Formula 1

Russell warns that Increasing the Weight of F1 cars is putting the Drivers in more danger

2 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

George Russell has warned the FIA that the increase in weight of Formula 1 cars is becoming more dangerous for the drivers, as he believes this safety issue needs to be tackled heading into the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship campaign.

Russell has stated that the increased weight of cars has become a safety risk for the drivers and this is largely down to the new set of regulations that came into the sport in 2022.

The minimum weight of last years cars was set at seven-hundred and ninety-eight kilograms which was an increase of forty-six kilograms from 2021. Pirelli’s new set of eighteen inch wheels, that were introduced has also contributed in the increased weight of the cars and has made it more challenging for the drivers to drive.

The British driver believes that the FIA need to make this issue a priority in order to improve drivers safety as he reflects on cars being much lighter in years gone by.

“The big one is the weight. The weight is extraordinary,” said Russell to Motorsport.com . At the moment, the low-speed performance is not great. We keep making these cars safer and safer, but obviously the heavier you make them when you have an impact it’s like crashing with a bus compared to a Smart car.

“You’re going to have a greater impact if you’re going the same speed with a car that weighs 800kg or over 900kg at the start of a race, compared to one 15 years ago when they were at 650kg, and I’m sure there’s analysis going on about striking that right balance because I don’t know where the line is drawn.”

“If you just keep making it heavier, heavier, heavier, stronger, stronger, stronger, actually you get to a point where you cross over that [line], that too heavy is actually not safer.”

Across the 2022 season, we have seen a lot of drivers feel uncomfortable at times with the new cars, finding them more difficult to drive and leading to more mistakes from them in the process, which is very dangerous.

The new set of regulations are expected to come into the sport in 2026, with the FIA already having a plan of action in being able to decrease the weight of the cars. The big question is whether this can be done sooner than in three years time, in order to make the drivers feel safer at the wheel.

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I am 21 years old and a big fan of Formula 1 and Chelsea FC. I write articles for The Checkered Flag and The Chelsea Social. I am a UCFB Graduate in Sports Business and Sport Broadcasting and aspiring to work in the Sports Industry.
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