Nigel Mansell has criticized the minimum weight limit in Formula One next season as the new rules look set to hamper heavier drivers.
Although the minimum combined weight for the driver and car has been risen by 48kg for 2014, the majority of this increase is thought to be taken up by the heavier engines. As teams look to get as close to the minimum weight as possible (making their car lighter and therefore quicker), heavier drivers could be overlooked. For one-time F1 world champion and former IndyCar champion Mansell, this is an injustice.
“It’s wrong,” Mansell told the BBC. “They are not jockeys. It’s disgraceful, it’s discrimination against the medium-sized large driver.”
Nico Hulkenberg’s future is thought to be at threat due to his weight, even though he is widely considered to be one of the most talented drivers on the grid. For Mansell though, this should not be a consideration for teams.
“In years gone by, we didn’t have traction control or power steering – you had to be a strong driver and there were a lot of strong drivers,” Mansell said. “If you had this weight limit, they wouldn’t have been able to drive cars many years ago – or they would have driven with great difficulty. So I think get the weight limit up a bit, make some cars carry some ballast so that the bigger drivers don’t suffer as much.”
Taller drivers often find themselves struggling to match the weight of their rivals, with the outgoing Mark Webber expressing his thoughts on Twitter last month.
@SportmphMark tell me about it. Haven’t eaten for last 5 years!. Min weight been to low since for ages. Perfect driver now weight 60/65kg.
— Mark Webber (@AussieGrit) September 30, 2013