Perez ‘told to lose 1.8 kilos before first race’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Sergio Perez was told to reduce his weight by almost two kilos before the first race of the new season.

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Which side of the debate on ‘shark fins’ do you come down on?

Ban it as soon as possible. For the start of the European part of the year.

It is ugly, adds nothing to good racing, reduces the show, makes cars easier to handle, less spectacular to drive. So that’s that.

Do not ban shark fins. Allow the engineers to have a free hand. Let them show their ingenuity. We do not want all cars to be exactly similar, do we?

Cast your vote on whether the shark fins should be banned here:

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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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66 comments on “Perez ‘told to lose 1.8 kilos before first race’”

  1. nelson piquet
    19th March 2017, 0:10

    just give every team a small loan of 20 million dollars and see who makes the most outta it

    1. What like investing in penny shares? :)

  2. So….Mercedes may not have gone all the way to ludicrous speed yet.

  3. If you agree with jureo then we shouldn’t have widened the cars, the tyres and the wings.

    1. ExcitedAbout17
      19th March 2017, 0:58

      I agree with @jureo re. fins.

      And wider cars and lower wings DO add to the show and good racing as they make the cars faster and tougher to handle. I’m happy with the direction taken this year, but could do without the fin apendages.

      1. The problem is that you can’t ask for more aero to get the cars tougher and then take aero to make the cars tougher.

        1. More Areo and less stable Aero makes the cars tougher.

          Ground effect cars had more aero than their previous counterparts, but were also more temperamental.

          Sharkfin adds 0 downforce in a straight line, but when things go wrong it keeps the flow more stable and helps cars their rears in check while cornering… What we want is rears stepping out… more unstable rear aero would help that. Shark fin helps rear stability…

          So you can have more aero and more spectacle.. Shark fins do not provide that.

          1. Ground effects cars were *not* more temperamental. One of the biggest complaints about them in the early 80s was that the cars appeared to be on rails and there was no sliding on twitching, and the first comments when it was banned was that the cars were fun to drive again because they would move around in cornering.

          2. So, we remove rear wings too? Should drastically reduce rear stability which would give you that moving in corners that you so desperately want. The thing about the shark fin is, because of the rear wings being that much lower this year than previous years, the air reaching it is much more turbulent; the shark fins stabilise this air. So it’s not only when things go wrong that they have an effect. In essence, what you’re saying is, either make the rear slide (increasing tire wear and lap times) or cause the cars to corner at lower speeds, thereby increasing lap times and directly opposing the reason for the rule changes.

      2. So ultimately, we want good looking cars that are impossible to get off the line cleanly, and impossible to drive safely.

        We’ve already killed one driver by insisting the cars be more difficult to drive– How many more? Or should we stop racing in the rain?

        Because every single iota of instability, or difficulty in driving, will be magnified ten-fold in mixed weather conditions, and will be even worse in heavy rain.

        1. That’s unfair. Bianci died because a digger/crane was in a dangerous spot, not because the car was too difficult to drive in the rain.

          1. Harsh, yes. Unfair, not as much. There were many factors in Bianchi’s death– failure to move the race to an earlier time slot, bad drainage at that corner (Sutil having gone off in the same corner at the same angle), Sutil and Bianchi both driving too fast for that corner, the crane being on the wrong side of the fence, the helicopter not being able to fly– all of these contributed to a tragic accident.

            But every time the fans, or the drivers, or the teams, call for the cars to be made more difficult to drive, we have to remember that more difficult to drive means wrecks are more likely. The fact that current rules don’t allow suspensions to be modified for wet weather running is absurd.

            There’s a great deal of time and money being put into advanced suspension concepts that are designed to passively emulate an active suspension model to maintain proper aero balance– If you really want the midfield teams to have a shot at podiums, come up with a standardized model for active suspension– not so much on geometry or layout, but the amount that it can be adjusted during a race. Define a range of operation for it, along with three programmed modes– low fuel, high fuel, and rain.

