Formula 1's heavier drivers will lose out in 2009 as a result of the introduction of the much-debated new KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) technology, it has been claimed.
The energy-saving devices – which have been criticised by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo [see separate story – click here
] – are known to be heavy on their own, and allied to no increase in the minimum weight of the cars, it is suggested that those drivers who are smaller and lighter than their rivals will be in a stronger situation to play around with the positioning of extra ballast.
Two who have spoken out on the issue are Mark Webber and Robert Kubica, both of whom are 185cm tall. The Australian has contended that any driver over 70kgs will be at an instant disadvantage, whilst the Pole – who last winter underwent a serious dieting programme in a bid to bring his weight down to closer to that of BMW-Sauber team-mate Nick Heidfeld – told the official Formula 1 website that KERS is 'a concern for all the heavy drivers like me'.
The arrival of KERS has also been mooted as a possible argument in Honda's desire to promote a new young driver over 2008 incumbent Rubens Barrichello next season. The Brazilian has long been one of the heavier drivers in the top flight.