Should the weight limit go up next year?

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The GPDA drivers have been talking in Korea about the difficulty heavier drivers will face next yar in getting down to the weight limit.  F1 cars’ weight limit is for the car and driver combined (in this way it is easy for the car to be weight during qualifying without too much delay).  With the regulations changing significantly next season the weight limit is increasing from 642kg in 2013 to 690kg in 2014.  However with and extra Motor Generator Unit to be included and bigger batteries for the Energy Recovery System the drivers are worried that the heavier drivers will be penalised.  Jenson Button is even quoted in AUTOSPORT as saying he is struggling to reach the weight limit this season.

Drivers weights are harder to obtain since the weight limit has been defined to include car and driver.  In the past when it was just the car, the drivers all had a weigh-in twice a year so that their weight could be deducted from the figure obtained on the weighbridge.  A quick internet search has found these results from early in 2013 (before some drivers had been confirmed).

Driver

height (m)

weight (kg)

Vettel

1.76

58

Webber

1.84

75

Alonso

1.71

68

Massa

1.66

59

Button

1.83

70

Perez

1.73

64

Raikkonen

1.75

70

Grosjean

1.8

71

Rosberg

1.78

71

Hamilton

1.74

68

Hulkenberg

1.84

74

Gutierrez

1.80

63

di Resta

1.85

74

Sutil
Maldonado

1.73

66

Bottas

1.73

70

Vergne

1.78

73

Ricciardo

1.78

68

Pic

1.78

60

van der Garde

1.82

73

Bianchi
Chilton

1.82

65

 

So if weight is really to be such an issue next season, perhaps Massa is a better bet than Hulkenberg at Lotus?  Hopefully this will be resolved sensibly, as otherwise it will penalise the heavier (and normally taller) drivers.  It is noticeable that Chilton and Gutierrez are among the taller drivers but also among the lighter.

10kg of fuel normally gives a 0.3 second/lap penalty, so it is easy to see the disadvantage Webber (the heaviest) would have compared to Vettel (the lightest) if he couldn’t get down to the weight limit.  That is without taking into account the effect of a higher centre of gravity (as any ballast would be placed as low as possible in the car).

So, have the teams/FIA got their calculations wrong for next season, or do you think the cars will be built to come within the weight limit even with a 75kg driver?

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