show, let’s be honest. And vice versa.

              More to the point, the stats listed in my above response to jerejj indicate a conflict with what they are saying and reality. The first refueling ban coincided with a drop in overtaking. The second refueling ban coincided with an increase in overtaking. That seems to indicate to me that overtaking is not the controlling issue. Other changes/factors drove the changes.

          3. @hobo The significant increase in the number of overtaking moves from 2009 to 2010 indeed was primarily down to the ban on in-race refuelling as it was the only significant rule change between those two seasons. Other than that, the technical regulations principally stayed stable and also the tyres remained the same both grip and durability-wise.

            1. @jerejj There were more cars in 2010, though.

            2. @jerejj – That is simply not true. Further, things came into existence that were beyond the technical regs that impacted the season.

              On the technical reg side: reliability was a larger concern due to more races, rev limiter enforced, front tires were narrower, in season testing banned, and no KERS. Any or all of those could impact overtaking. Beyond the regs, the f-duct was introduced, along with everyone’s copies. As DRS has proven, if a car with a functional f-duct (or equivalent) is behind a car without one or with a less-effective version, a pass becomes more likely.

              Point is, there are MANY things at play. Beyond which you overlooked that the prior refueling ban coincided with a large drop in overtaking. Again, I think other issues played into overtaking changes more than refueling. But at the very least your statement above is not supportable as is.

            3. @jerejj @hobo Comparing 2009 to 2010 is quite interesting I think. 2009 saw aerodynamic changes, the return of slick tyres and the introduction of KERS, three things that should improve overtaking (compared to 2008). However, they didn’t. I think there are two reasons for this:
              1) While KERS is useful to create overtaking opportunities, in 2009 only a few teams were using KERS. Even worse, the KERS-equipped cars usually gained positions at the start, after which they used KERS to defend. It turned out that overtaking a KERS-equipped car was nearly impossible. However, when all the teams had KERS in 2011, it likely did increase overtaking.
              2) For some reason the weight of the cars were published before the start of the race in 2009, which completely gave away the intended fuel strategies. Therefore, teams knew the exact strategy of their rivals, which made it easier to gain places through pitstops.

              There are also factors counting against the 2010 season. The tyres were harder than in 2009, as they had to last longer, which pretty much forced everyone into a boring one-stop strategy. The 2010 Canadian Grand Prix was a very welcome exception to this standard procedure, and this race showed the power of high-degrading tyres, in combination with no refueling and relatively small speed differences between cars.
              Also, in 2010, over 50% of all overtakes were on the new teams. They would usually benefit from poor starts or early pitstops from the opposition to gain places, only to lose them again as they were not quick enough to keep the faster cars behind. The inclusion of a few very slow cars may, under the right circumstances, inflate the overtaking count. Therefore, it’s safe to conclude that there was more action near the back of the field in 2010, whereas the racing at front was mostly unaffected.

      5. If f1 wants to make the cars lighter they need lighter engine. All the weights comes from the engine. Period.

        The hybrids are incredibly heavy, big, complex and require lots of cooling. A lovely V10 would be cheaper, sound better, give better racing, not be riddled with electronics (putting the driver in control) and most importantly would weight 80kg less. That 80kg could be used for fuel and the cars would still be lighter.

        1. The battery pack is heavy. The ICE, not as much. The rest of your comments are just as invalid.

          1. You don’t know what you are talking about. Turbos and the additional intercoolers make the hybrid ICE more heavy than a v10. The heavy battery is just heavy icing on the heavy cake.

        2. @socksolid – The manufacturers themselves don’t want V10s. Maybe some would like V8s? but even so, a number want hybrids. As technology advances, the power units will come down in weight.

          All the weight does not come from the engine. Fuel is just as much as your weight postulation and requires zero other changes to the car outside of a refueling port.

          Regardless, there are ways besides the power unit to save weight. And returning to ICEs only would not necessarily improve racing.

          1. The weight increase is 95% because of the engines. I have no idea how anyone could argue anything else. It is even said in the article that during last 5 years… guess what happened 5 years ago? I’ll give you a hint: hybrid.

