Mercedes F1 CTO Reveals Measures To Make Race Cars Lighter Again

Giancarlo Perlas June 26, 2023

In the world of Formula 1, speed and agility reign supreme, and the quest for lighter cars has become a topic of paramount importance. Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Chief Technical Officer James Allison has shed light on the need to reverse the “inexorable upward trend” in car weight. His insights provide a valuable perspective on the challenges and potential solutions that lie ahead for the sport.

Mercedes F1 CTO James Allison
Mercedes F1 CTO James Allison (Image Source: F1)

Weight Increase: A Cause for Concern

Over the past decade, F1 cars have witnessed a significant increase in weight. With safety systems and hybridization playing a pivotal role, the minimum weight of cars has skyrocketed from 642kg in 2013 to a staggering 798kg in recent years.

This upward trend has raised concerns about the impact on racing excitement, particularly at circuits like Monaco, where overtaking has become increasingly challenging.

Addressing the Weight Issue

In response to these concerns, F1 has set its sights on the 2026 regulations as an opportunity to tackle the weight issue head-on. Both the heads of F1 and the FIA have expressed their desire for lighter cars, acknowledging that weight plays a crucial role in the sport’s dynamics.

However, F1 president and CEO, Stefano Domenicali, acknowledges that finding a solution is no easy task, likening it to waving a magic wand.

Support for Lighter Cars

Mercedes, currently the number two in the 2023 Constructors Standings of F1, supports the call for lighter cars. Allison echoes Domenicali’s sentiments, emphasizing the need to halt and reverse the weight increase.

While acknowledging the challenges of achieving this, the Mercedes F1 CTO believes that implementing a lower weight limit would incentivize teams to find innovative solutions and make difficult decisions regarding the components included in their cars.

The Path to Lighter Cars

The anticipated 2026 changes in F1 regulations will predominantly focus on power units, aiming for greener and more cost-effective engines. However, Allison proposes that the responsibility of achieving lighter cars should be placed on the teams themselves.

By imposing a lower weight limit, teams would be compelled to find ways to reduce weight, encouraging technological advancements and enhancing the overall racing experience. These are also seen to greatly contribute to the sustainability sought after by the FIA.

Final Thoughts

James Allison’s insights shed light on the pressing need to address the weight challenge in Formula 1. With the sport aiming for lighter cars by 2026, the focus on innovation and efficiency has never been more crucial.

By tackling this issue head-on and promoting a collaborative effort between teams and regulators, F1 can pave the way for a future where speed, agility, and exhilarating racing take center stage.

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About Author

Giancarlo Perlas

Giancarlo Perlas is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations, particularly in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. Alongside his civic and corporate pursuits is his love for cars, particularly those made by Mercedes-Benz. In 2012, he found himself with like-minded individuals within BenzInsider. From then on, he used the platform as a way to share his passion with the automotive community. Follow his Facebook page at, X (formerly Twitter) @giancarloperlas, and IG @benzinsider. View all posts by Giancarlo Perlas →

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