Formula One’s new rules are forcing even the drivers to adopt a more aerodynamic shape for the 2009 season. And with the biggest changes coming to the world championship in more than 25 years, it may be a racer’s weight that decides the title.
The brand-new Kinetic Energy Recovery System, a hybrid technology that gives drivers an extra boost for overtaking, will take up approximately 35 kilograms (77 pounds), while car weight limits have not been increased. That leaves teams with only one variable to change _ the driver.
“(Weight’s) always been an issue in F1, but particularly this year because of the KERS _ all the weight is in the back and with this year’s rules it’s beneficial to be a bit further forward,” said Nico Rosberg of Williams, who said he lost several kilograms (pounds) to get down to 70 kilograms (154 pounds). “So that’s definitely something where the weight has become more important than ever, so I’ve watched that over the winter.” BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica may have started the trend last season when the Polish driver dropped six kilograms (13 pounds) to be lighter in the seat. He’s had to make sure he didn’t slip up this winter either because of KERS, which is not mandatory for teams to use this season.
“As I am a tall and relatively heavy person I have disadvantages regarding the weight and consequently the weight distribution of the car,” Kubica said. “But on the other hand KERS could be a big advantage because of the boost.”
London: The testing has been banned this year as part of cost-cutting measures, meaning drivers will be lapping virtual racetracks more than ever this year.