Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 Ditch In-Car Drink Bottle To Save Weight
Every ounce saved translates to more speed on the track.
Lewis Hamilton has gone to the extreme measure of foregoing the in-car drink bottle to save weight, with the goal of getting the car down to the minimum weight of 1605 pounds (728 kg). The closer the car is to that number, the more the team can move ballast around to balance it. Motorsport.com reports that Mercedes have had problems getting their cars down to the desired weight, and ditching the drink will save a somewhere in the range of three to five pounds.
That might not seem like much, but it can be a huge advantage, especially at the start when all of his rivals have full drink bottles. But it's not an inconsequential decision - at the end of the Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton could been seen breathing very heavily in the car, and sounded out of breath on the radio.
Mercedes seem to think this isn't an issue. Motorsport.com quoted Mercedes F1 director Toto Wolff as saying he thinks "it was just an expression of how hard he was pushing." But Hamilton has a slightly different take on it.
"Also I don't carry drinks in my car either to save weight, so I'm not having a drink through the race. And then at the end, I used everything I had left when I jumped into my team and my heart rate hit the ceiling."
"I was good when I got out of the car but jumping into... I don't know if I will do that again. I was a little bit tired after that one."
Hamilton and the rest of the F1 drivers are athletes of the highest caliber. They undergo physical stress and challenges that most of us couldn't endure. The drivers all have teams of trainers and medical staff looking out for them. To run a race without a drink bottle might sound questionable, but if it were truly an issue, it wouldn't be allowed to happen.
Hopefully, Mercedes will be able to shave those precious pounds from elsewhere on the car in the very near future. Come summer, there are some races where going without a drink bottle is not an option. At the end of July, there is the notoriously hot Hungaroring. September has both Singapore and Malaysia, where the heat and humidity are just brutal. These are races where staying hydrated is a must.
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