            Fuel does not play a factor either as the weights are measured without fuel. And refueling was banned in 2013 so the cars have been designed to carry fuel race fuel loads for quite a long time as well.

            If f1 wants to reduce weight the only way is to get lighter engines. Heavy engines is the only reason why the weight has gone up. It is quite simple fact.

            I don’t care about manufacturers. I’d much rather see williams, mclaren, force india and red bull fight for the wins instead of 2 mercedes drivers. Only thing manufacturers bring is cost escalation and disgusting road relevance. Id rather watch futuristic race cars than toyota prius tech based economy fuel savers.

            1. TL;DR answer is 60kg is not 95% of 86kg, and not 95% of 123kg.

              From 2013 to 2014 the minimum weight increased 49kg; another 11 in 2015 to 702kg. There is your power unit increase; about 60 kg.

              They are now at 728kg, 26kg higher. And in the few years prior to 2014 (2009-2013), they increased from 605-642, another 37kg chunk. That is, 63kg not accounted for in your heavy engine, turbo, intercooler condescending remark to @grat above. A significant portion of that earlier 37kg is likely due to the KERS/ERS systems and batteries that @grat postulates. But it certainly is not to do with the 2014 engines. Nor is the more recent growth which had to do with wider cars and tyres/tires.

              Weight could certainly be saved by engine changes, but it’s not going to get you back to pre-2008 levels. Wider cars, tires, HALO, DRS, increased reliability requirements, increased leeway for drivers, will keep weights up to probably 640-660kg range (total guess based on reading weight reg changes for last 10 years). So that might save you 60kg if you dropped all engine advances since then. NA V8 for example. But the car doesn’t go anywhere without fuel, which is up to another 105kg, or 745-765kg starting weight in this hypothetical world.

              What happens if you take the current car and reduce the fuel tank to 30-35kg (equivalent) capacity? Total weight is 838 – (between 75 and 70kg) = between 768 and 763kg starting weight. Pretty similar with much less investment. Again, as I keep stating, refueling may not be the answer for F1’s issues. But if the topic/concern is mass savings, it would be the easiest and most cost effective.

            2. The hybrid weight gain starts at 2011 with the introduction of the battery and electric motor (kers). 20kg.

              You are assuming the teams are hitting the minimum weight. I doubt it. In the beginning of the hybrid era the drivers had to go on diet to lose muscle in some cases because the minimum weight limit was so low. Before that they could run ballasts in the car.

              It is also unquestionable fact that the hybrid engine package weighs about 80kg more compared to the v8 engine package we had before. And that is including the 20kg kers. In other words the electrification has made the engines 100kg heavier. Naturally this has not all been directly added to the car weight as you correctly pointed out.

              The more recent weight increase that comes from wider track and tires is also directly caused by the hybrid engines. Because the hybrid engined cars were so slow f1 felt the need to add more downforce to make the cars faster. F1 has never had this much downforce but the reason why all that weight was added was to offset the slowness of the hybrid formula. I’d say it is the biggest tech change in the last 50 years years when you combine the hybrid engines and the massive increase in aero. And all the aero changes before that removed downforce. Hybrid engines are the only reason f1 has added downforce to the cars.

              In the end if you took out hybrids from the current cars and put v8s in (I don’t want the v8s, I’d much rather take v10s or v12s) you could get that 100kg weight saving. Sure you’d need more fuel but even then the fuel increase would fit inside the that 100kg.

              Like I said it is no brainer.

              Qualifying weight of the car would be about 650kg instead of 750kg. Weight at the start of the race would be lower as well. It is all because of the engine.

            3. And I did not even mention the heavier gearboxes required by the new “torquey” hybrids that have so narrow power band that they need 8 gears to move. Not to mention the fact that the cars are so heavy that they don’t even fit under the minimum weight limit so every time fia wants to make a tiny change they need to increase the minimum weight limit because nobody on the grid can even match the current minimums. Even before 2014 many drivers were saying the cars are so heavy that it puts unhealthy and unfair penalty on the taller drivers. If the f1 cars were humans their doctor would put them on diet.

