Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he is delighted with the new F1 weight rules. As a result of the change, he has been able to avoid falling ill over the winter for the first time.
TO put this in context, Formula One has set a new minimum weight limit for drivers to adhere to for the 2019 season. The rule states that the driver must weight at least 80 kilograms including their seat and other driver equipment.
If by chance they happen to come up short, the underweight drivers must add ballast in specific areas around the seat to reach the minimum limit. The sole purpose of the rule is to reduce the pressure on drivers to lower their body weights to aid car performance. Now, Bottas has said that the rule allows him to eat more and maintain his health.
Speaking to RaceFans after pre-season testing, he said, “I’ve been able to actually eat last winter which can be quite nice being able to gain a kilo or two!. I think [I’m] getting to pretty close to my kind of natural weight, so I feel very good. I think the regulation was very good and especially obviously for the taller drivers it makes life a bit easier”.
According to him, when a driver is below their natural weight they are more susceptible to falling sick. He confessed that in the last six years every winter he used to fall ill very often.
He mused that the crucial factor was his freedom to eat without having to go on a crash diet. It also helped him regulate his nutrient intake when training and recovery. His teammate, Lewis Hamilton also noticed the marked difference in his health especially now that he is able to eat more.
Hamilton revealed, “In the past 12 years we’ve had to be a certain weight each of us drivers and… it’s not particularly great, you’re missing meals and all these different things to make sure you hit the right weight limit. Not necessarily always having the maximum energy.”
“But it’s great with the rule change. I think it’s better for the drivers, you can be in a healthier state and I do feel in the healthiest state that I’ve been in for years simply because you can eat more and then you sleep better, you have more energy. So I’m definitely happier.”