Nigel Mansell raced in an era of 'plumper' Formula 1 drivers

Former world champion Nigel Mansell has weighed into – no pun intended – on Formula 1’s newest concern ahead of the 2014 season: driver weights.

With the minimum weight limits set to increase from from 642kg to 690kg in an attempt to compensate for the additional weight that the 2014-spec engines and powertrains will bring, there is a concern that teams would be disadvantaged by running heavier drivers in their cars.

While the likes of Sebastian Vettel come in a positively slender 64kg, taller and bulkier drivers like Nico Hülkenberg and Paul di Resta tip the scales at almost 75kg or more, which significantly disadvantages their ability for all-important ballast to be distributed around their cars.

Mansell was certainly one of the sport’s heavier drivers throughout his career – indeed, he couldn’t fit into the McLaren he briefly raced in 1995 – and has joined the growing chorus of pundits in urging the FIA to implement rules changes that would not disadvantage the sport’s larger pilots.

Mansell was unable to fit into the McLaren he briefly raced in 1995

“It’s disgraceful,” the 60-year-old told the BBC. “It’s discrimination against the medium-sized [or] large driver.

“It’s wrong. In years gone by, we didn’t have traction control and we didn’t have power steering. You had to be strong drivers, and there were a lot of strong drivers.

“If you had this weight limit, they wouldn’t have been able to drive the cars – or they would have driven with great difficulty. So I think get the weight limit up a bit, make some cars carry some ballast so that the bigger drivers don’t suffer as much.”

The following two tabs change content below.

Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.