One of the biggest areas of concern this season for Mercedes has been weight reduction. The team has claimed on several occassions that the increased weight on their car is the cause of their balance issues, and have been chipping away at saving weight on the car wherever they can.
In another extreme attempt at weight reduction, Lewis Hamilton has disclosed that the drinks bottle in his Formula 1 car had been taken out ahead of last weekend’s Spanish GP.
Photo : Simon Bruty / Getty Images
Talking about the physical strain after the race where he was found panting heavily in the car, Hamilton said : “Today it was..from turn 1 to the end, it was flat chat. You’re just using everything you’ve got so for sure, in that first stint for instance. To stay on Sebastian was a killer.
“Also I don’t carry drinks in my car either to save weight, so I’m not having a drink through the race. And then at the end, I used everything I had left when I jumped into my team and my heart rate hit the ceiling.
“I was good when I got out of the car but jumping into, I don’t know if I will do that again. I was a little bit tired after that one.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff wasn’t too bothered about it either dismissing the heavy panting by saying “I think it was just an expression of how hard he was pushing”.
The absence of the drink bottle and the liquid contained in it is counted for at least a kilo or two, which Mercedes are desperate to cut down. The idea is to reduce enough weight so that ballast can be used to balance the car better.
Public opinion is varied concerning the risks involved in not carrying a drinks bottle during a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Photo : LAT Images
Formula 1 is as physically intense as sport gets and severe dehydration and heat exhaustion are very valid concerns.
Yes, Lewis Hamilton is a world class athlete and he handles these factors better than most people. He could have consulted experts before doing this, and been in good control of his state. He could have ensured his safety via constant biotelemetric monitoring.
On the other hand, it can be viewed as a step too far. It is not unheard of that the extremes of competition force athletes to do dumb things. No doubt it was a dangerous thing to do.
When we say Formula 1 is “pushing the limits of performance”, is this really what it should come down to? Let me know in the comments below and on Twitter at @bhatonwheels.
Feature image : LAT Images
– Aditya Bhat.