3 April 2014
Bahrain F1 Grand Prix: Sutil: I don’t even have a water bottle…
Ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix Sauber's Adrian Sutil reveals he can't even drive with a water bottle as he fights to keep his weight down.
Adrian Sutil has branded his weight disadvantage compared with other F1 drivers as 'unfair', claiming the pressures on drivers to keep their weight down is forcing them into compromising situations.
The issue of weight has become apparent ahead of the 2014 Formula 1 season as new, heavier power units mean teams are struggling to meet the minimum weight requirement, despite an increase over the winter.
As such, drivers have come under pressure to lose weight in an effort to negate the heavier engines, with larger framed competitors, such as Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg, said to be at a significant disadvantage.
Indeed, Sutil's woes are compounded further by suggestions the Sauber is heavier than its rivals (pointing out that Hulkenberg's Force India is light), claiming he can lose up to half a second per lap to smaller drivers, not because they are faster, but just because they are lighter.
“We [larger drivers] have to lose so much weight,” he said. “There is not much we can lose anyway, so we can't even train because we have to lose the small muscles. It is a difficult situation and I don't think it's fair.
“Small drivers can eat what they want but we are just naturally heavier and we get a penalty of half-a-second a lap, or more, just like that. Not because the smaller ones are better drivers, they are just lighter. That is not how it should be in F1.
Sutil went on to say how he is forced to make compromises in order to lower weight, including driving in this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix without a water bottle.
“No drinks bottles in the car is one thing,” he continued. “For Bahrain it'll one and a half hours in the car, no drink. In Malaysia I had a little bit of tea, but no more.
“There is a danger [of fainting and dehydration]. We are driving more than 300km/h on the straight, so it's not so easy any more. You can't guarantee that every driver is 100 per cent from a physical point of view.”
However, while the issue has been raised in drivers' meetings, Sutil, who says he lost four kilos over the winter, reveals a selection of the lighter drivers have blocked attempts to change the regulations.
“[Some of] The lighter drivers have a problem with it. They block it and think differently.
“I think it's unfair. I wouldn't like to win against a driver who is 20kg heavier. If you are here because of the sport because you want to win and be the best driver, this cannot be the case. This is not fair, this is not sport.”
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