      6. I’ve been saying that for 5 years– but refueling is too expensive, too dangerous, too… No, we won’t do it!!

        I’ve been watching IndyCar for the past couple years, and I gotta say– refueling doesn’t detract from the racing. They also have an interlock, so nobody pulls away while the nozzle’s in the car. Haven’t seen a single pitlane fire.

        Then again, I think we could drastically simplify aerodynamics if they’d adopt an Indy style diffuser (starts around the driver’s seat), and bring back active suspension.

        I firmly believe the smaller teams would be able to compete again.

        1. Indycars have lots of caution periods which allow lots of refueling. And force refueling strategies that are not perfect. Typical f1 race doesn’t have any caution periods so every team would refuel at the optimal stage in the race and most passes would also happen during pit stops.

        2. Refueling works totally differently in Indycar than it did in F1.

          In Indycar they fill the tanks on every stop & the only strategy comes from how many laps of fuel a driver is able to save over a stint (There’s far more fuel management/lift & cost in Indycar compared to F1 due to this). For the most part everyone ends up pitting within 5 laps of one another & doing the same number of stops over a race (Unless they try something under caution).

          With F1 refueling was more strategy oriented, The team strategist’s would pick a strategy on Saturday & start the race with a pre-determined amount of fuel & then only put enough fuel in at each stop to get them to whatever lap they next wanted to stop on. The result was that strategy became more important than anything else & you ended up with most of the focus been on the pit stops rather than the track with more passing done in the pits than on the track.

          The other difference is that they refuel in Indycar out of necessity because of how long some of the races they run are, It would be impractical to design a car capable of doing something like the Indy 500 non-stop. With F1 refueling isn’t needed because the races are shorter & as we can see it’s perfectly feasible to design a car capable of going a full race distance without stopping for fuel.

      7. @hobo I agree but Re-fuelling ban is f1’s most unanimous recent rule.
        There’s another way to shed weight a little over 100kg, just remove the battery. Regardless of it’s charge it’s always the same weight.

        however I see the re fuelling ban as a scapegoat or farce. Reality is that the top teams don’t want to lose a race or a champ win on a refuelling rig (massa singapore) and they don’t want to get caught out in changeable conditions having to guess the right amount of fuel, not to mention the safety car exploit, the one Alonso used in singapore and Bernie only knows how many did cheat with re fuelling just before SC.

    2. If I had to pick just one thing to change for 2021, i’m not even sure the weight would make my list. Sorry, Paddy.

    3. Reduce the weight and reduce the ugliness. F1 cars look in some ways like IndyCars at the start of Aero wars. WAY to many wings, winglets, vanes, downforce blah, blah, blah. Like IndyCar has done go back to the cleaner, simpler look of F1 cars from 1995 – 2000. Reduce downforce and make the cars loose, light, unpredictable and needing to be driven – not GLUED to the track. The racing and “show” will improve correspondingly.

      1. I agree with all of this. I think most cars of the current era are pretty ugly to be honest.

        1. Agreed.Long cars that look unspectacular in motion, effortless and too much wings is in my view aesthetically ugly. I like aero devices but large wings that block the tyres are my bugbear, the tyres are much larger but so are the cars so the cars look a lot like 2016.

    4. Weight increase is natural when you go towards electrification. It also should be natural the weight decrease with advancements in battery technology. That should be the focus for 2021

      1. Another way to view improvements in battery technology is the increase in energy capacity for a given weight means access to more power.

      2. Any progress is going to be countered when f1 will just move to smaller engines with bigger batteries and more electronics. There is no real weight saving going from turbo 1.6 liter engine to turbo 1.2 liter for example. They weigh about the same. Meanwhile the heavy battery just becomes heavier.

