Di Resta fears F1 weight rules could risk health

Paul Di Resta has expressed concerns for his health in light of the new weight limit regulations for next season.

Paul Di Resta. Picture: AP

As one of the tallest drivers on the Formula 1 grid, Di Resta has had to trim down since his arrival in F1 in 2011 to make the grade.

But in light of the new rules from 2014, that will put Di Resta under even more pressure should he retain his seat at Force India. With the introduction of the new powertrains, motor sport’s world governing body the FIA has increased the weight limit from 642kg to 692kg.

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It means the ideal weight for a driver is around 60-65kg, way below Di Resta’s current size, so naturally he concedes he is worried.

“It is a concern for a driver like me,” said Di Resta. “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’d like to see the weight limit raised because it would make no difference to them (the smaller guys).

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

“It would also not put parts at risk of failing to ensure you get the strength needed for the new ultra-torque engines.”

Di Resta admits he has to keep a close eye on what he eats, adding: “I’m 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.

“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).

“Equally, when the engineer tells you it’s not so important one week then you can eat a bit more and that makes you smile.

“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.”

Asked whether his future in F1 was at risk as Force India may look at a smaller driver, Di Resta added: “It’s a bit of a waiting game.

“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.”