Jenson Button has backed claims that the minimum weight of car and driver in F1 be increased so that the bigger individuals are not penalised in the race to land seats for 2014.
The Briton is among the taller drivers on the grid this season, but his immediate future is safe following the extension of his existing deal with McLaren. However, there are others who could go from being coveted to being left out in the cold for 2014 as teams look to save as much weight as possible in their next-generation cars.
Among them is potential McLaren
team-mate Nico Hulkenberg
– the German is still being rumoured as a possible replacement for Sergio Perez should the Mexican not be able to carry his deal into a second season at Woking – who, as well as being taller than average, also carries around 20kg of extra weight that designers have to take into account when penning next year's machines.
With the introduction of new engines and additional energy regeneration systems pushing up the weight of the standard car package, the rulebook has already been tweaked to mandate a minimum limit of 692kg, including driver, but Button and others believe that the addition of 50kg over the 2013 limit does not go far enough to protect the future of the bigger drivers.
"It does hurt the heavier driver, and it's very unfair to say 'lose weight' because some of us can't lose any more," Button told Reuters
, "I'm 74-74.5 kilos with my kit, and I've struggled to make the weight limit for the last three years. I love fitness training, but 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. You need to have skin on your bones, and a little bit of muscle to drive an F1 car, so it is unfair.
“I can't see a reason why we can't put the weight limit up by 10 kilos - it wouldn't penalise half of the grid next season and it's one of the easiest things to put right. It could save a driver's career."