        1. the tendency is for batteries to store the same amount of power while getting smaller. Or to store even more power while keeping the same size

          1. And that tendency is progressing extreamly slowly. Moving from all ICE to KERS to HYBRIDS you can clearly see the F1 cars are gaining weight without getting any performance out of it.

            1. @rethla doesn’t matter the speed of the development, it will happen someday, didn’t asked it for tomorrow, no worries

    5. One way to reduce the overall car+driver weight would be to reduce the number of PU elements. Would it still be enough road-relevant if it only included (along with the engine itself) ERS, MGU-K and the PU elements (at the moment I don’t remember which ones) that are linked with the latter? Or a PU that ICE and ERS only.

      1. No, it wouldn’t be enough road relevant because this concept is far from being completely exploited in F1. F1 sets trends in automotive industry. When we had turbo era, turbo engines were popular. After the late eighties atmospherically aspirated engines became more popular. I’d say, because of F1. In spite of the fact that it is impossible to achieve the efficiency of turbo engine with normally aspirated one. The consequence, turbo lost ground in road cars during the nineties regardless of being better engine. F1 has a subtle way of influencing automotive industry and rule makers should bear that in mind. We need more efficient and more environment friendly engines. Sort of buying time until better concept of energy storage makes the electric cars a decent substitute for petrol guzzlers. How far is the MGU-H concept from its development peak? Last year Mercedes burned 89kg of fuel in Mexico. Eleven less than maximum allowed. Eleven kilos of fuel is a lot of energy that could be regenerated and waits for MGU-H to be developed to do so. To ban this concept from F1 would be irresponsible way of dealing with our environment and energy resources. If it happens though, I wouldn’t be surprised. We’ve seen much worse decisions in the past. ‘Nothing new under the sun’.

    6. One way to reduce weight is to reduce the wheelbase. It’s far far too long. Mandate a much shorter wheelbase and the weight of the chassis will be reduced

      1. Eagerly waiting for someone to point this out @strontium . It wouldn’t make much of a difference but this howbthe weight has been creeping, ignoring the halo.

        From the last reg to this one, the cars look almost the same, rear wing bargeboard and the bigger tyres that are dwarfed by the wheelbase. they grew in all respects, though most noticeably the wheelbase, I know tyre characteristics and aero benefit govern wheelbase but one of this days a team comes up with a 4 km car, in certain tracks the car does put itself a lap down, on itself.

    7. I agree with Paddy. The current gen of cars are far too heavy and while the increased downforce, fatter tyres with stretch limo wheelbases produce more performance in high speed corners, they look pathetic, awkward and clumsy in the slower corners.

      The solution for 2021 is obvious. Make the cars heavier and race only on high speed ovals.

      I fear the PC safety and electrification advocates will not be sated until the min. weight spec for F1 is 1000kg dry without driver, but including airbags and in-race infotainment systems. Batteries not included.

    8. Where F1 used to be nimble in so many facets, nowadays it comes across to me as sluggish.

      F1 cars should be nimble, darting around the track like go karts without reliance on extreme levels of downforce. Paddy is spot on.

      F1 teams should be nimble, small groups (relatively speaking) of talented people designing cars based on engineering prowess, creativity and innovation.

      F1 rules should be nimble, able to react to changing technologies, safety and sporting requirements.

      F1 itself should be nimble, able to adapt the sport rapidly to new avenues of tv distribution, entertainment and sponsor opportunities.

      Everything about F1 should be a fast paced and industry leading. Nowadays I feel it is bogged down with long-term contractual restrictions, over-complicated regulations, massive teams that are more akin to corporations than traditional racing teams, cars and power-trains that are so complicated they barely change year-on-year… and yes, cars that are far too heavy.

      To me the only thing about F1 that is moving fast is it’s overall image, which is fast becoming out-dated. Liberty have a lot of work to do.

      1. Well said @aussierod – CoTD

        Where you have well thought out statements and observations, I only have sarcasm and despair left for F1.

        The inexorable corporatization of the sport in the past 20+ years has made sport less interesting to me. I’m only a casual fan now and my interest in the sport, if it is a sport in any sporting sense of the word, is waning faster every season.

