Vettel: 'F1 cars have ridiculous downforce, but are too heavy'

08-04-2020 11:30
by Editorial Team
F1 News
Vettel: 'F1 cars have ridiculous downforce, but are too heavy'

The weight of Formula 1 cars has been around 750 kilos since the hybrid era, which is relatively low. However, according to Sebastian Vettel it is still too heavy and although the downforce is stronger than ever, it is not enough compensation. This is not without reason, because at low speed the weight is very good to feel, especially in chicanes and hairpin bends.

Phenomenal

"I think the cars are phenomenal in terms of downforce," says Vettel in conversation with Motorsport.com, "it's ridiculous how much downforce we have and how fast and how quick the cars are in medium speed, high-speed corners." In slow corners, on the other hand, it's a different story, because then the drivers really feel the weight.

"But in low speed you can feel the weight. That's something you know when you throw the car from one side to another in the chicane or hairpin. The cars are, in my opinion, they're too heavy. I think we could get rid of some of the downforce, we don't need it, but rather have the cars lighter. Overall, we would still be the same lap time, probably even faster."

Back to around 600 kilos

The increased weight is due to several things, the German driver mentions the Halo, but also other safety measures. "That's not something you want to go back on, it's good. I mean, the Halo alone is like 10 kilos. You could do it maybe a bit lighter, and still be as strong."

"But I think it's worth remembering it was a great feeling to have 600-620 kilos only. Now the minimum you get to is 750kg. If you step to a go-kart obviously 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."

In short, all safety measures must certainly be maintained, but Vettel is happy to make some sacrifices on the downforce in order to realise lighter cars.

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