The introduction of driver + car minimum weight regulation....

Incubus

Champion Elect
... was introduced some years ago, so it stands to reason drivers of bulkier frames suffered an inherent disadvantage in those days before the rule was introduced, when the regulation applied to car alone.

Considering an excess weight of 20 kilograms is worth a penalty of a good 3 tenths per lap on a rough average, how different would the list of world champion drivers look had the rule been implemented from the word go in F1's history?

Would we, for example, be today talking of Gerhard Berger (10 kilograms heavier than Senna, 15 heavier than Prost) as a multiple world champion?
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I've no idea when the rule came in, but I'm fairly sure it was before Gerhard got behind the wheel? Else Alan Jones and Keke were even better than I've thought...
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
I've no idea when the rule came in, but I'm fairly sure it was before Gerhard got behind the wheel? Else Alan Jones and Keke were even better than I've thought...

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Not sure the year that changed but minimum weight regulations applied to car alone throughout the eighties. During Gerhard's career in the eighties minimum car weight was limited at 540Kg for the car.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Not sure the year that changed but minimum weight regulations applied to car alone throughout the eighties. During Gerhard's career in the eighties minimum car weight was limited at 540Kg for the car.

So it would seem, well I never. Can't seem to work out when it changed, though. I think in 1994 they weighed them all at the start of the season, and there was some story about Schumacher tanking up on water before he was weighed. Or it might have been '95.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
So it would seem, well I never. Can't seem to work out when it changed, though. I think in 1994 they weighed them all at the start of the season, and there was some story about Schumacher tanking up on water before he was weighed. Or it might have been '95.

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Yeah I remember that story, the rule had come into place shortly before and Michael before 95 defended himself by saying he'd put a lot of work into gym sessions, he said muscle weighed more than fat, and what it was was that he'd put on a lot of muscle over that winter... that's why his weight was inconsistant.... apparently. Then again, strictly speaking it wasn't against the rules as they stood?...
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Would we, for example, be today talking of Gerhard Berger (10 kilograms heavier than Senna, 15 heavier than Prost) as a multiple world champion?

I was a Berger fan and I would rate him higher than some drivers who won the world championship and I certainly always thought he deserved one but it never came round to happening. I'd never considered the weight thing but now you've mentioned it then for me it makes Berger's 1992 season where he finished just a single point behind his team-mate Senna all the more impressive.

I remember Bertrand Gachot being notoriuous for being the heaviest driver on the grid. Probably carry extra fire extingushiers or something.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
It was certainly in the 1990s that the driver+car minimum weight was introduced - as it was worried that some drivers were having to be virtually anorexic to be able to compete!

In 1995, there was the complete farce that the drivers were weighed at the start of the season, and that "reference weight" was then added to the weight of the car to reach the minimum weight of 605kg (more or less)....Schumacher then proceded to lose about 10 kg between being weighed before the race and being weighed after the race!
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
I've just checked - ok, so it was wikipedia, but hey, shoot me! - the minimum weight limit was 595kg, car AND driver - prior to the season the weight limit had just been for the car. Originally, the intention had been to weigh the drivers at the start of the season, and always use that reference weight, but Schumacher showed that it was possible to drive a bus through those rules by losing 7 kg (15 pounds) between the start of the weekend and the end of the weekend.... Of course, he hadn't put lead shot in his shoes or anything!
 
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