Weight would have disadvantaged Webber – Newey

2014 F1 season

Mark Webber during practice, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2013Mark Webber would have been at a disadvantage under the new rules had he continued to race in F1 in 2014, according to Red Bull’s Adrian Newey.

Webber left F1 at the end of last season to compete in the World Endurance Championship. As one of F1’s taller drivers, his higher weight had hindered the team’s efforts to get his car down to the minimum weight limit without sacrificing performance.

Drivers are under greater pressure to trim down this year due to the increased weight of the new engines, despite the minimum weight limit rising to 691kg this year.

“With Sebastian [Vettel] and Daniel [Ricciardo] we will reach the limit by the skin of our teeth,” Newey told The Red Bulletin. “Mark Webber would really be at a disadvantage this season.”

“My cars have a general tendency to gain weight after their first outing,” Newey added. The development of the exhaust-blown diffusers on the 2011 RB7 was an example of that:

“To start with the exhausts kept breaking because of the unusual shape, but we got a grip on the problem in the end with extra material and changing the way we treated it.”

But Newey added the performance of the 2011 car with exhaust-blowing didn’t quite reach that of the 2010 car when double diffusers were legal:

“The RB6 was probably the car with the most downforce in the history of F1, more even than the legendary spoiler cars of the 1980s. We measured up to 5.5G of lateral acceleration.

“It could go flat out through Copse at Silverstone, and on the sharp bend on the back straight at Barcelona [Campsa].”

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39 comments on Weight would have disadvantaged Webber – Newey

  1. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 11th March 2014, 10:28

    That RB6 was an absolutely incredible car. Going on YouTube and seeing the onboard laps and the cornering speed it could carry is simply stunning.

  2. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 11th March 2014, 10:45

    Yeah, I remember RB6 crushing the opposition in circuits with fast corners. Legendary car.

    But I think it’s good that we will have less downforce this year, because it was easier to drive cars with more downforce. I just fear that teams will claw back all that downforce from last year and will add even more.

  3. vjanik said on 11th March 2014, 10:58

    Red Bull Honda in 2015?

  4. karter22 (@karter22) said on 11th March 2014, 11:13

    How could Webber have been at risk? Ricciardo looks beefier than Mark! I guess they just needed an excuse to get rid of Mark.

    • I think its the height factor mainly along with weight. The Packaging must be very tight in order to gain Aero efficiency according to newey

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 11th March 2014, 11:26

      @karter22 Mark is much taller than Dan. And he chose to leave by himself it was not RBR’s decision

    • TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 11th March 2014, 11:54

      Slimming down is harder if you’re physically larger – there’s less you can do about it. Jenson Button is having similar issues, as reported recently – he knows that a kilogram less body weight is worth a couple of tenths at some tracks. If you’re small and muscular it’s easy to lose more weight – Alonso is probably dieting too. Allegedly Hamilton is looking thinner these days as well.

      • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 3rd April 2014, 14:45

        Allegedly Hamilton is looking thinner these days as well.

        His hair certainly seemed to be, to me.

        He looked really thin on top, I could see him going bald in a couple of years.

        No having a go at him, just something I noticed when he was on the podium. I could be wrong.

    • Boomerang said on 11th March 2014, 12:17

      I think Adrian Newey is second to none when it comes to aerodynamics but I don’t understand how this comment makes sense at all. With abundance of torque provided by new power-train few kilos more on drivers side are virtually nothing.
      In my opinion everyone using Renault power-train will be disadvantaged – Mark Weber or Benny Hill, same thing – they would be similary impressive.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 11th March 2014, 12:27

        @Boomerang The cars have a 691kg minimum weight including the driver. If they cannot fit the driver’s weight within a weight limit they have to run the car with bigger weight sacrificing performance. What torque has to do with it I don’t know

        • Baron (@baron) said on 11th March 2014, 14:17

          The drivers weight is important because if he is light enough, they can make a car underweight and place the equalising ballast at a point in the car which benefits performance, i.e. C of G or Polar Moment of Inertia.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 11th March 2014, 14:54

            @baron That was the case last year and before that. This year as was explained by Gary Anderson on Autosport the teams struggle to just get the minimum weight at all without any thinking of ballast. See the Newey quote above: “With Sebastian [Vettel] and Daniel [Ricciardo] we will reach the limit by the skin of our teeth”

      • C-Antine said on 11th March 2014, 12:40

        “virtually nothing” in the F1 world can be quite meaningful. Even with the extra troque, if you have more weight, yours laps are slower, as simlpy as that. Even 0.1 of a second is important

    • @karter22 You can lose weight you can’t lose height.

  5. Mrhoy said on 11th March 2014, 12:13

    Nothing new Mansell had find upto half a sec at some tracks when he was paired up with Prost.
    It’s getting out of hand you have to be a jockey to fit in the modern cars, raise the weight so more drivers have equal opportunity. Drivers like Berger, Frenzen, Piquet, Jones to name a few wouldn’t even get a look in now.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 11th March 2014, 12:15

    They should rename it to: “Formula Anorexia”

  7. In_Silico (@insilico) said on 11th March 2014, 12:32

    I remember Webber saying that in Hungary they had to put more fuel in the car in practice just to hide their pace because the RB6 was so quick that weekend. In quali, both cars were one-two and Alonso in third was over a second off pole. Great car.

  8. erix said on 11th March 2014, 14:58

    Even with ballast it would be qualifying disadvantage..look at Kimi vs Massa in 2008 when Kimi was 12kg heavier. Kimi had fastest race lap record in that year, but qualifying just cannot lie.

  9. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 11th March 2014, 20:23

    The RB6 was probably the car with the most downforce in the history of F1, more even than the legendary spoiler cars of the 1980s. We measured up to 5.5G of lateral acceleration.
    “It could go flat out through Copse at Silverstone, and on the sharp bend on the back straight at Barcelona [Campsa].”

    Thanks heaven Newey admitted it because some people here were claiming that it wasn’t too dominant

    the 2011 car with exhaust-blowing didn’t quite reach that of the 2010 car when double diffusers were legal

    Do you mean blown diffuser ?? Because i think double diffusers were banned in 2010 or maybe i am missing something ?

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