The 2023 F1 season is set to be a test of endurance for teams as they face a weighty challenge. The publication of the 2023 technical regulations indicated a reduction in car weight from 798kgs to 796kgs, however, this change was met with resistance from teams and the FIA.
Early last year, the car weight was increased from 795kgs to 798kgs in response to porpoising seen in testing, but an administrative oversight resulted in this change not being formally passed by the F1 Commission. The FIA attempted to use the governance process to secure support from eight teams to remain at 798kgs, but some teams declined to agree, hoping to gain a competitive advantage by getting closer to the original 796kgs weight limit.
However, the FIA had one last trick up its sleeve. Article 4.3 of the regulations allows for a change in the minimum weight limit if the weight of the tires used in the championship is heavier than the previous year. This change is not voted on by the teams, and the FIA used this article to ensure that the 2023 weight limit stayed at 798kgs.
This year, teams will face an even greater challenge as they must compensate for the increased weight of the tires and new electronic boxes mandated by the FIA, adding an extra 0.4kgs compared to 2022. The technical director of one team stated, “It’s exactly the same weight, but physically parts get heavier. Tyres get heavier, there are some new boxes. So it’s the same weight as last year, but in reality, the weight we are not in control of is increasing. So teams will have to find the equivalent of one and a half kilos or so to remain at the weight limit if they were at it already.”
The 2023 F1 season promises to be a fierce competition, with teams battling not only each other but also the added weight of their cars.