Adrian Sutil, Sauber, Albert Park, 2014

Sutil stopped eating for two days to save weight

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Adrian Sutil, Sauber, Albert Park, 2014In the round-up: Adrian Sutil reveals he stopped eating for two days to save weight.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Sutil tried not eating for two days (ESPN)

“I was testing a little bit here and there. Two days with no food and only drink, I tried. It was not easy, but interesting what the reaction is.”

Niki Lauda backs Sebastian Vettel’s defiance of Red Bull team orders by lauding his “proper racing driver attitude” (The Mirror)

“Asked if it was fair of Vettel to defy his team, Lauda said: ‘Yeah. Absolutely. That is a proper racing driver attitude.'”

Hamilton’s mind is his own business

“It has zero impact on me. Zero. I don’t speak to anyone like that. It was really for the team. The team want to be the best everywhere.”

Start, Korea International Circuit, 2013Korean GP dropped to make way for race in Azerbaijan (The Independent)

Bernie Ecclestone: “Baku has been signed. It will start in 2015 and will replace [South] Korea. They did a good job with the track but what they forgot to do was build all the things they wanted to build.”

Exclusive Nico Hulkenberg Q&A: Season entering crucial stage (F1)

“Probably there’s an element of [Kimi Raikkonen] having to familiarise himself with the team again – and the new car – but I have no idea why he’s struggling more than Fernando does. And no, there is no satisfaction connected to his struggling – just the satisfaction that we’re doing so well.”

Ferrari the biggest threat – Mercedes (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “They are the only other team to have everything, car and powertrain, in-house. And I reckon Alonso to be a real race monster who can achieve everything”.

I must end Hamilton run – Rosberg (BBC)

“Every weekend is crucial but the results momentum is on his side and I need to try to turn it around.”

Perez: Crucial race for team (Sky)

“This circuit does not give you any more points than the others, but it is always important to know that you can do well here, that the updates that you have brought here will keep you in the fight for the next couple of races.”

Public Bill Committee Tuesday 6 May 2014 (Hansard)

Labour MP for Derby North Chris Williamson: “HMRC itself has acknowledged that tax avoidance has gone up by £1 billion, so there is quite clearly a desperate need for more action to address this, because people are understandably cynical when they see stories such as that reported on “Panorama” a couple of weeks ago about Bernie Ecclestone, with a £1 billion tax liability, being able to agree a £10 million pay off.”

F1 in Barcelona – fast and fearful (Peter Windsor via YouTube)

Spanish Grand Prix Betting: Can Mercedes’ Rivals Close The Gap? (Unibet)

My Spanish Grand Prix preview for Unibet.


Comment of the day

Red Bull’s conflicting explanations for Vettel’s change of chassis:

Helmut Marko: There was a crack in the chassis, so we are changing it.
Rob Marshall: It was planned and scheduled since the start of the season, so we are just routinely bringing a new one.
Vettel: We are just comparing the new chassis with the old one, to be sure everything is right, but it’s not the new actually, it’s the one from the testing.

I don’t know how any of these three make sense even if you just try to match two of those, let alone all three statements.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Kbc and Taurus!

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On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher made it five wins out of five at the start of 2004 with victory in the Spanish Grand Prix on this day ten years ago.

Second place for Rubens Barrichello gave Ferrari their third one-two of the season.

The Renault pair followed them home, Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso separated by less than a second but over half a minute behind Schumacher. The former briefly led at the start before dropping behind Schumacher during the pit stops.

Images © Sauber

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  • 55 comments on “Sutil stopped eating for two days to save weight”

    1. poor Sutil !

      1. in order to level the field I suggest that Hamilton and Rosberg get some extra feeding and ideally they should get around 110 kilos per driver…. This is going to far. First there were models going anorexic and now F1 drivers?!?! Just level the field with 100 kilos per driver using extra ballast and get over it FIA. Does FIA waits for some of the drivers lose consciousness because of not eating and kill himself or someone else while going 200 mph??? Does Senna lost his life for nothing?! All we hear is making new rules to cut down the speed of the cars for safety reasons and no one cares about the weight issue?! Can we have some common sense over this situation immediately?!

        1. Common sense and F1 seldom go together. This would be simple to solve by mandating a minimum weight of driver + seat, but the turkeys won’t vote for Christmas.

