Mark Webber would have been at a disadvantage under the new rules had he continued to race in F1 in 2014, according to Red Bull’s Adrian Newey.
Webber left F1 at the end of last season to compete in the World Endurance Championship. As one of F1’s taller drivers, his higher weight had hindered the team’s efforts to get his car down to the minimum weight limit without sacrificing performance.
Drivers are under greater pressure to trim down this year due to the increased weight of the new engines, despite the minimum weight limit rising to 691kg this year.
“With Sebastian [Vettel] and Daniel [Ricciardo] we will reach the limit by the skin of our teeth,” Newey told The Red Bulletin. “Mark Webber would really be at a disadvantage this season.”
“My cars have a general tendency to gain weight after their first outing,” Newey added. The development of the exhaust-blown diffusers on the 2011 RB7 was an example of that:
“To start with the exhausts kept breaking because of the unusual shape, but we got a grip on the problem in the end with extra material and changing the way we treated it.”
But Newey added the performance of the 2011 car with exhaust-blowing didn’t quite reach that of the 2010 car when double diffusers were legal:
“The RB6 was probably the car with the most downforce in the history of F1, more even than the legendary spoiler cars of the 1980s. We measured up to 5.5G of lateral acceleration.
“It could go flat out through Copse at Silverstone, and on the sharp bend on the back straight at Barcelona [Campsa].”
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Image © Red Bull/Getty
42 comments on “Weight would have disadvantaged Webber – Newey”
11th March 2014, 10:28
That RB6 was an absolutely incredible car. Going on YouTube and seeing the onboard laps and the cornering speed it could carry is simply stunning.
Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
11th March 2014, 10:46
I am no RB fan, but I feel honoured to have seen that car race.
11th March 2014, 10:52
Stunning car, but mainly in quali mode. Race pace wasn’t really that impressive.
11th March 2014, 13:28
RB6 also took turn 8 turkey flat. Madness
11th March 2014, 19:11
It was on bridgestone’s though that might help.
Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty)
5th April 2014, 10:30
Flat from Luffield to Becketts/Chapel.. and one handed most of the lap.. insane!
11th March 2014, 10:45
Yeah, I remember RB6 crushing the opposition in circuits with fast corners. Legendary car.
But I think it’s good that we will have less downforce this year, because it was easier to drive cars with more downforce. I just fear that teams will claw back all that downforce from last year and will add even more.
11th March 2014, 10:58
Red Bull Honda in 2015?
11th March 2014, 11:08
Isn´t Honda coming in as exclusive to McLaren? Don´t know about this but anyways, doesn´t RBR have a contract with Renault?
11th March 2014, 11:17
@karter22 Honda is not exclusive to McLaren
11th March 2014, 11:57
Didn’t McLaren veto Mercedes supplying Red Bull? If that’s true, I’d expect a similar arrangement with Honda. Although there may be performance clauses in Honda’s favour….
11th March 2014, 12:25
I can’t imagine Red Bull wanting to play 2nd fiddle to McLaren in the engine department.
11th March 2014, 19:26
That’s my story for the silly season, but it is maybe just silly.
19th August 2021, 2:08
You were just 4 years off with that guess
11th March 2014, 11:13
How could Webber have been at risk? Ricciardo looks beefier than Mark! I guess they just needed an excuse to get rid of Mark.
Sri Harsha (@harsha)
11th March 2014, 11:25
I think its the height factor mainly along with weight. The Packaging must be very tight in order to gain Aero efficiency according to newey
11th March 2014, 11:26
@karter22 Mark is much taller than Dan. And he chose to leave by himself it was not RBR’s decision
11th March 2014, 12:00
Is Webber really that higher than Ricciardo? They look the same to me :), just curios.
11th March 2014, 12:24
Webber is 185 cm, weight 72 kg. Ricciardo is 180cm weight 68kg
Bazza Spock (@bazza-spock)
11th March 2014, 21:14
Yeah and I know Dan has to do serious dieting to hit the target for red bull this year so imagine what it’d be like for Mark.
I really wish they’d do something about the driver weight regulations.
11th March 2014, 11:54
Slimming down is harder if you’re physically larger – there’s less you can do about it. Jenson Button is having similar issues, as reported recently – he knows that a kilogram less body weight is worth a couple of tenths at some tracks. If you’re small and muscular it’s easy to lose more weight – Alonso is probably dieting too. Allegedly Hamilton is looking thinner these days as well.
