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A weighty problem

NEWS STORY
03/10/2013

Drivers are unhappy as new rules for 2014 will disadvantage 'bigger' drivers and could lead to a grid filled with 'jockeys'.

Though the minimum weight limit rises to 690kg (from 642kg), the heavier turbo engines mean that weight will have to be trimmed elsewhere. This has led to fears that teams, already struggling to meet the weight restrictions, will look to drivers in their efforts to 'trim the fat'.

It is thought that the ideal weight for drivers will be 65kg, the average of the 2013 grid being 68.32. While this is no problem for smaller drivers such as Massa, Gutierrez, Vettel, Maldonado, Raikkonen, Chilton and Pic, those at the other end of the scale, including Hulkenberg, Button, Sutil, di Resta, Rosberg and Hamilton are worried.

"Everybody's been asking me why I look so skinny but you have to be skinny because it's to your advantage to be as light as possible," Webber, who is leaving F1 for Sports Cars, told reporters. "It's a car performance advantage.

"The lighter drivers should be pushing as well," he added, "but they don't because obviously it's nice for them."

"I'm 74 - 74.5 kilos with my kit, and even I struggle to make the weight limit," admitted Jenson Button. "I have done for the last three years.

"I love fitness training, but there is certain fitness training I have to do and parts of my training I can't do," he added. "I can't build muscle and I can't eat carbohydrates because I have to be a set weight, and it's going to get worse next year as well.

"It does hurt the heavier driver, and it's very unfair to say 'lose weight' because some of us can't lose any more," he admitted. "You need to have skin on your bones, and a little bit of muscle to drive a Formula One car, so it is unfair.

"They are always trying to push the boundaries but in terms of weight limit, I can't see a reason why we can't put the weight limit up by 10 kilos," he continued. "It wouldn't penalise half of the grid next season. It's one of the easiest things to put right - it could save a driver's career, or make a driver's career."

The drivers are to hold a meeting today ahead of their 'union', the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, calling on the sport's powers that be to look at the situation.

In a worrying turn, Lewis Hamilton admitted that the only way he could get his weight any lower would be to "chop his own nuts off".

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1. Posted by The Rumble Strip, 06/10/2013 20:01

"It seems appropriate that the FIA should look at revising the rules as regards the minimum weight of cars and their drivers.

If, as is to be expected, the taller and heavier drivers are placed at a greater disadvantage next season due to their height and weight then this hardly seems fair to some of the current grid.

Whilst there is no need to go down the route of making cars to a single specification, as technological and individual innovation is vital, there should be a level playing field for all concerned.

If a talented driver finds his seat at risk and thus forced out of the sport, due to his height and or weight, surely that is a case of the silly season gone mad.
"

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