- F1 drivers have a minimum weight limit.
- F1 drivers need to have the best balance of body weight to operate and F1 car.
When we look at weight, F1 is one of the most sensitive sports in the world Every single pound added to the car or the driver matters in the sport. This means that the drivers will have to be very weight-conscious to help them and the team perform at their best.
It is no secret that F1 cars have a weight limit for every race. As a result, the weight of the car is checked before and after each race. Naturally, the car would be much lighter after the race as all the fuel would have been burned during the race. But is there a weight limit for the drivers as well?
What is the minimum weight limit for an F1 driver?
According to the regulations, a driver has to have a minimum weight of 176 pounds. However, most of the F1 drivers easily weigh below this amount. In this case, a ballast is placed in the car to fit the minimum weight requirement.
The physical fitness of F1 drivers is one of the most difficult things to control. These athletes need to have the perfect balance of speed, agility, and strength. If they put on too much weight, their reflexes will be affected. The driver will also have difficulties fitting into the cockpit of the car if they are too heavy. However, if they are too light, they might not have the power to steer the car.
Look at the weight of these F1 drivers…
Wow !! pic.twitter.com/DpMA0U77yn
— Fred Rico 🧭 (@FredRico4) March 24, 2022
There is also the concern of height. In 2023, we had drivers from 159 cm to 183 cm. Naturally, the shorter drivers will be lighter than the rest. Hence, the ballast will be placed to accommodate for the weight loss. Max Verstappen, who is one of the tallest drivers on the grid, weighs only 160 pounds.
This ballast will be placed in the cockpit only. If the team has the freedom to place it wherever they like, they could use it to their advantage and balance the car accordingly. If the ballast is placed in the cockpit, the balance would be similar to a 176-pound driver without a ballast.
How much weight does a Formula 1 driver lose during a race?
Throughout an F1 race, the drivers put in a lot of effort every lap. They face up to 6 times the normal G-force that a normal human being goes through. Each of the drivers will have to be able to withstand these high amounts of G-forces throughout the entire race.
Each Formula 1 race lasts about 90 minutes if there are no interruptions. Given that there is no AC in the car or the race suit, the drivers tend to sweat a lot. During the race, they tend to lose over 6 pounds. In hotter tracks like Singapore or Qatar, the driver could lose a lot more as they would be sweating a lot more due to the heat and would be putting in more effort due to the dehydration.
This is why an F1 driver’s fitness is one of the most important things. A lot of new fans who are not very familiar with F1 think that driving an F1 car is similar to driving an average road car. The truth cannot be further.