Anton Andres / FIA | January 23, 2018 15:10
Underweight is unhealthy, says Formula 1
It's not just race cars that need to pass minimum weight limits, at least that's what's Formula 1 is considering. Drivers will also soon get minimum weight too but it's not in the way you might think. In fact, this new weight requirement might just make it fairer for the taller drivers in the series.
Formula 1 is all about keeping weight down and teams have also told drivers to slim down to make the overall weight of the car down. With that, Formula 1 was concerned with the overall fitness and health of the drivers and have set an 80 kilogram weight minimum for the drivers. The 80 kilograms should take into account the weight of the driver and the seat. If the driver and the seat don't reach the minimum, ballast will be added to the car.
That means that, regardless of the driver's weight, all cars are expected to weigh the same as the ballast will make up for the missing kilograms to reach the minimum. For example, if the driver and the seat reach 70 kilograms, an additional 10 kilograms of ballast will be added under the seat. The lower the weight of the driver, the more ballast will be placed in the car. The sport believes that, with this rule in place, it levels the playing field for drivers and keep them within their ideal weights for their respective heights.
The issue of driver weight came to light when teams saw that the newly required halo cockpit added up to 15 kilograms to the car. To compensate for that, drivers might have to lose weight in order to compensate for the extra kilos piled on by the halo. In response, Formula 1 adapted this new rule. Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe was in favor of the new rule, saying there is a lesser need to bring a driver's weight down, possibly to unhealthy levels.