London: The new Formula One weight rules are forcing racers to risk blacking out in their 200mph speed machines by shedding essential pounds, according to a report.
The heavier drivers are dehydrating before qualifying despite the soaring cockpit temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius in Sepang ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix so that their car is light enough to be competitive with smaller rivals.
According to the Mirror, the engineers have asked the drivers to slim down, heavily in some cases, as the new power units with turbos and hybrid systems are heavier than what the technicians expected, with McLaren racer Jenson Button admitting that he feared at the start of the season he would be among them because he weighs 76 kilos.
However, Button, who is one of the tallest on the grid at six foot, revealed that he was saved from dehydrating himself by his intensive training regime and McLaren`s canny designers, and can now fit in the new rules as easily as his lightest rival Felipe Massa of Williams, who is the same weight as the average 11-year-old boy.
The report mentioned that Massa is almost 22 kilos lighter than rivals like Nico Hulkenberg and Adrian Sutil, who weigh in at 76 kilos and Mercedes Lewis Hamilton said that racers are literally making themselves anorexic by dehydrating and exhausting themselves to get themselves fit for their cars.
Hamilton is light at around 69 kilos but even he removes gold necklaces and his heavy watch for the fractions it could save, the report added.