x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

New rules weigh heavy on Di Resta

Force India driver Paul di Resta fears for his health as new Formula One regulations make his height an even greater burden than before.

Force India driver Paul di Resta says he worries for his health as new Formula One regulations may make it more difficult for him to secure a spot with his team in the future. The Briton, one of the larger drivers in Formula One, claims the sport's new weight restrictions give an unfair advantage to smaller drivers. Pablo Sanchez / Reuters
Force India driver Paul di Resta says he worries for his health as new Formula One regulations may make it more difficult for him to secure a spot with his team in the future. The Briton, one of the larger drivers in Formula One, claims the sport's new weight restrictions give an unfair advantage to smaller drivers. Pablo Sanchez / Reuters

Paul di Resta has expressed concerns for his health in light of new Formula One weight-limit regulations for next season.

One of the tallest drivers on the F1 grid, Di Resta has been forced to trim down since his arrival in F1 in 2011 to make the grade.

But new rules for 2014 will put Di Resta under even more pressure, should he retain his seat at Force India.

The F1 weight limit has been raised from 642kg to 692kg starting next season, but new and heavier engines will use up most of the increase.

It means the ideal weight for a driver is around 60 to 65kg, well below Di Resta’s current size.

“It is a concern for a driver like me,” he said. “I am at the upper end, to the point where I am three or four kilos under what I would like to be to be healthy.

“It’s a little bit of an unfair advantage to be a smaller guy, because not only can they move the weight [in the car] in the right place, but they can get themselves in a healthier state.

“I would like to see the weight limit raised, because it would make no difference to them [smaller drivers].

“Whether it changes for next year, then they can think about reducing it for the following year, but it would at least give the people the option of racing fairly.”

Di Resta, who weighs 75kg and is 1.83 metres tall, says he has to keep a close eye on what he eats.

“I am four kilos lighter than when I started in F1, and I was pretty much on the limit of what I thought I could get to then,” he said. “It’s always something that’s at the top of your mind – do you have a starter or a dessert? You eat just enough to maintain yourself and to keep your energy high.

“It can be a bit of a push, and there are grands prix when you want to get the weight distribution in the right place, so you have to arrive a bit better (prepared weight-wise).

“It’s all about being healthy. It’s always been a concern for me, being on the tall side. It’s hard work, but at the end of the day you can’t change who you are.”

As for whether Force India will consider hiring a smaller driver, Di Resta is not sure.

“It’s a bit of a waiting game,” he said. “I’ve built up a good relationship with the team and I think I’ve done a good job for them over this season to ensure they know what I can do.”

Meanwhile, on the track yesterday, Lewis Hamilton topped the times in practice for Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix.

The 2008 world champion outpaced championship Sebastian Vettel and is confident he can fight for pole position in qualifying today and then for victory in the race.

“I’m really happy with the way everything has gone,” he said.

“We have still got some improvements to make, but we look like we are competitive.”

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