The weight limit is rising from 642 to 690kg next season but most of the 42kg increase is expected to be used up by the new V6 Turbo engines. Teams are trying to get as close to the minimum weight limit as possible and heavier drivers could be overlooked because of this.
1992 Formula 1 world champion Mansell commented on the issue, telling the BBC: “It’s wrong. They are not jockeys. It’s disgraceful, it’s discrimination against the medium-sized large driver.”
Mark Webber has previously criticised the weight limit and Nico Hulkenberg – who at 74kg is one of the drivers at risk – has raised his concern over the problem. Mansell believes that the driver’s weight shouldn’t even be a consideration when deciding a driver line-up.
“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,” he 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.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic