MARCH 30, 2014
F1 driver passed out in Malaysia
F1 drivers' extreme dieting in 2014 caused one racer to pass out in Malaysia, it emerges.
We reported on Saturday that some drivers are deliberately dehydrating, even at sweltering Sepang, in order to get the weight of their car below the legal 692kg limit.
"That is what I was going to do," admitted Jenson Button. "Go in a sauna, steam room, not drink or eat until after qualifying.
"It is a shame for the guys who have to do it."
It appears, in fact, that Button has been toying with dehydration 'strategies' in Malaysia.
"Morning run for Jenson," his trainer, Mikey Collier, said on Twitter on Saturday, "with pre and post weight measurements to guide hydration strategies, taking driver weight loss to the extreme."
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton agreed that he has also heard that some drivers' dieting has become "hardcore".
"I heard someone was doing that, exhausting themselves," said the Briton.
Now, The Times correspondent Kevin Eason has reported that one unnamed F1 driver "passed out at a function in Malaysia, underlining fears that some are starving themselves to meet new weight limits".
Martin Brundle, the commentator for British television Sky, said on Saturday that he has heard the very same story.
Among the very heaviest drivers on the grid is the tall Adrian Sutil, who reportedly weighs a whopping 12 kilograms more than his teammate Esteban Gutierrez.
Worse still, the Ferrari-powered C33 is believed to be well over the 692kg minimum weight, whether the featherweight Gutierrez or Sutil is at the wheel.
The Swiss newspaper Blick reports that Sauber is working on "a new lightweight chassis" to introduce at the Spanish grand prix in mid May.
"We are planning an ambitious weight loss programme," a team source confirmed.