Are the weight loss rules putting Drivers health at risk?

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Are the weight loss rules putting Drivers health at risk? Empty Are the weight loss rules putting Drivers health at risk?

Post by Fernando on Fri 04 Apr 2014, 3:44 pm

On the back of Adrian Sutil's comments about not driving with drink like all drivers do i went on the research trail.

The new minimum weight for F1 has made it necessary for drivers to ensure they are as light as possible, but have the new rules actually put the driver's health at risk? Sarah Jane Mogford explores reports that drivers are putting themselves in danger for the sport.
The impact of the new regulations on drivers’s weight was discussed last season when speculation over Nico Hulkenberg’s future shed the spotlight on the disadvantage his height had regarding his weight.
Paul di Resta, stick thin as he was, lost weight during the 2013 season in attempts to enhance performance....and that was prior to the more stringent 2014 regulations - in particular the cars 629kg limit. This season has seen even the fittest, slimmest F1 drivers losing as much weight as possible. Formula Spy, amongst others, raised concerns about the impact on stamina, especially in the hot races, where drivers lose several kilo’s through sweat, despite having fluids in car. Formula Spy also raised concerns of F1 drivers potentially being pushed to the same weight loss dangerous extremes as seen in horse riding jockeys.
One journalist commented that Lewis Hamilton looked positively gaunt this season - Lewis had discussed his need to loose ‘muscle’ bulk to make best advantage of the weight allowances, commenting that driver’s dieting has become ‘hardcore’. Even the triathlon athlete Jenson Button, had talked of noticing the impact of slight weight gain on lap times. He admitted to considering deliberately dehydrating in preparation for the race in Sepang.
‘That was what I was going to do: go into a sauna, steam room, not drink or eat until after qualifying.’ admitted Jenson.‘It’s a shame for the guys who have to do it.’
On Twitter, Jenson’s trainer, Mikey Collier stated, ‘Morning run for Jenson with pre and post run weight measurements to guide hydration strategies, taking driver weight loss to the extreme.’
Drivers were rumored to be preparing for the race by exercising in saunas and even more wrongly, preparing by NOT taking fluids on board - as born out by Jenson’s admission. The rationale behind this alleged preparation technique, is that by only taking minimal fluid during the race, the driver would still have maximum fluid loss (i.e. in weight terms) at post race weigh in. In health terms this is playing Russian roulette.
Dehydration causing lack of concentration, as a very minor side effect, could be catastrophic on a race track doing speeds in excess of 100 miles an hour - and we saw the fiercely fought, wheel to wheel racing at the weekend. Electrolyte imbalances as a result of dehydration can have far more serious impact, including on the cardiac system - and long term is simply ill advised.
The Malaysian weekend, famous for it's heat and stamina sapping demands on drivers, did appear to have one casualty. Respected F1 Journalist, Kevin Eason of The Times, reported that one un-named F1 driver ‘passed out at a function in Malaysia, underlining fears that some are starving themselves to meet new weight limits.’Martin Brundle admitted to also having knowledge of this incident.
Height does inevitably have a factor in driver weights. For example, in the Sauber team Adrian Sutil is taller than team mate Esteban Gutierrez and therefore a significant 12kg heavier.
Sauber announced ,’We are planning an ambitious weight loss programme’. but this is believed to refer to a new lightweight chassis. Neither driver look like they could lose any more weight without removing body parts!
This is an issue that one hopes the medical safety delegates are monitoring closely and taking proactive action on. Hopefully, this will before any driver does any significant damage to their long term health, or has an accident though lack of stamina.


http://www.formulaspy.com/features/1694-weight-loss-has-f1-2014-put-driver-s-health-at-ris

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Post by Guest on Fri 04 Apr 2014, 7:58 pm

It's ridiculous. It's an admission from the authorities that it's a mistake or they've gone too far by the fact next year the weight limit goes up.

If I was Sutil, I wouldn't worry too much about the weight limit or starving himself because it's going to make no end of difference to the performance of his woeful car.

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Post by pob on Sun 06 Apr 2014, 1:34 am

Being lighter will always be an advantage unless it is in the rules that any ballast to make up to the minimum weight limit is placed in the driver's seat.
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