    2. Experimenting with fasting for two days? Clearly this driver weight thing has gone too far.

      Todt’s comments don’t make me feel all that comfortable either. People have been suggesting combined weights for drivers and seats for years, it still astounds me that the FIA hasn’t implemented that solution

      1. @plushpile I completely disagree. It’s Sutil’s/Sauber’s prerogative. The only problem I see here is that the weight has come down and he’s used to the olden days. Sure, it sucks for him, but overall? Meh, I think it’s a non-issue. It’s like a jockey being too big, or an astronaut too fat for a new lightweight shuttle. F1 is and hopefully will continue to be about light materials (drivers included). Starving himself is insanely unhealthy but it was almost definitely his choice, and if that’s what he wants to do then good luck to him. Why it means we need changes to weight regulations is beyond me. I don’t see any 6’3″, 200 pounds drivers in F1. Maybe we should increase the weight limit to accommodate them as well? Where exactly do you make the cut?

        1. @timi I think you’ve failed to understand the suggestion. The point about mandating a combined driver and seat weight is that the weight of a driver is removed as a factor, and then there is no need to raise weight limits for drivers.

          After a week when we’ve been talking about how much safety has improved in the past 20 years, it seems perverse that this attitude still exists. His choice? Sure. But the regulations can be changed to ensure that drivers and teams aren’t pressured into making unsafe choices.

          Your comparisons with horse racing and space flight are straw men – in those situations there’s nothing that can be reasonably done to fix that situation. Here, there is.

          There’s also an opportunity here to reconsider other weight regulations. Can’t we exclude the weight of the tires from the minimum weight? Why do we have to bother with the absurd process of picking up pieces of rubber on the in-lap? Seems pretty dumb to me.

          1. VERY well said.

          2. @fluxsource

            Can’t we exclude the weight of the tires from the minimum weight? Why do we have to bother with the absurd process of picking up pieces of rubber on the in-lap? Seems pretty dumb to me.

            Couldn’t agree more, pal.

            However, I don’t get this combined driver weight and seat weight fallacy. Hamilton claimed the seats weigh 1kg in his Mercedes F1 seat feature and I’m pretty sure Nico said the same thing. So that option is pretty much useless, since I doubt Sutil’s 2 day fast was because of 1kg.

            While my horse racing and astronaut examples may be slightly different to this case since F1 regs can be changed, they still apply. My point is that lighter = faster and more efficient. If you’re heavier, then meh that’s your problem at the end of the day. How about shaving a few kg off the car so Sutil can stay as he is? Remember the Sauber has been some 30kg overweight so far this year and they’re bringing a new lightweight chassis and parts to Barca. My bet is that he’s been doing this extreme weight-cutting to negate that. Perhaps with their new car he won’t have to do it. And then where will the weight complaints come from? The only other ones I’ve heard were from Button, so to me it’s all a bit overblown. It’s a big driver in an overweight car which is what a lot of people forget/ignore. I’m reserving judgement on this whole weight thing until a few races after Sauber get their car in check. Heck, Sutil might actually need to put on some weight!

            1. Correction: Autosport article has a Sauber rep. saying they’re 10kg overweight not 30, my bad.
              And here is Hamilton saying seats weigh a kilo

            2. @timi

              The way it would work is like this:

              You mandate that each seat and driver combination must weight at least 120kg. You have a range of drivers, weighing say, 80kg, 90kg and 100kg. So now you need to make the seat weight 40kg, 30kg and 20kg. You simply add ballast to the seats to make the combined seats weigh the same. You remove the weight of the driver as a factor, remove the need to up the minimum weight of the car.

              There are lots of regulations about minimum weight of components to prevent exactly that kind of weight saving, which create dangerously fragile components.

              I think we can all agree we want to avoid that.

            3. @timi So that option is pretty much useless, since I doubt Sutil’s 2 day fast was because of 1kg.

              He’ll start the race without any fluid in the drink bottle to save 1kg.

            4. You don’t seem to understand what the real issue here is. It is a safety issue and it is a health issue. There is no choise for big drivers like sutil to not to doo all kinds of unhealthy things to keep the weight down. If you have wide variety of equally skillful people then in f1 your weight becomes the differentiator. Not your actual skill. So it is a competitive issue as well.

              A seat can be weigh anything from 1kg to 100kg. Trying to make an argument that the seat couldn’t be used to balance the driver weights is logical fallacy. It can. Se the combined weight of the driver+seat to 80kg for example and be done with it. Then crate rules for the minimum dimensions for the cockpit so tall drivers have room to turn the steering wheel for example.