            We’d get better racing at the start of the race, when everyone has full fuel, we’d have better racing at the end of the race when everyone’s on low fuel, and we’d have safer racing in the rain.

            And it would still be cheaper than the R&D Mercedes is doing on hydraulic voodoo.

  4. If someone told me I could drive a Formula 1 car and all I had to do was lose 1.8kg I’d have that gone within a week!

    When Button was knocking on the door of 11 stone, being around 6 foot that’s a tall order. But for a guy like Perez that’s a perfectly reasonable weight.

    1. I think he’s got big bones.

      1. Big bones? Never seen a fat skeleton.

        1. It’s true. Everyone on the planet has the exact same bone density and average thickness. No variations whatsoever except for proportion due to height.

    2. I was told you weren’t supposed to loose more than 500 grams of weight in a week, which is about a 1 pound, so he should have been told at least 4 weeks before the Melbourne GP. I don’t see what the big deal is, why don’t they take some of the ballast out? That is what it is there for, that will bring everything back to the right Gross Laden Weight.

      1. Ballast can be used to balance the car on certain points for the circuit.. Loosing the ballast option means less setup options.

      2. 1lb is a recommended amount of weight to lose per week as part of a healthy ongoing lifestyle. That figure is about sustainability.

        It would differ from person to person and I would say a doctor should have the final say, but losing 3lb wouldn’t be unhealthy or dangerous for an average person provided they aren’t underweight already and don’t have any health conditions.

        1. It wasn’t that long ago that we had drivers collapsing from excessive weight loss (largely because they were starting to have to lose it from water due to needing the rest of the weight for conducting their sport properly).

      3. I gained 10 kilograms during the last two months of my military service (don’t ask) and afterwards I lost it all within 10 weeks (and I didn’t gain it back later).

        The diet wasn’t even that tough – I just exercised once a day, ate healthy and didn’t drink alcohol. But I was never hungry.

        Of course people are different and losing weight is obviously tougher if the person is quite slim already. But all in all, I don’t think losing 1.8 kilograms within a week is a dangerous mission for a Formula One driver (although becoming overly underweight could be).

    3. You’ve obviously never enjoyed real Mexican food. It’s amazing.

      1. Have you ever eaten in England? Easy to see why the British drivers are thin.

        I guess this explains why there aren’t any American drivers.

        1. Actually, male Brits are close to the US as far as overweight/obesity rates are concerned: 67% versus 71%.
          I guess the food isn’t as bad as advertised.

          1. Debatable. As an American male who spent 3 months living in England. I lost about 20-30 pounds while I was over there. Of course, I did stay away from a lot of meats.

    4. @philipgb problem is to reach that weight I would have to drop more than 10kg.

      Still, I would starv if I needed to

    5. So, assuming you’re a very fit, healthy young man with practically no body fat, where do you lose the mass from?

      Most of these racers spent the winter strength training, which builds up muscle mass, and adds on the weight like nothing else. Now they need to lose that muscle mass to fit within a predefined weight limit.

      1. Aye, loosing muscle mass should not be what is required from the drivers.

      2. None of the drivers have practically no body fat. Most are around 10-15% I would expect.

        I doubt he is but let’s put Perez at the ripped, 10% end. That means of his 71.7kg mass, 7.17kg is fat. Dropping 1.8kg of that puts him down to 5.36kg of fat, which at his new mass of 69.9kg would be 7.68% body fat. Still healthy. Probably comparable to Button at his peak though with a higher BMI thanks to Perez’s lower height.

        1. There’s a limit as to how much weight a F1 driver shed and still be healthy, as some of that fat is used to maintain the ability to exercise for the lengths of time they exercise for (the drinks bottle doesn’t supply the whole need). Once dropping into the 6-8% mark, that would start to be a problem. It’s doable, but it could compromise Sergio’s speed depending on how it was done… …and would be more problematic to Esteban Ocon, who would have a higher “essential fat” requirement due to his extra height.

