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For those of you newer to Formula One, there is a weight you need to be aware of…640 kgs. The weight of an F1 car is critical and yet, it’s sometimes difficult to understand the weight without a reference. I thought you might like to know a few simple things about a Formula 1 car and it’s weight. Enjoy.

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • the drivers seat

    Awesome NC! and not just that Timo Glock pic

  • Rapierman

    In terms of power and distance, yeah, you’re right. In terms of time……not so much. Then again, does anyone really worry about how much fuel is consumed per second?

    • That’s the secret element. We’ve argued that the FIA should restrict the flow rate and then watch some brilliant engineering happen on engines…that directly translates to road car tech!

      • Rapierman

        Of course, you also have to watch out for cars bunching up and then running into each other (see: NASCAR retstrictor plate races).

  • MIE

    What a shame you will need to re-record this episode. The change to this year’s tyres means the weight has gone up to 642kg for 2013. ;)

    • Yep, it’s up 2 due to Pirelli tire weight increase. What’s 2kgs between friends? :)

      • MIE

        Not a lot,but at 6G it is the equivalent of 12kg.

        Does the fact that it is unsprung weight make it more or less of an issue for the teams to deal with?

        • Exactly. it’s a lot of weight. I need to speak with Pirelli a little about the increase of weight.

          I’ll try to ask Steve about that but I’d say you’re right on that point. It’s got to be a real booger to deal with but I wonder what the balancing effect is if any. The secret could be all in the ballast.

          • MIE

            The FIA have adjusted the minimum axle weights to account for the extra weight of the tyres (so that no teams can get an advantage by altering the weight distribution too much). I would have thought that by now the teams would have worked out the optimum weight distribution range needed for Pirelli tyres, and freeing up the weight distribution may enable them to address some of the problems they have been having in getting the tyres to work at certain tracks / temperatures?

          • Rapierman

            It probably is. Conservation of momentum, after all.

  • Husker

    What I’d like to know is what’s the actual weight of an F1 car without the driver, fluids and ballast.
    My guess would be around the 400Kg mark, no? Been looking into this info and can’t find a definitive answer.
    Would be a good thing to talk about with Paul and/or Conor, Derek. I don’t know Todd, you have lots of connections that could answer that question! :) I’d really like to know!

    • Got it! this just in from our dear friend Steve Matchett. It ‘s his best estimation (it must be said that his best estimation is something you can write on a rock): 60-75kg for our driver, depending on build; then maybe 50kg for ballast (chassis are heavier these days, so less ballast), then maybe 20kg for fluids. So about 140kg in total leaving the car around 500kg.

      Hope that helps and a big thank you to Steve.

      • Husker

        Hey! that was fast! Thank you very much to you and Steve. Awesome! :D

        Quite surprising to be honest given that by the early 90’s the min. weight w/o driver was 500Kg, then 505Kg when all cars were fitted with on board cameras, – no driver – .

        I totally get that the cockpits must be quite heavier nowadays given their resistance but I would have thought making composite suspensions and gearboxes and engine parts would compensate for that if not make them even lighter. But as you said, If Steven Matchett says it’s around 500Kg, that’s the best estimate to go by.

        Thanks again Todd! :)

        • No worries mate. Steve was so gracious as to reply as quick as he did. An amazing guy! Glad he could help both you and I understand better.

        • MIE

          The impact tests are much greater now than in the 90’s, so the weight saving elsewhere has helped safety.

      • Rapierman

        Translates to about 132 to 165 pounds, 110, 44, 308 and 1100, respectively.

  • UAN

    Great video Todd. Very well done, both technically and with the writing, not to mention with you as the “star”. To do a job this well is much much harder than it looks. Even harder than a monkey winning the WDC in a Newey designed car … oh wait, that makes it sound easy :)