              To sum it up. This weight issue in f1 is a competion issue, safety issue and health issue that is easy to solve. There is no choise for big drivers. It is not about choise if you choose to breath or not. You don’t breath you die. You are big driver and you don’t go to unhealthy extremes to lose weight? You lose your job.

              A combined seat+driver does not even help the team with overweight car at all! You don’t even get that!? A car can weigh, say 650kg. Driver+seat is always 80kg. Now the car is 650-80=570. If the car weighs more you need to make the car lighter. If the car is lighter you need to add weight TO THE CAR. Combined driver+seat weight would not help sauber AT ALL.

        2. @timi, @fluxsource is on the right path here.
          There’s no need to be overly generous with the seat/driver weight limit just so that drivers can start eating cheeseburgers. But when Hulkenburg is missing out on drives because of his weight, JEV is passing out at sponsor events, Sutil is starving himself for days and racing without a drinks bottle there is clearly a major issue here.

          It’s not a new one either, look at how gaunt Webber in the latter half of his career. Mansell always had to overcome being a larger driver too.

          Alan Jones has gone so far as to suggest the FIA mandate minimum cockpit size so that larger drivers can always fit in the car, and while I don’t entirely agree I see his point.

          Do Sauber need to do better with the weight of their car? Absolutely, but with a minimum weight limit for driver/seat we at least won’t be risking drivers passing out mid-race after their already malnourished bodies loose 3kg across a race. You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to predict the consequences of that possibility.

          1. @plushpile The driver seat thing is hilarious. However, @fluxsource is on to something with removing tyre weight from the equation. I would say that’s the best way to go with the whole thing

            1. @timi The driver seat thing is the only way to fix the problem.

              It is not ok for another human being having to starve themselves for sport.

              Make the driver seat combined have a minimum weight. Give them a small range to put the cog of both together and be done with it.

        3. @timi

          In addition to points others have made i would also add this – is it fair for a taller (heavier) driver to work his way up through the junior categories, for example GP2, where weight restrictions are more achievable, potentially win that category, and then not get a drive in F1 because he is too heavy? Or he might get the drive but is giving away half a second a lap to his competitors so probably goes on to lose his job at the end of the season (if the team can’t get under the weight limit at some point). It’s not consistent with other categories so you can’t compare it to horse racing where i guess everyone who competes in it knows early on that if they want to compete at the highest level then they need to be ‘jockey sized’.

          It would be SO easy to fix, we all know various solutions which would work. The problem is this bizarre self-policing system F1 seems to have where teams/drivers will block or veto any changes which give away some form of advantage, regardless of what they know would be good for the sport.

          Having said all that, i’m a little dubious about Sutil’s claims here. I feel he might be exaggerating to make sure driver weight is still in the headlines. This makes sure that A) he keeps pressure on the FIA and teams to change the regulations on safety grounds (which could theoretically be done mid-season before the increased limit of next year) and B) if he loses out to his team-mate people remember his disadvantage (if that still applies after Sauber’s lighter chassis debut).

      2. Combined driver and seat weight is not that straightforward either, a light driver would still have the advantage of having more weight on the seat in the middle of the car or even being able to use heavy clothes or shoes to lower the center of gravity.
        One way or another heavy drivers will always be handicapped, the good news is that next year the limit will increase by 10kg

        1. It’s not a perfect solution, but it is one that’s relatively easy to implement and police.
          It also doesn’t completely remove the lighter driver’s advantage – as they can still play with ballast – but it does level the playing field somewhat.

        2. a light driver would still have the advantage of having more weight on the seat in the middle of the car or even being able to use heavy clothes or shoes to lower the center of gravity.


          Very true, but it makes the advantage much smaller, and removes a lot of the pressure from the drivers to take dangerous steps.

        3. @mantresx
          Not necessarily.
          Based on average athlete physical properties, FIA could come up with a ballast placement template, where depending on how much ballast is needed, a set of again, template ballast bricks are placed along the back of the seat in a predetermined pattern. That could minimize the lower CoG advantage that the lighter driver has to some extent.

    3. Despite being a massive Schumacher fan back then, I jumped out of my chair of excitement when Trulli took the lead in that 2004 Spanish GP. I’ve always been a fan of Trulli and felt his career would have been a lot different if he didn’t manage to end up at teams either several years early (Renault, Toyota) or several years late (Prost, Jordan). Maybe managing his race pace a little better would have done wonders for his career as well..

