F1 driver Jean-Éric Vergne hospitalized due to extreme diet

F1 driver Jean-Éric Vergne hospitalized due to extreme diet image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Jean Eric Vergne twitter | posted April 08, 2014 08:00

Vergne was starving and severely dehydrated when he was admitted in between races.

Jean-Éric Vergne, who drives for F1 team Scuderia Toro Rosso, found himself strapped to something else after the Australian Grand Prix, a hospital bed.

It’s not an injury from racing and nor is it disease-related.  Jean-Éric Vergne stands six feet flat but weighs 152 pounds.  Therein lies the ‘heavy’ problem.

As per the 2014 F1 rules and regulations, an F1 vehicle and its driver must weigh no more than 692kg.  With the shift to a less gas-guzzling engine and the focus on more sustainable means of propulsion, racecars in Formula 1 had to accommodate the extra weight brought turbocharging and hybrid technology.  That means drivers need to weigh less.

23-year old has been on a strict diet for months prior to the season and has been dehydrating and starving himself, especially during qualifying to gain a few tenths of a second and get a better grid position for race day.  He says, "The weight difference between myself and my teammate was making me lose four tenths (per lap)."

It is also not an isolated case as other F1 drivers who are genetically taller, bigger and broader have had to watch their calorie and sugar intake just to make weight every time.