          It’s better for Sergio to reach the intended weight mid-season in an optimal way, rather than do it for the start of the season and have energy conversion issues in the races (which could counteract the benefit of the weight, which amounts to around 0.06 seconds a lap).

    6. I’d give my right arm, which should more than cover it…

  5. Neil (@neilosjames)
    19th March 2017, 2:11

    Perez isn’t especially tall so he could probably manage without too much trouble. I feel a bit sorry for Ocon, though. He’s 6’1” and looks like a naturally slim guy, but assuming the drivers will need a bit more muscle mass to handle the new style cars, he might struggle to stay under that target.

    1. Raveendhana
      19th March 2017, 4:09

      I don’t think weight problem, it’s the car I think

  6. This is the problem i really feared will crop up due to the new rule changes. Its good though that we aren’t in the level of 2014 where Drivers had to starve to get into weight limit(Sauber and Adrian Sutil 2014) .
    I only wish FIA mandate the avg Driver weight into safety cell weight minimum requirement so that drivers wont have to suffer. A 75 kg + Safety cell weight would surely put the drivers and teams to not to go in the current route of asking drivers to loose weight to improve handling of the car.

  7. If you really want the Aesthetics then focus should be more on the Nose area than Shark fin. I take the shark fin over the current noses any day.
    I doubt taking out the fins will improve the show as COTD stated its very small thing compared to other areas which helps to increase the stability .
    I hope we go to the Pre 2014 noses height and let the more air flow into nose area and make regulations have a Mclaren 2012 or RBR 2013 kind of noses so that it looks aesthetically pleasing too with out forcing teams to go down the route of ugly noses

    1. Aye, Mercedes 2017 car for example in Launch spec, was beautiful.

      Most other cars have “not so good looking” Noses, 2012 RBR, easily has more wonderful noses than modern F1 cars… but hey, such is life these days.

      Noses though are very hard to change, so I still say remove sharkwing… (someone bring a nice saw and it can be removed on the spot, without major crashtesting to homologate new nose…)

  8. Neil (@neilosjames)
    19th March 2017, 3:57

    After a bit of getting used to them, I don’t really care about the shark fins now. I hated them when they first appeared way back in the day, and I hated them when I first saw them on this year’s cars, but… they’re by no means the ugliest part of the cars.

    My own personal ‘hate-point’ is the front of the car. Only a couple of the 2017 noses could be described as attractive, and as much as I admire the engineering involved in them… I find the overly fancy front wings a little bit ugly too.

  9. I think Ross Brawn has a first, safety-derived item on his list.

    Get a survival cell + driver weight that is separate from the car’s weight so that drivers aren’t thrown in skinny regimes.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      19th March 2017, 7:23

      You mean like the Formula One Powerboats? I have wondered if this is where we might end up one day myself and what that could look like.

  10. Quite amazed by @Jureo ‘s comment- the season hasnt even started… there are alot of presumtions there!

    1. @brawngp, indeed, it comes across as the rant of a man who has already decided what will happen and will then make whatever happens in the races fit his viewpoint, rather than viewing it in a neutral light.

      1. :) This is all about aesthetics. Side profiles of the cars are ruined by it, and thus one can decide about that right away.

        Maybe It does improve racing, cannot judge that, can only guess.

  11. It`s funny that no one was complaining when the shark fin on the LMP1 cars.
    The moment it`s on the F1 cars, oh no!, it looks ugly
    Sometimes we have to accept changes, whether it`s good or bad.

    1. I think the LMP1 cars are hideous.

    2. That’s because:

      1) the shark fin is a safety requirement (F1’s appears to be entirely voluntary)

      2) the shark fin’s need was demonstrated on multiple occasions before it was mandated (it’s there to reduce the risk of flipping, particularly in sideways impacts)

      3) the regulations are designed with a quarter of an eye on aesthetics, so they know that certain things work with the fin and others don’t. This iteration is new to F1, so no chance to see if an equivalent of the “vanity panel” will be devised

      4) in sportscars, it’s more likely to be called the Big Honkin’ Fin (BHF)… …and it’s by no means always meant as a compliment!