      It was hard seeing those two struggle in 2010, but ironically, that season flicked a switch for me; I started losing interest in 2004 little by little due to Schumacher’s dominance and in the following years even more because I wasn’t really a fan of any of the lead drivers. In 2010 I became more and more of an Alonso fan and started to appreciate Hamilton and Vettel a lot more. Heck, I feel the F1 grid is better now than from 1998 on. No champions holding on to their seat without any real success, no types like Pedro Diniz or Ricardo Rosset, even the backmarkers now look 20 times better than Minardi ever did (which is also kind of sad in a way).

      While I have massive nostalgia for the 1998-2004 seasons, it’s pretty telling that an innocent off from a Minardi made it to the highlights of that race. I for one do not miss fuel stops, grooved tyres, nor the FOM director struggling to find something interesting going on other than retirements and pitstops..

    4. I reckon Alonso to be a real race monster who can achieve everything.

      That might just be the perfect way to describe Alonso. The guy is immense.

    5. money (@carlos-danger)
      9th May 2014, 0:30

      alonso and hamilton at Mercedes is just what f1 needs i approve.

    6. Car weight is a serious issue, but… No sympathy, Adrian. You can lose 30 kilos and you’ll still be rubbish.

      1. one needs to cast an eye over to a ‘heavy’ Nico Hulkenberg to prove this :)

      2. Actually after reading the article I see it completely different @fer-no65. Sure, he is heavy and sure he is not top drawer driver material. But if he tried to go 2 days without eating, just drinking, to test the limit of what he can take during the winter, I actually see a driver who is completely focussed to do whatever reasonable to be better. From that “experiment” he surely now knows where the limit is and can stay slightly above that.

        1. @bascb Sure :P my point still stands… I absolutely hate him !

          1. @fer-no65, your choice

            1. @bascb absolutely ! I’m massively biased with everything that happens to Sutil hehe !

              And anyway, he went out in Q1, so…

            2. @fer-no65 – so?

              Nothing changes, Sutil is still a “safe pair of hands” uninspiring driver in a so-so F1 car. Although I do think there are things to like (his love for cars, playing music, what he has improved in his life due to sitting out a year of F1 etc)

            3. @bascb he might be a nice guy but he’s been in F1 since 2007 and done absolutely nothing. I don’t care if he plays music, to be honest… I just find him racing in F1 totally annoying. He’s a safe, SLOW, pair of hands… I hate him.

            4. Hm, I just think its far to much to hate anyone for @fer-no65. I am rather indifferent to him. myself

            5. @bascb it’s just a friendly hate, a meaningless “I just wish he doesn’t do well” kind of hate. The sort people have on Maldonado.

              Yeah ! that’s why ! I treated him with indifference since ever, but after a while, indifference turns to hate :P

    7. Well I can’t see Rosberg wanting to be Lewis’ team-mate for much longer…
      *12 Months later* – Well I can’t see Alonso wanting to be Lewis’ team-mate for much longer…
      *Another 12 months later* – Well I can’t see Vettel wanting to be Lewis’ team-mate for much longer…

      1. Actually only driver to amaze Alonso was Hamilton.
        Only driver to amaze Hamilton was Alonso.

        I don’t think they really ever had any other teammate that they truly saw as a threat.

        Besides Hamilton’s 2011 year, I’ve never saw either of those two having trouble adapting to car, not being comfortable with the rear, with the front etc. Yes, they had issues. Alonso had some difficulties adapting to Bridgestones in 2007 and Hamilton had some difficulties adjusting to Mercedes last year, but it was only shown through somewhat inconsistent performances in some races where they didn’t really feel comfortable with the car. You didn’t see them being outpaced by teammates race-by-race and wondering in the wilderness while their teammate is taking wins and pole positions.

        I still think those two are the best drivers F1 had since 2001. Of course, both Alonso and Hamilton took a few years to get where they are today, but they were on it from the day one.

        1. I agree with this… I don’t think Vettel is too far behind, but like Button he needs a perfect package to look spectacular. Alonso & Hamilton are the only drivers who seem to consistently get the most out of whatever they’ve got, dog or not. I’d give Lewis the edge on one lap pace & overtaking ability, but I think Alonso is the most well rounded driver in F1 currently. I truly hope they end up as teammates again before either retires.

