Adrian Sutil believes the regulations in Formula One are becoming more dangerous as the drivers try to comply to weight limitations...
Sauber's Adrian Sutil believes the regulations in Formula One are becoming more dangerous as the drivers try to comply to weight limitations.
The 2014 V6 turbo-powered cars are heavier than their predecessors and even though the minimum weight for drivers and cars were increased under the new regulations, the teams are struggling to keep their package under the allowed weight.
Although the possibility of increasing the allowed weight has been discussed before the start of the new season, a final decision has been delayed until at least the end of the year.
Sutil, one of the tallest and heaviest drivers on the grid, believes that none of the drivers perform optimally if they are constantly dieting, which in turn makes the sport more dangerous.
"There is a danger of course, you are driving more than 300km/h on the straights and we need to be in good shape in our bodies and our mind. It's not so easy anymore, you can't guarantee every driver is 100 percent from a physical point of view," the German told ESPN before this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.
"I can feel it, I can definitely feel it. I lost three or four kilos compared to last year and I tried to be very light already last year. This is the extra weight I'm losing now and this is getting to a critical point. I'm trying to control it and to be always in a shape to finish the race.
"You feel it before the race that you haven't got your ultimate power. The cars are a bit slower so you don't need to be in superb shape to finish it, but still it's like if you go for a run for one and half hours and you don't eat enough, you have a sugar hole. You are almost getting in an area where you don't work well up here [in the head]. This is the danger we are facing. The season is long and the longer we travel the more you are taking energy off you. The more substance you have, the longer you last."
Sutil added that the reason for the delay in discussions regarding increasing the weight limits is because the drivers didn't agree among themselves to push for a regulation change.
"Everyone is responsible for it. We want to have a good sport and I think us drivers could do a bit more if we hold together a bit more. I think everyone should think about what we do and why we are in this situation. Is there any reason for it? No. The sport would be the same or better if we had a normal weight limit. We could eat properly, be happy at the circuit and we would not be having this discussion," the Sauber driver added.
"I wouldn't like to win against a driver who is 20kg heavier. If I win by just 0.1s in front then this is not the truth, he won but I'm in front of him. If you are a fair driver and here because of the sport and you want to win and be the best driver this can't be the case like that. This is not fair, this is not sport."
In an attempt to get his Sauber's weight down further, Sutil admitted that he wouldn't have a drinks bottle during this weekend's race at Sakhir.
"No drink bottle in the car is one thing for Bahrain. So Bahrain is one and a half hours with no drink. In Malaysia I had a little bit for tea - it was enough for teatime at 16:00, not more. Normally you have one litre or one and a half in Malaysia so you can drink during the whole race. But in this situation now we are talking about 300g or 400g and you also have to count the bottle that has an empty weight of 0.5kg."
Felipe Massa, who is one of the smallest drivers on the grid, disagrees with Sutil, saying that the regulations are fair and that the problem lies with the overweight cars.
"I think this is a problem of his team, it is not a problem of [F1]," Massa told ESPN.
"In past years teams have a double diffuser and the other ones not, this is part of the rules. The rules are like that, if you have a team with a heavier engine or a heavier car then it's up to them to do a better job. This is part of the situation now. I am light and I'm happy to be light, but if I am 10kg heavier than I am I would not have any problem with the car for my weight. This is not really the way you guys think, it's related to the rules and how each team did a better job to be light as possible in the car. It's not just the drivers, it's different things.
"My team did a better job and it's not fair for a team that did a better job on the rules just to put that in a different level. In aerodynamics somebody finds something better, in the engine somebody finds something better, this is the rules of the moment."