• Apr 20, 2010
Imagine you're running an F1 team. You're spending millions to shave precious pounds off the car's weight. And then you hire a driver who's carrying an extra few pounds around the middle, and the advantage is lost.
That's essentially what's happening at Renault F1 this season with their rookie Vitaly Petrov. The Russian driver is almost as tall as his team-mate Robert Kubica, but crucially weighs some 10 kilograms (or 22 lbs) more. Kubica made headlines in the last few years at BMW-Sauber, where he went on an extreme weight-loss regimen in order to improve his performance.

Petrov, meanwhile, just managed to finish his first grand prix and score his first championship points this past weekend in Shanghai, having failed to make it to the finish line in the three previous rounds.

According to reports, the French team has instructed its driver to lose a few pounds. Trimming weight off the driver's body mass allows the engineers to play around with extra ballast (required to reach the minimum curb weight allowed under regulations) and trim the car's handling accordingly.

[Source: Autocar]


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  • 20 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      joel rambaud, not having 22lbs of ballast flexibility will not automatically lose the race. That is ret*rded. YOU are ret*rded.

      And apparently Autoblog has banned the word "Ret*rded". Dear Autoblog- Jalopnik is better than you because of cr*p like this!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does 22 lbs really make that much of a difference? I know these races can come down to 10ths of a second, but these are 780 HP cars. At 1365 lbs minimum weight (assuming that's the normal car+driver weight, and plus 22lbs for Petrov), we're talking 0.02 fewer pounds per HP (0.03 if you round up). I'm no race car driver / engineer, but it's hard to believe that this makes a significant difference in practical application.
        • 4 Years Ago
        22 lbs in formula 1 is the equivalent of putting a truck for indy 500 , will finish the race ok but dead last.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice to see the men are getting picked on about their weight! Ask any woman if 22 lbs. makes a difference and the answer id YES!!! But, in all reality, give this poor guy a break. He is a race car driver, not a model.
      • 4 Years Ago
      F1 teams need to start hiring the diminutive Horse-Jockeys! FTW
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sure they told him to shave some kilograms, not pounds....
      • 4 Years Ago
      IIRC, Petrov is bringing some heavy Russian sponsorship money to Renault. Maybe he should insist that they build him a better car first. The engine seems to be okay, just ask Vettle.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's an older article, but it's inline with the ~$10M in personal sponsorship that I've heard about.

        http://www.autoevolution.com/news/sauber-eyes-vitaly-petrov-de-la-rosa-for-2010-lineup-13872.html
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually the Renault F1 is rated the best in formula 1 , they have a trick that keep it far more cooler than any other . And have produced engine of that quality for a long time , what have you ever achieved .
        • 4 Years Ago
        What? You're not making any sense.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I thought that Petrov had no major sponsors from Russia backing him, only his father and some family friends. Wasn't this one of the reasons there is a lot of pressure on him to perform and get some points?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Vitaly,

      If you are too fat for open wheel, do what I did, go to NASCAR.

      Tony Stewart.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah Vitaly, come join us and you can eat all you want

        - Juan Pablo Montoya
      • 4 Years Ago
      Put Danica in the car!!!



      sorry...had to
      • 4 Years Ago
      First it was race-fixing...now diet-fixing. Renault F1 never ceases to surprise me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hell, yeah! He's too fat! Having 6,07 ft. and 158,7 lbs, you're always too fat.. Hard to imagine, how slim the author of these crappy words is.. Meanwhile, Petrov just managed to overtake Schumacher and Webber there in Shanghai and score 6 points. All those too fat Schumachers and Webbers, you know, with their perfectly balanced Mercedeses and Red Bulls..
      • 4 Years Ago
      stop drinking vodka..
      • 4 Years Ago
      A little ridiculous as the guy seems to be in good shape but every pound counts in F1. Unless he starts finishing races and scoring points, he may just have to listen to the team and shed those pounds.
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