There is a rumour going around that Lotus are planning on a shock, and certainly risky, bid for the very tall German Nico Hulkenburg, which might not pay off after the newly announced minimum weight limit. Formula 1 have stamped a new rule stating that drivers must be above the minimum allowed weight as too little weight will give them an advantage over the heavier drivers. This is called into play for Lotus’ new target as Nico Hulkenburg as he is very tall for a Formula 1 driver, being 1.84 metres (6 feet 7⁄16 inches) tall and therefore is naturally heavier.
McLaren are one team who have already marked Nico Hulkenberg off of their target list as he weighs 74 kg, which added to their new heavy engine, is too heavy for the car to reach its maximum potential. The minimum weight for the combination of the driver and the car has been raised from 642 kg to 690 kg after the engines of every car has been changed to a heavier 1.6-litre turbo. It is important to have light drivers as 1kg of weight equates to about 0.035secs a lap on an average circuit.
Jenson Button is another who weighs 74 kg, the same as Hulkenberg. The Englishman commented, “It’s not funny, especially when Nico Hulkenberg is very talented and that can make the difference with him racing or not. I’m sure every driver would agree that it’s unfair if certain drivers cannot meet the weight limit. It’s an unfair advantage you really shouldn’t have just by being born smaller. I’m 74-75kg with my kit and I struggle to meet the weight limit. I have done for three years.”
Nico Hulkenberg released a statement saying he wants a new deal from Lotus by the end of the month instead of them delaying it. “I want to have some certainty about my future – and not in November. It needs to be at the end of the month, for sure. There is obviously a certain cut off point. I have experienced falling over the back in 2010, and I am not going to risk doing that again.”
Author Daniel Foster.
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