3rd April 2014, 14:45
His hair certainly seemed to be, to me.
He looked really thin on top, I could see him going bald in a couple of years.
No having a go at him, just something I noticed when he was on the podium. I could be wrong.
11th March 2014, 12:17
I think Adrian Newey is second to none when it comes to aerodynamics but I don’t understand how this comment makes sense at all. With abundance of torque provided by new power-train few kilos more on drivers side are virtually nothing.
In my opinion everyone using Renault power-train will be disadvantaged – Mark Weber or Benny Hill, same thing – they would be similary impressive.
11th March 2014, 12:27
@Boomerang The cars have a 691kg minimum weight including the driver. If they cannot fit the driver’s weight within a weight limit they have to run the car with bigger weight sacrificing performance. What torque has to do with it I don’t know
11th March 2014, 14:17
The drivers weight is important because if he is light enough, they can make a car underweight and place the equalising ballast at a point in the car which benefits performance, i.e. C of G or Polar Moment of Inertia.
11th March 2014, 14:54
@baron That was the case last year and before that. This year as was explained by Gary Anderson on Autosport the teams struggle to just get the minimum weight at all without any thinking of ballast. See the Newey quote above: “With Sebastian [Vettel] and Daniel [Ricciardo] we will reach the limit by the skin of our teeth”
11th March 2014, 12:40
“virtually nothing” in the F1 world can be quite meaningful. Even with the extra troque, if you have more weight, yours laps are slower, as simlpy as that. Even 0.1 of a second is important
11th March 2014, 19:26
@karter22 You can lose weight you can’t lose height.
3rd April 2014, 14:47
Could have chopped his feet off. Why would a racing driver need feet? The ends of his legs could easily push the peddles.
11th March 2014, 12:13
Nothing new Mansell had find upto half a sec at some tracks when he was paired up with Prost.
It’s getting out of hand you have to be a jockey to fit in the modern cars, raise the weight so more drivers have equal opportunity. Drivers like Berger, Frenzen, Piquet, Jones to name a few wouldn’t even get a look in now.
11th March 2014, 12:15
They should rename it to: “Formula Anorexia”
11th March 2014, 12:29
@tophercheese21 haha indeed. They should have a sign on the drivers motorhomes lodges “Only people with anorexia and midgets allowed”
11th March 2014, 12:33
I knew it was only a matter of time before anorexic midgets had their own niche. Adrian Newey is now leaning forward in his chair at the thought of having a 25kg driver…
11th March 2014, 12:44
@tophercheese21 Well then I have a better suggestion for Adrian. An electronically controlled from the pits baboon! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baboon
The weight is right and there’s much more muscle than in anorexic midgets. Also, there’s a loop in the rules to allow this: pits to car telemetry is banned but not pits to driver!
11th March 2014, 14:14
Lol…Formula One Calorie
Lol…25 kg. anorexic little person…standing up in the seat to drive while they fill the footwell with ballast.
11th March 2014, 14:17
Their most dreaded venue…Hungary…
11th March 2014, 12:32
I remember Webber saying that in Hungary they had to put more fuel in the car in practice just to hide their pace because the RB6 was so quick that weekend. In quali, both cars were one-two and Alonso in third was over a second off pole. Great car.
11th March 2014, 12:39
Slowly the secrets are coming out from the Redbull garage, this is a good strategy to disclose information before people like Peter Podromu spill the beans
11th March 2014, 14:58
Even with ballast it would be qualifying disadvantage..look at Kimi vs Massa in 2008 when Kimi was 12kg heavier. Kimi had fastest race lap record in that year, but qualifying just cannot lie.
11th March 2014, 20:23
Thanks heaven Newey admitted it because some people here were claiming that it wasn’t too dominant
Do you mean blown diffuser ?? Because i think double diffusers were banned in 2010 or maybe i am missing something ?
20th April 2016, 2:53
You are right, double diffusers were banned at the end of 2009, so it makes no sense. Blown diffusers were legal all the way through the end of 2013. On 2014, only one exhaust pipe was allowed in the center, high above the diffuser.
19th August 2021, 2:12
Actually, the double diffuser was banned after 2010. The RB6 had both a double diffuser and a blown diffuser.
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