Mansell: F1 weight limits disgraceful
21 October 2013 – Former World Champion Nigel Mansell says the weight limit situation in Formula 1 is "disgraceful", and has urged governing body the FIA to push through rule changes so as to avoid "discrimination against" certain bands of drivers.
For 2014, the minimum weight will be increased from 642kg to 690kg in an attempt to compensate for new powertrains. But the V6 powerplants and their ancillary systems are proving to be heavier than expected, thus putting larger drivers at a disadvantage.
"It's disgraceful," 60-year-old Mansell, who claimed his sole title in 1992, said during an interview with the BBC. "It's discrimination against the medium-sized large driver."
While reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel weighs in at 64kg, drivers such as Nico Hülkenberg and Paul di Resta are 10kg heavier. This raises the centre of gravity and, with the weight limits in place, crucially reduces the amount of ballast available.
Mansell added: "It's wrong. In years gone by, we didn't have traction control and we didn't have power steering. You had to be strong drivers, and there were a lot of strong drivers. If you had this weight limit, they wouldn't have been able to drive the cars – 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."
Last week, Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde told GPUpdate.net that it would be an "outrageous" scenario if heavier drivers are hindered by the sport's weight limit.