Vettel bemoans heavy F1 cars despite 'ridiculous' downforce

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Sebastian Vettel is unhappy at how fat Formula 1 cars have become despite the "ridiculous" levels of downforce.

The current designs have gradually become the fastest in the sport's history since they were introduced in 2017, with every track record having been broken including at Monza, where Kimi Raikkonen beat Juan Pablo Montoya's previous benchmark to claim pole in 2018.

But while the speeds are mind-boggling, Vettel believes the recipe to achieve it is wrong. 

"I think the cars are phenomenal in terms of downforce, it's ridiculous how much downforce we have and how fast and how quick the cars are in medium speed, high-speed corners," he told Motorsport.

"But at low speed you can feel the weight, that's something you know when you throw the car from one side to another in a chicane or hairpin. The cars are, in my opinion, they're too heavy.

"I think we could get rid of some of the downforce because we don't need it and rather have the cars lighter. Overall, we would still be the same lap time, probably even faster."

Also Read:

Much of the weight increase comes from safety measures like bigger crash structures and the Halo, meaning today's cars are truly massive compared to those Vettel drove in his early career.

"That's not something you want to go back on, it's good," the four-time champion said of the improved safety. "But I mean, the Halo alone is like 10 kilos and you could do it maybe a bit lighter and still be as strong.

"I think it's worth remembering it was a great feeling to have [a car that was] 600-620 kilos only. Now the minimum you get to is [almost] 750kg. 

"If you step into a go-kart obviously it's the thing that surprises you most because you don't have so much power, but if you take the ratio, what surprises you most is the weight. 

"It's the fact that there's so little weight you can manoeuvre the go-kart and be... in comparison very, very quick."

Drivers had hoped the weight issue would be addressed in the new cars coming for 2022, instead, the minimum continues to go up with 768kg the current figure stated.

Even so, downforce is set to be reduced with the aim of improving the racing and Sky Sports pundit Karun Chandhok is disappointed that F1 will have to wait an extra year at least for their introduction.

"We are in a strange situation because the cars have become bigger, wider and heavier, so in theory, you should be slower," he told RaceFans. 

"To compensate for that, a mountain of downforce has been added, so that we still go faster but because of this, the racing has become a lot worse.

''I was optimistic about 2021, but now it could be 2022 or 2023 before we get those new rules. As far as I'm concerned it can't come soon enough, so we can really race again," the Indian concluded.