        Liberty have much work to do – as a large coporate entity, I have little faith they will embrace your spot-on nimble vision.

        Probably the biggest performance improvement we can hope for is in glitzier Rah-Rah cheerleading and American marketing-know-how. When the corp-speek suits at Liberty HQ start babbling about fan engagement, need to tell them the engagement is off – I’m not marrying their $8 billion dollar debt race to insolvency.

      2. How about this, @aussierod:
        F1 fans should be nimble, able to adapt quickly to new developments in F1 and new directions of its evolution.

        1. @damon

          +1 million…

          Reading the above comments is astounding frankly. For the first time in years cars were made faster last season and beat track records set decades before despite being heavier. Yet before a wheel has turned this season the forum is full of negative “I hate hybrid” comments. Let me guess we have some Red Bull fans back screaming again because RB and Macca are not topping the test sessions and TR Honda is happily countering in lap after lap?

          They will only get faster this year with more power and better tyres that (unlike @socksolid above thinks – it’s not the engine formula that has caused cars to be slow) have restricted speeds for years. I agree with Hobo – refuelling would reduce the weight and bring back some of the sprint element at very little cost.

          There is a constant need for F1 fans to repeat myths they read on line as fact – the detail in the above comments on the v10 engines weight vs the PU are just some of such.

          Another is that refuelling reduced overtaking. No it did not – many other factors played into a set of eras where overtaking both increased and decreased. Yes it can be “computerised” into sets of similar strategies but if you can happily mandate weird cheese tyres and pit stops then surely a fairly simple combination of such will ensure variety.

        2. @damon cool comment but it’s your vision of innovation that makes the current regulation, artificial, gimmicky.

      3. @aussierod I think you seem to not be appreciating that Liberty has only had one season under their belt, and have inherited issues as we all know, as well as contracts in place that have to run their course.

        Cars more nimble? Yeah sure hard to argue that, except that they are faster now. Sure lighter cars will be more nimble and that may well happen with their next major overhaul.

        Teams more nimble? That won’t happen any time soon as the big teams will spend and staff their teams as they can afford, which is obviously to the point of bigger staff than ever for some teams. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t nimble. I’d argue that the more personnel they put on researching something the more quickly they can solve issues. So the big teams will not be interested in cutting their staff by half. Not sure how they can mandate the size of a team until they have strict budget caps that can be policed.

        Rules should be nimble? Sure they can already change rules in a heartbeat if they want, but they know that generally catches the smaller teams out and favours the big resourced teams who can adapt more quickly.

        F1 itself should be nimble? Yeah Liberty is making changes already but can only go at a certain pace based on existing contracts, not wanting to catch smaller teams out etc etc.

        You have a wish list that in some areas makes sense and they’re already going there, and in other cases don’t make sense, but overall I don’t think you are appreciating enough that Liberty has only just begun and cannot and will not make rash knee-jerk decisions the likes of which has gotten F1 under BE to having the problems it does. You are complaining about an F1 that Liberty didn’t create but is certainly looking to improve in the right way for long-term goals and gains.

    9. Reading all the comments I dont feel so bad in suggesting F1 use 2-stroke engines and remove all the wings. Provides great racing in Karts :) which most F1 drivers still enjoy. F1 would hopefully advance 2-strokes to be even more effecient and cleaner. But then some fans would still complain the noise doesnt massage their egos/emotions enough.

    10. F1 cars now weigh 250 lbs more than IndyCars, which are strongly built to withstand impacts on super speedways at speeds of 240 mph! Too many wings, winglets… too much junk in the trunk. They definitely need to go on a diet, and remove ugliness while they’re at it.

    11. Here’s a ridiculous pitch, wonder if they could entirely redesign the fuel system so that instead of refueling with a hose, there are detachable tanks that are can be unplugged and replaced with new ones. That would cut the cost of transportation of huge rigs while allowing lighter cars on the track. Of course this would need a complete redesign and probably lots of money, but then F1 was never cheap to begin with.

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