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“Some teams played a game with the FIA,” Frédéric Vasseur questions unfair advantage given to Red Bull by FIA

Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur suspects FIA's increase in Maximum car weight to 798 KGs a result of lobbying spearheaded by Red Bull who had the heaviest cars at the start of the season.

Formula One switched to new regulations ahead of the 2022 season in order to make the sport more interesting and increase the racing element of the sport. There were a number of technical changes brought to the sport including the changes in the Aerodynamic of the cars, the shape of the cars’ monocoque and most noticeably new 18-inch tyres.

Due to the increase in the Wheel size and technical changes, added to increase safety features, the 2022 F1 cars are the heaviest cars to date. Ahead of the season, the maximum allowed weight of the cars was set at 792 kgs and was later altered to 795 Kgs after teams requested the FIA.

But recently FIA allowed the maximum weight to be set at 798 Kgs. Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur suspects this to be a result of lobbying spearheaded by Red Bull who had the heaviest cars at the start of the season. The Frenchman claims the move is “completely unfair” as rules are not meant to be changed giving an unfair advantage to Red Bull.

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Red Bull cut 5 kGs ahead of Imola GP

Red Bull and Ferrari in Imola

In a recent meeting by the FIA, all teams agreed to add another 3 KGs to the weight limit, raising the total to 798 KGs. One of the prominent voices in this was Red Bull as the RB18 was amongst the heaviest cars in the grid during the Pre-season Testing. Alfa Romeo, on the other hand, was the only team who were below weight team boss Frédéric Vasseur is unhappy with the decision as teams were aware of the limits since the start.

He said, “Honestly, I don’t understand all the comments because I think it’s the target for everybody that when you are designing a racing car the weight is always the target number one. Nobody can be surprised with the weight at the last minute, I think that some teams played a game with the FIA expecting that the FIA at the last minute would increase the minimum weight. But this would have been completely unfair, because during the project we took some decisions in terms of complexity also linked to the weight, and we made our choice.” 

Vasseur added, “And you know that the F1 world is like this, that everybody’s trying to play a game. It was crystal clear that the target of weight was completely achievable, that we are able to not be overweight. If some other teams are not at the weight limit, it’s because they took some other options, perhaps with some other advantages, but with the constraint of the weight.”

Red Bull reportedly lost 5 Kgs of excess weight from the RB18 and swept a One-two Finish in Imola. Max Verstappen claimed a grand slam victory. The car still has some loads to shed as Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko remarked “We are still above the minimum weight of the FIA.”

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