F1 Weight Limit Pushes Drivers to Drastic Diet

There's no doubt that the introduction of the newly-developed Kinetic Energy Recovery System will have a strong impact on the 2009 cars' weight distribution. The first worries on this matter were expressed by BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica who, after a testing session with the KERS-powered car, admitted that taller and heavier drivers will have a hard time handling the car in the upcoming season.

As the weight limit in Formula 1 has remained unchanged – 605 kg, driver included – the extra-weight caused by the new unit (somewhere in the vicinity of 30 kg) will have to be compensated by the drivers' weight. More exactly, the drivers must lose some kilograms in order to better distribute ballast around the car. Being a shorter driver will also help, as it will lower the car's centre of gravity and will therefore improve its handling.

That might work for drivers like Felipe Massa or Nick Heidfeld – short drivers who weight less than 60 kg – but it sure puts the vast majority of them on diet ahead of the 2009 season. Williams F1's Nico Rosberg is one of those drivers, and he doesn't like it one bit, especially since he now has to watch for every single calorie in order to reduce his weight.

As far as the German driver is concerned, the FIA should change the weight limit and introduce a more flexible system, based on each driver's weight. The weight limit should regard only the car, thinks Rosberg, who believes the matter should be top of the list on Grand Prix Drivers Association's agenda in the near future.

“I have lost weight and even at Christmas was counting calories. I think the weight rule is unfair because bigger drivers are disadvantaged even before they start. I think it should be urgently talked about in the (drivers' association) GPDA,” said Rosberg in an interview for Speedweek magazine.

According to several media reports lately, Fernando Alonso – who changed his training program this winter – Kimi Raikkonen and veteran Rubens Barrichello are all trying to lose some extra pounds ahead of the 2009 opener in Australia.
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