Driver weight still a major talking point ahead of 2014 season

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg take a stroll in Melbourne

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg take a stroll in Melbourne

Formula 1 drivers who have been skipping dessert and working out throughout the winter ‘holiday’ period, as the much heavier turbo V6 and energy recovery systems debut, are bemoaning the effects of the weight loss.

Bild newspaper said that the already-slight Nico Rosberg has dropped 3 kilograms since the last race of 2013, while his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who had a visibly muscular upper body in the last couple of seasons, has lost even more.

“Unfortunately,” said the Briton who has lost 4 kilos, “getting rid of muscle is harder than getting it. It was the hardest winter of my life.”

Daniel Ricciardo has also lost 4kg, with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner joking: “If it was up to Adrian Newey, our drivers would have lost about 15kg each!”

It is believed most cars are now close to, if not slightly over, the mandatory minimum car-plus-driver weight of 691kg.

Perhaps the lightest driver in the field is Felipe Massa, who tips the scales at just 58kg.

“I’ve never been as happy as I am now to be small,” the little Brazilian grinned, with Bild reporting that the competitive Williams is below the 691kg limit, crucially allowing engineers to place ballast in the ideal places.

According to former Formula 1 driver Heidfeld, however, even the lightest cars in 2014 are now way too heavy, but the weight limit is being further increased for 2015, to 701kg.

“I don’t like how the cars keep getting heavier,” German Heidfeld, now a Le Mans driver who last raced in Formula 1 in 2011, told T-Online.

“In my day we were at 600kg, soon it will be 700. The higher weight means the cars get slower and slower – 100kg is something like three to four seconds per lap.

“It is also against the spirit of the times, as the trend is exactly the opposite in street cars,” Heidfeld added.

As for the likely pecking order in Melbourne this weekend, 36-year-old Heidfeld agrees that Mercedes looks better prepared than its rivals for 2014.

“How Ferrari will go is highly speculative,” he said, “but I want to emphasise that the track in Melbourne is not a good gauge anyway.

“I think we will only see a trend after the first three or four races,” he added. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • RBC

    It would take a child about 5 minutes to design a regulation that requires a minimum weight for the driver, with lighter drivers required to carry ballast around a determined center of gravity of the driver. That would solve all this driver weight BS.

    For example Webber was 15kg heavier than Vettel which accounted for some of his qualifying speed differential.

  • blackdog

    Ron Dennis, McLaren boss and Group Chief Executive has said “In many ways there are similarities between Ayrton and Jenson,”

    RBC wrote: “Senna was the most politically incorrect most honest driver, and Jenson is a lying fake smiling snake in the grass. There could not be two more diametrically opposed people.”

    So, I suppose that you will be very happy that there will be no ballast carried by the lighter drivers. Jenson is tall and therefore is heavier than many, and so he will be one driver at a disadvantage.

    Given your highly unpleasant, and defamatory comments about Jenson on this public forum, may we assume that you know more than Ron Dennis about F1 in general and Jenson Button in particular?

    Or, are you just mouthing off as usual?

  • RBC

    Loads of people commented on the Ron Denis comment and how he was talking up Button for PR reasons. Denis also talked up Martin Whitmarsh then sacked him.

    As for your comment “So, I suppose that you will be very happy that there will be no ballast carried by the lighter drivers.” I actually said the opposite here so I’m not sure what you are on?

    I think you love Button regardless of anything he does.

  • blackdog

    First of all RBC his name is Ron Dennis, not Ron Denis.
    Try to get your facts right.
    Now, perhaps you can explain to me how, on a public forum, you can write that:
    “Jenson is a lying fake smiling snake in the grass”. ???
    You should know that you could find yourself getting sued for defamation of character. You are clearly too stupid to understand that. You are not English are you!
    You do not know Jenson Button, but I can tell you that he is an extremely nice, very decent person, very honest, and very well liked and respected as a driver, by ALL the people in F1, and that includes his boss, Ron Dennis.
    In addition, he has just lost his Father, John Button, who was also very well liked by all in the F1 paddock.
    But you, are such a nasty, disgusting person that you still post your sickening personal attacks against Jenson, even now, when he is struggeling to come to terms with the loss of his Father.
    What sort of person are you?
    If you like, I will give you my email address and you can reply to me directly.
    I don’t think you will, because people like you are cowards and ignorant liars. You hide yourself behind RBC.
    But you can’t hide. You can be found very very easily.
    One thing you should know is that Jenson has been in F1 for many years. During that time he has won many races and a world championship. This is his fifth year driving for the legendary McLaren team who pay him a huge amount of money because he is very very good.
    He has achieved more in his short life, than you ever will, even if you live to be a hundred. You really are nothing.
    So, it really doesn’t matter what you write about him.
    He does not care. In fact, he does not even know that you exist.
    You probably write your hate messages because you are frustrated with your boring insignificant little nothing life.
    Horse racing is still the sport of kings, and Grand Prix motor racing used to be the sport of gentlemen. But these days, unfortunately, F1 has been invaded by sickening morons like you. We don’t want you in our sport.
    Go and support a football team like Millwall so you can send your hate messages.

  • RBC

    There have been many examples of Jenson lying over the years. I’ve seen many people comment on them. I’ve met him and his father. Jenson was a poser. His dad was an alcoholic who spent all GP weekend drunk with a wine in his hand. As I said, you love Jenson so you attack anyone who does not love him, I get it.

  • blackdog

    I am a fan of Grand Prix motor racing and I have been for over 55 years and it has been my privilege to count many of the people in the paddock as my friends, as did my Father before me.
    I happen to know that Jenson Button is universally liked and respected by those very same people, as was John Button.
    Jenson does not have a bad bone in his body and neither did his Father, whose memory you now dishonour in such a disgraceful manner.
    I am so glad that you have written down your latest sickening attack on this public forum, because now, all who read this will know what a disgusting, nasty, and spiteful person you are.
    I can not know, what Jenson ever did to you to make you write such things, publicly, and frankly I do not care.
    I can only think that judging by the behaviour you are demonstrating now, you absolutely deserved it.
    There is no need for you to reply.
    I wish to have nothing further to do with you.

  • RBC

    Jenson was caught on BBC TV two years ago insulting Lewis behind his back to Martin Whitmarsh, after Lewis signed with Mercedes, despite publicly calling him a friend. There are many other examples of his two faced behavior to Lewis.

    John was a well liked person, but he was also an alcoholic, which contributed to his death.

  • blackdog

    It begins with an F and it finishes with two Fs

  • RBC

    A good way to refute facts publicly available. With insults. Nice.

  • blackdog

    If you did not get the last message you never will.
    You are absolutely poisonous, as anyone reading your sickening posts will see. Go AWAY!

  • RBC

    Or you are poisonous because you can only attack facts with insults. Think about that. Someone refers to facts posted on the BBC website and shown in BBC video and your reaction is not to say “Oh s#!t you are right about Button.” but rather you attack the person. Which is a classic poisonous behavior. Attack the man not the argument. So look up the facts, see who Button really is and then comment.

  • blackdog

    GO AWAY!!! You are an extremely obnoxious person.
    Any future messages of yours are going, automatically, into the bin, where both you and they belong.