F1 drivers like Lewis Hamilton opt not to have a water bottle in their cars during a race to go faster; how is it benefiting him?
Lewis Hamilton claimed an emphatic P2 in the 2022 France GP. But the driver looked drained out after he stepped out of the car. He was exhausted and dehydrated after a water bottle malfunction.
The French GP was held on a hot summer day in the south of France. The temperature around the track went up to 33 degrees Celsius. While track temperatures were upwards of 70.
Lewis Hamilton claimed that he lost up to 3 kilos during the race as a result. He was clearly drained out as the 7-time World Champion laid down on the floor of the cool-down room.
— Megan|TeamLHUK (@TeamLH_UK) July 24, 2022
But it turns out many drivers are not carrying their water bottles during the races and pushing their human bodies to another extreme. And the reason is simple – speed!
The new-generation F1 cars revealed in 2022 are much heavier than their older counterparts. The cars are thus difficult to handle and can be slower if it carries more than adequate weights.
The minimum weight mandated by FIA is 798kg. This includes the weight of the cars and drivers. Water bottles are usually attached to the back of a F1 car seat. The drivers drink during races via a tube running from a bag of fluids attached to the side of the vehicle’s cockpit up through the driver’s helmet.
A 500ml or 1 Litre water bottle would slow down the car by almost 1 second. And in the pinnacle of motorsports, every second matters. Thus drivers are choosing to cut hydration for speed.
Lewis Hamilton explains how his weight affects a car
Lewis Hamilton has been in the world of Motorsports since his childhood. In his 15 years in F1, he has won 7-world championship titles, making him one of the most successful drivers of all time.
F1 is an extremely detailed-oriented sport. It is a combination of the best technological innovation and human competence unites. And every gram of weight adds up during the race.
But even an extremely sharp and fast Hamilton must be cautious about his weight. In an interview with TV host Graham Norton, he shared how his weight also impacts how fast he goes.
The driver confesses that he sacrifices speed if he is overweight by even the smallest margins. And on average, the Brit said he loses about 3-4 KGs of body weight during the span of one race.
Despite his bottle not functioning during the 2022 French GP, Lewis said he “doesn’t actually ever really drink in the race” anyhow. But drivers carry water in very hot and humid race conditions like Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil and others.