Heavier F1 drivers want weight limit increase for 2014

Nico Hulkenberg expects the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) to look into growing concerns that heavier drivers will be hindered next year unless the minimum weight limit for cars is lifted

Heavier F1 drivers want weight limit increase for 2014

As teams begin to finalise their car designs for 2014, it is emerging that a number of outfits are struggling to get near the minimum 690kg that the car and driver must weigh.

That means that taller drivers like Hulkenberg face the risk of being overlooked for competitive seats simply because they are too heavy.

Hulkenberg, whose weight and height has been a factor in his career, says the new 2014 regulations with heavier power units means the issue is now pressing.

"I think there was a similar situation in 2009 when KERS was first introduced and drivers had to lose a lot of weight," he said. "Unfortunately I am what I am - I am tall and therefore on the heavier side, but not as heavy as some other drivers.

"It is not under my control but maybe in terms of regulations you have to raise the weight a bit more to make it fairer for different weight levels. You can really get an advantage with your weight distribution if you are 10-15kg lighter."

When asked by AUTOSPORT if he felt the matter should be raised in a GPDA meeting, he said: "I think it will come up... I am pretty sure it will."

GPDA director Jenson Button, who even at 74kg has struggled this season to make the weight limit at times, thinks the situation needs looking at.

"It is a big problem, and next year we don't know how bad it's going to be, but it's going to be very tricky," he said.

"Every year we start with ballast, and throughout the year, because you add parts to the car, the car puts more weight on.

"Whereas at the start of next year already, every team is not going to have ballast on the car and it's only going to get worse through the season.

"It does hurt the heavier driver, and it's very unfair to say 'lose weight' because some of us can't lose any more.

"You need to have skin on your bones, and a little bit of muscle to drive a Formula 1 car, so it is unfair."

He added: "I can't see a reason why we can't put the weight limit up by 10kg.

"It wouldn't penalise half of the grid next season. It's one of the easiest things to put right - and it could save a driver's career, or make a driver's career. It's definitely something worth pushing for."

F1's minimum weight limit is currently 642kg for car and drivers. It is going up to 690kg in 2014 because of the extra weight of the new power units, but indications are that the current engines are already heavier than anticipated by the rules.

shares
comments
Red Bull F1 team boss Horner hits out at traction control suggestions
Previous article

Red Bull F1 team boss Horner hits out at traction control suggestions

Next article

Vettel and Red Bull march on in Korea

Vettel and Red Bull march on in Korea
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022