Getting weight down a priority – Sutil

2014 F1 season

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Adrian Sutil is concentrating on shedding a few kilogrammes before the season begins.

The minimum weight limit for F1 cars has been raised to 691kg this year but the significantly increased weight of the new engines means F1’s taller drivers are under greater pressure to slim down.

“The training is going on as usual but more focused on losing weight,” said Sutil after Sauber’s C33 was revealed.

“I’m a tall driver and I was always on the limit with the weight but now I have to reduce the last few kilos. So I’m on it already and haven’t eaten too much over Christmas and new year this time.”

One area in which weight has been cut this year is in the fuel tanks, where drivers are limited to just 100kg per race. Sutil expects this to have implications for race strategy, making it important for drivers to “maximise what you have in the car, especially in the early races”.

“I would say in the race fuel management would be the topic number one,” he said.

“This is something we haven’t focused on so much in the past, we could really push through the race. Now I think it’s going to be more endurance racing, you have to last ’til the end with a certain amount of fuel. It’s quite a challenge actually for us drivers, quite a few things to learn and to prepare.”

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Image © Sauber

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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34 comments on “Getting weight down a priority – Sutil”

  1. It seems silly to me that the drivers are having to cut so much weight, when I bet that at least 20kg of the car is ballast – probably much more.

    1. That’s the thing though, the ballast helps improve the car’s performance. Having more weight to use as ballast as opposed to driver weight does help.

      I’d like to see a rule that sets a minimum weight for the immediate area the driver is sitting, though.

      1. The sensible option would be a reserved weight: driver + seat. Also add ballast to the seat for smaller drivers.

        1. Exactly. I’ve seen this suggested before, and I’m surprised I’ve never heard it have serious consideration.

        2. @sharoncom exactly as I was implying: it is ludicrous that proposition hasn’t come to fruition considering that the cars will probably be manufactured to a weight significantly lower than the limit.

          1. That’s what I’ve been saying for a while and I’m glad more and more people are suggesting similar solutions. Maybe someone at FIA will hear us.

            It would be really easy to ensure that the combined weight of a driver and his seat is the same for everyone. Also, it wouldn’t be that hard to ensure that the center of mass of the seat is at the same height for everyone, to prevent teams from putting all the “excess” weight as low as possible.

        3. I’ve been ‘silently suggesting’ (i.e. not actually voicing the suggestion, but thinking about it) for years. Being a Webber fan made it an especially attractive-sounding idea to me ;)

    2. Also the lighter they are the more ballast they can move around.

    3. The want the most ballast they can get, they want to place it the lowest they can. I agree they are playing the fia.

  2. The Sauber press pack says Sutil weights 75 kilos to Gutierrez’ 63, and he’s only 3 cm taller (183). Not sure how up-to-date the data is but he would definitely gain from losing some weight.

    1. Sutil does appear to have a slightly wider/bulkier build, though. That could also explain the difference in weight.

      1. I would think it’s Gutierrez’ age that would explain the difference. Men don’t finish laying down bone mass until they’re in their mid-twenties. In a few years’ time, Gutierrez will probably be much closer to Sutil in weight.

        1. 12Kg in bone mass? Honestly, like Sutil says himself, he should lose some weight..

      2. “The Chubby Sutil” they call him.

    2. Gutierrez is 63 kg?

      Wow surely 20kg of that is in his neck alone!

  3. About time that fatty lost a few pounds! Sheesh, he’s even worse than Mark “the Whale” Webber.

    (For once, I’ll point out that I’m being sarcastic. I think the current weight requirements are seriously awful.)

    1. I would prefer the cars to lose some weight without continuing the trend toward jockey sized drivers.

  4. It seems ridiculous that Formula 1 is doing so much to make the cars slower and safer in the event of an accident for the driver, but they wont introduce rules so drivers dont have to lose weight and push their body to its limit. Isnt this just as dangerous to the driver as the cars?

