Why do F1 drivers get weighed after every race? Relevance behind this practice and how it affects the team, the Sportsrush explains.
One would have noticed that F1 drivers are constantly weighed before and after every race. However, it leaves many perplexed about the purpose of this activity.
It is among the most important procedures during the race weekend. A race driver before anything is required to mark his weight to the officials before they choose to go towards their team.
The procedure is simple but probably one of the most vital checkpoints of a race weekend. This article will explore why F1 has regulated the weight system in F1 so much.
Tfw you’re an F1 driver and you need to check your weight pic.twitter.com/1advKbuIMm
— brooke #THEVBMASTERPLAN (@IAmBrookeCurran) April 17, 2019
Why do F1 drivers get weighed after the race?
But in reality, the weight of a driver is very crucial ahead of the race. As per the Formula 1 rules amended in 2022, the minimum weight of car and driver combination has gone up to 795 kgs.
Though this year, except for Alfa Romeo, every team is going through an excessive weight problem. Thus, the whole paddock is unable to optimize their performances.
At least 80kg of that must be made up of the driver, his seat and driving equipment. Lighter drivers can bring themselves up to the 80kg threshold by adding ballast, but crucially this ballast must be positioned in the immediate cockpit area – and cannot be used elsewhere on the car to help improve its balance.
Another regulation change for this year is drivers weight. The drivers weight is now weighed separately to the car. The minimum weight for a driver is now 80kg if a driver is below that weight that team will have to add Ballast. This will help drivers like Hulkenberg.#F1 #F12019 pic.twitter.com/ggmP7AYJtk
— XLFella (@xlfellas) March 6, 2019
This amendment also helped the heavier drivers on the grid, as they often complained about the previous F1 regulations, which counted the driver’s weight against the car.
Why Do F1 Drivers Lose Weight and by how much?
Many reports have published that an average F1 driver loses around 3-4 Kg per race to extreme heat in his cockpit and extreme force they face due to the speed of the car.
Hence, the drivers are also advised to take in large amounts of water before the race, even if they do not feel thirsty, to avoid dehydration through sweating.
Thus, even after the race, it is important to meet the least weight criteria if failing to match the team would be penalized or might not be allowed to participate.
How much performance is affected by weight?
The weight is a huge differential in an F1 car’s performance. An added kilogram can add massively to the time an F1 car can clock. That’s why teams try to optimize their weight on everything related to the car, from the driver’s suit to the fuel that needs to be added.
“So, if I am a kilo overweight, I can lose up to two seconds on the race distance,” revealed Hamilton in the Graham Norton show. “So my weight is very important.”
The rough figure given by Hamilton seems to be too huge for an F1 car to lose. A couple of added kilos can technically match the five-second penalty that drivers get for causing a ruckus in the race.
And that is damaging to any team and can force them to lose a podium or even a race.
Why F1 cars are heavier at the start of the season?
During the first few weeks of the season, the teams are still figuring out what to keep and shelve from the car. Only after the summer break, a car’s real potential is usually observed.
This time of year also includes shredding the weight of the car, and that’s why drivers are required to match the body weight, the team needs to have.
“Each year the car is built to a certain weight. But at the beginning of the year it’s heavy,” claims Hamilton in the same show. “They ask me to be a certain weight.”
“So, a little bit lighter than normal. But then the car goes through a weight-saving process throughout the year.”