  12. Thanks for quoting me on the “Shark fin debate” @keithcollantine ! Being a mechanical engineer, I love these innovations like the shark fin, T wings, etc.

    1. good comment @malleshmagdum. I am glad Keith picked it for the CotD.

  13. Dark Schneider
    19th March 2017, 7:12

    Cool !
    F1 drivers are the next top models !
    Soon soooo skinny ! :p

    1. Dark Schneider, some of the drivers in the WEC are quite familiar with that situation – for example, Max Chilton said that one of the reasons why Nissan hired him for their disastrous attempt at Le Mans was because they wanted the drivers to be as small and light as possible and he fitted the bill perfectly for them.

    2. Did you see Roseberg comments about giving up cycling to lose weight in his legs?

      Seems like minimum driver weight + ballast is required.

  14. The current rules are discriminatory against drivers of average height and above. Instead, the rules should stipulate a minimum weight of 80 kgs and that in the case of a driver weighing less, the corresponding ballast be added, not at the bottom of the seat, but at the height of the centre of gravity of a driver 175 cm (5′ 9″) tall.

    1. ExcitedAbout17
      19th March 2017, 9:01

      ‘The current rules are discriminatory against drivers’ with average driving skills or below!

      1. @ExcitedAbout17 They’re supposed to discriminate against bad drivers. They’re not supposed to discriminate against moderate drivers (I have difficulty calling them “heavy” drivers when all of them are significantly lighter than me!)

    2. I do not think that can really be governed out, as it is just a result of physics, and that is present in every motorsport. Grow 30cms towards being 185cm tall at the age of 14, and that was it with any karting career (and thus obviously anything single-seater later on).

    3. Add the weight deficit to the helmet. At least thin drivers will then be punished for being naturally slim. :p

  15. Andy (@andybantam)
    19th March 2017, 9:33

    “Our overweight car and having to ask our drivers to lose weight to compensate shows how far we’ve come”…

    VJ, (2017)

    1. Yes, he’d argue that – Vijay said in an interview with F1 Racing a few months back that one of the things he had to fix when he started at Force India was a total lack of ambition. In Year 1 of FIF1, it would have been nearly impossible to convince some people that losing 1.8 kg of weight would have any effect on qualifying or finishing position at all. Now it’s a question that can not only be contemplated, but team people can agree to and drivers will actually attempt to answer!

  16. This weight issue is ridiculous – I’ve read a few quotes in the pre-season about how Ocon has put on 5kg to bulk up for the new physical cars. And now he’s being ordered to drop it again because Force India can’t design a car within a weight limit?

    1. .+1 You just have to look at Alonso back in 2005 and compare it to now. Look how strong his neck used to be to combat the g forces. Now the g forces have gone up again with the faster cars, but the drivers can’t put on the same kind of muscle that they did in the past because they have to stay light. I guess drivers now just rely on the big side head protection to lean their head on as they go round the fastest corners.

    2. @dave-m Yeah I bet he was thrilled when they told him he didn’t actually have to eat all that stuff!

    3. Force India can design a car within the weight limit. The trouble is that ballast can generally be placed in a more advantageous position than driver weight naturally is.

  17. If F.I did not paint the car iy would save many kilos if weight is so marginal. Some aources from a quick search indicate the paint used for a car is 4kg or 3 kg for a black car. They could half the layers of paint and save 2kg.

    1. Then there would be one layer of paint instead of two, which causes issues once that one layer gets chipped. (It’s been a long time since most teams had more than 2 layers – I remember Spyker being surprised that the previous owners used 6 layers of paint, and reduced it to 2).

  18. Not like FI weren’t trying to reduce weight. They even painted it in a light colour.

  19. Funny article about Perez. I had been quite convinced that Perez is not only not the first Mexican to reach F1 (there were 4 before him), he is not even the one with the highest finishing position so far!

    For the rest, I do think that it is good to see him express himself openly with regards to being proud of his country and trump etc.

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