      1. Hmm, Alonso and Massa, who just so happen to be two of the lightest drivers in the pitlane. ‘Turkeys voting for Christmas’ springs to mind.

        1. @sharoncom
          Vettel is the lightest driver on the grid, yet he was pushing for the rule to be accepted. Maybe RB10 is not the lightest car out there.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      26th January 2014, 15:44

      The weight limit is going up next year. They were going to do it this year but some of the teams refused so the earliest they can get it sorted is next year.

      As some of the teams have smaller drivers, rather than do something that is fair and good for the sport, they went with what was best for themselves.

      Yet another example of why teams should only be consulted regarding new rules. They shouldn’t have any input on whether they happen or not because they cannot be trusted to make decisions that are good for the sport.

      It also shows why some of the teams who were left out of the various working groups (ie Sauber) were right to complain.

      1. Why did the FIA specify a minimum weight for the engines?
        Granted, there are exotic materials some teams can use to reduce the weight of the engines which are pretty expensive, but if an engine builder wants to use your everyday light metal such as Aluminium, and it is going below the assigned weight, they have to add ballast to the engines.
        To say some teams are not being fair for what is essentially not their problem and when they already have a complex balancing act with the current weight increase, is just not right.
        If the FIA had set a minimum weight of the car only, and left the engineers with the freedom to build their cars, without the use of exotic materials, but meeting all safety requirements, then we probably will not have this driver weight issue come up.
        The solution to this problem in the future is to have a minimum average weight for and F1 driver, set at say 75 – 80kg, and then leave the teams to decide if they’d go for drivers whose toes weigh more than their heads. Let the teams decide the weight distribution suitable for their car design.

    2. I agree with @walton174 . They should make a reasonable minimum weight for the driver and make any additional ballast be placed in the same kind of area as the driver’s weight. Just adding weight to the car doesn’t work because it’s still advantageous to have the ballast in different areas.

  5. Says the man I thought needed a thoroughly good meal when I met him earlier this month at Autosport International…

  6. Yeah, fuel saving worries me the most, way more than cars’ design. If someone thinks, that teams will just reduce the power of the engine to save fuel and drivers will be able to still push the whole race are wrong, in my opinion. Drivers will have to learn to save as much fuel as they can by coasting, avoiding sudden acceleration etc., because there’s will be no magic button for saving fuel.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      26th January 2014, 15:47

      That’s the problem. I’m sure the most efficient way will end up being turning the engine down from 10 to 5 and coasting into corners etc rather than turn the engine down to 1 and going flat out.

      Any sort of “saving” doesn’t really belong in F1 for me. F1 should be flat out 100% of the time.

    2. @osvaldas31
      Actually there will be. All fuel flow will be managed by the team. All those talks are bogus a little bit. They’ll push the throttle flat out as they used to – computer will limit everything else. Too much drama made out of nothing. But team has much more work to do, that’s true.

      1. @robo , yes, there will be fuel flow management, but it won’t sort things alone, you will need to use driving technique to save fuel. Of course, we don’t know until the season has started, but it will be the talking point of the year, just like tyres were in 2013.

        1. @osvaldas31
          In a very little way! Even ERS now will be automatic. Corner exits and acceleration will be faster, top speed will drop down. Drivers will have to handle the car better throttling out of the corners, but that’s it.
          It’s not a road car, they can’t just push half of a pedal, of 3/4 of pedal, as soon as the car grips enough, they’ll go flat out. During the race they will turn some fuel mixture knobs to control the fuel amount and go as they used to. It’s all about the mechs and electronics to do the job.

          1. @osvaldas31
            “It’s not a road car, they can’t just push half of a pedal, of 3/4 of pedal, as soon as the car grips enough, they’ll go flat out.”

            Of course they increase pressure gradually, but I’m talking about the straights.

          2. Sorry for commenting myself three times:D

  7. Wonderful. I can’t wait to see F1 “endurance racing”. It will be even better in Abu Dhabi with double points!

  8. The Hulk must be stick thin in that case

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