          1. I don’t only agree with your comment but would like to see that happen as well specially now that both drivers know what to expect from each other. I am a Lewis fan but think Lewis, in some degree, won that battle because Alonso underestimated him till it was too late to respond.

            1. Yeah, I’m with you on that one too. By the time Alonso realized the kid really was that good, the damage had been done. I truly believe that both of them in the same (competitive) team would result in a great partnership, & force both of them to raise their games to counter each other’s relative strengths. We can only hope to be treated to such a spectacle in the future.

    8. Rumor in the paddock is there was a suspiciously large delivery of some 600 Spanish dictionaries to Brackley. Said to be order by Toto, as an early New Year’s shopping for 2015 gifts to the personnel.

      On an unrelated note, it seems that Rosberg’s side of the garage got a Spanish language teacher, instead of previously mentioned psychologist.

      Nobody suspects anything yet, since it’s a Spanish Grand Prix of course.

    9. Fernando’s comment in reply to how it feels to not be winning is kind of funny. I would think it would be better phrased by him to say “Unfortunately, I’ve had more experience…”.

      1. just reading the transcript from the press conference, Fernando actually did say “Unfornuately,…” not “Fortunately…” as Keith tweeted.

    10. Red Bull’s got a pretty rubbish PR department, don’t you think?:p

    11. They did a good job with the track but what they forgot to do was build all the things they wanted to build.”

      Sounds like they did a fantastic job…

      1. Cocaine-Mackeine
        9th May 2014, 1:30

        Yes but the circuit will be forgotten like Aida or Las Vegas. For me, the Korean GP only brought two good races (2010,2013) so it doesn’t have a good reputation, but I’d prefer to ditch Singapore instead of Korea.

        1. Me too. Nice scenery, mind numbingly boring race.

    12. I don’t think there’s any point in trying to compare F1 with WEC – endurance racing is something that’ll never really catch on with casual viewers. Although the technology this year is very impressive – they managed to cut down fuel consumption in WEC by 25-30% (I think) without half as much fan whining as F1 generally has to deal with.

    13. Will the Korean and Indian circuit be used for any other series(widely known series)? Or any other new circuit that F1 has recently abandoned?

    14. Blimey! I got my first COTD. Didn’t even realize till now. :)
      Thanks. :)

    15. Aqib (@aqibqadeer)
      9th May 2014, 5:16

      Is alonso trying to say he has a lot of experience of ‘not winining’ races??…lol

    16. Sutil is 6’0 75kg Hulkenburg is 6’0 70kg. Hulkenburg said he didnt have to take any drastic measures to get his weight there and keep it there. I suspect Sutil was just lazy in the off season and didn’t work on his weight enough and now has just resulted to complaining about it hoping someone would care. If he was at 70 and complaining that getting to 68 is hard I would understand but at 75 and can’t loose 5 kilos is just pure laziness. I think he should just get on with it now and stop complaining

      1. Bit harsh isn’t it? Just because two people are the same height doesn’t mean their weight should be the same. And I don’t think you can really call any F1 driver lazy…

        1. It is a bit harsh but he talks about it so much, I mean Jenson is 72 and doesnt complain, he just gets on with it. People keep saying that weight loses a lot of time but often you see heavy drivers out perform their lighter team mates, I would understand if he was 10 kilos heavier

      2. I saw a recent interview with Hulkenberg in which he said he was 77kg including race suit, helmet and HANS.

        Human physiology doesn’t fit into neat boxes like that: people vary naturally in build, even at the lower ‘safe’ end of the BMI scale.

    17. I hosted a round of the track designing contest to make a circuit around Baku in the forums for F1. Using the GT Series circuit, there were many corrections needed to be made, with parts of the circuit much narrower than Monaco (probably 5 meters wide), very very bumpy (being brand new), and some ridiculous corners as well (All chicanes bar the first one).
      It would be very intrigued to see how they manage to create this street circuit when the only suitable road is the freeway…

    18. Super film of the Barcelona track.
      We were there a couple of years ago to visit the art gallery that stands in the centre of what was the track. As we left and walked down the hill, I said to partner “Do you realise this was used a Formula One race track in the seventies?” He looked at the trees, bollards, kerbs, drain covers and stone walls with incredulity. “They were very brave back then” was his reply.

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