Valtteri Bottas says he’s avoided being ill over the winter for the first time since he came into F1 thanks to a new rule on driver weight.Each driver plus their seat and other driver equipment must weight at least 80 kilograms. Those weighing less must add ballast in specific areas around the seat to reach the minimum.
The rule has been brought in to reduce the pressure on drivers to lower the body weights to aid car performance. Bottas says the rule has allowed him to eat more which has had a beneficial effect on his health.
“I’ve been able to actually eat last winter which can be quite nice being able to gain a kilo or two!” he told media including RaceFans at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“I think [I’m] getting to pretty close to my kind of natural weight, so I feel very good. I think the regulation was very good and especially obviously for the taller drivers it makes life a bit easier.
“Many drivers for a long time, you’ve had to be below your natural weight and then it’s very easy to get ill or sick. Honestly the last six years every winter I’ve had quite a long period of being ill. It was the the first winter for many, many years that I didn’t have any flu or any sickness.
“I really think what changed is that is that actually that I could eat more and make sure when I do training that I get all the nutrients and recover well. So I feel good.”
Bottas’s team mate Lewis Hamilton says he feels the healthiest he has been since coming into F1 because he is now able to eat more.
“In the past 12 years we’ve had to be a certain weight each of us drivers and… it’s not particularly great, you’re missing meals and all these different things to make sure you hit the right weight limit. Not necessarily always having the maximum energy.
“But it’s great with the rule change. I think it’s better for the drivers, you can be in a healthier state and I do feel in the healthiest state that I’ve been in for years simply because you can eat more and then you sleep better, you have more energy. So I’m definitely happier.”
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