Formula One driver admits removing water bottle from car to make it lighter

Sauber's Swedish Formula One driver Marcus Ericsson has revealed that he has raced thirsty for years because he has ditched his car's water bottle in order to save weight.

The tall Swede explained the situation on Twitter after Sunday's sweltering Hungarian grand prix, in which he shed between 2.5 to three kilos.

Ericsson was also involved in a collision with Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo soon after the start of the race.

"Haven't had a drink system installed for over two years (including today)," Ericsson said in response to a discussion about Kimi Raikkonen racing in the heat without water after Ferrari failed to connect the drinks bottle.

"It weighs around 1.5 kg. So we choose not to use it because of the weight. Just one of the reasons why we should have the same weight for all drivers," added Ericsson, who said he trained hard and kept well-hydrated before the race.

Raikkonen, who finished third at the Hungaroring where track temperatures were well above 50 degrees Celsius in one of the hottest races so far this year, made light of his problem afterwards.

"The fact of not having my drink bottle available was obviously not ideal, but not so much of an issue either," declared the Finn, who has now finished on the podium nine times in Hungary.

Formula One is set to introduce a minimum driver weight of 80kg from 2019 to end a situation where the taller drivers have become disadvantaged, raising concerns about drastic weight loss and other unhealthy practices.

Driver weight will be considered separately to the car next season, with ballast required to be placed next to the seat for those weighing less than the minimum.

Nico Rosberg edges out Lewis Hamilton at the first corner of the Interlagos event in Sao Paulo
Nico Rosberg edges out Lewis Hamilton at the first corner of the Interlagos event in Sao Paulo Source: Associated Press


Brendon Hartley posts career best qualifying position at Hungarian Grand Prix, sits eighth on grid

Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley could be on the verge of a remarkable Formula 1 turnaround, qualifying eighth fastest for tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix.

On a miserable day in Mogyorod, Toro Rosso's Hartley put in his best qualification performance to date, and will start inside the top 10 for the first time in his relatively short Formula 1 career tomorrow morning.

Hartley's previous best qualification position was 11th place at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where he finished in a career best 10th place.

To cap a brilliant day all round for Toro Rosso, Hartley's teammate Pierre Gasly qualified in sixth position, giving the pair their best starting grid positions so far this season.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton led the way, qualifying in first place, with teammate Valtteri Bottas in second.

Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel have qualified in third and fourth respectively.

The Hungarian Grand Prix takes place tomorrow morning NZT.

Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley of New Zealand sits in his car during the first practice session at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, Friday, March 23, 2018. The first race of the 2018 seasons is on Sunday. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Brendon Hartley. Source: Associated Press



Sebastian Vettel leads the way in Hungarian Grand Prix practice

Sebastian Vettel led second practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Mercedes again struggled for speed, while Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley clocked 13th and 15th fastest times respectively across both sessions.

On a day of mourning for Ferrari, following the death this week of former president Sergio Marchionne, Vettel was faster than Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

The same three drivers had also led first practice hours earlier, with Ricciardo quickest ahead of Vettel and Verstappen.

Vettel's Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, was fourth in both sessions, while Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes colleague Valtteri Bottas twice placed fifth and sixth.

The narrow Hungaroring track is among the most difficult overtaking circuits in Formula One, and considered more favorable to cars with a strong downforce like Red Bull and Ferrari - which clinched a 1-2 last year when Vettel won ahead of Raikkonen.

"I think we can still improve the setup of the car a little bit more and be quicker ... If that will be enough for pole position I'm not sure," said Verstappen, who has won one race this season.

"(The track) is very tight and twisty. Qualifying will be important as it's hard to overtake here, so getting ahead early is vital."

It appears Mercedes has much work to do to get its car competitive for qualifying tonight.

Hamilton, who won last weekend's German GP from 14th on the grid, briefly lost control of his car in P1 and complained about his tires.

"This is a tricky circuit and the tires are overheating; looking after the rear tires is the biggest issue," Hamilton said. "The (warm) temperature and the layout of the track - corner after corner - made it really tricky for the tires, as there's no time for them to cool down."

The British driver leads Vettel by 17 points after 11 of 21 races, with the four-time F1 champions winning four races apiece and retiring once each.

Vettel threw points away by crashing in the rain near the end last weekend. The German driver started from pole and was leading by nearly 10 seconds at the time of the incident.

Following Hungary, there is a four-week summer break.

Amid a somber mood, Ferrari's garage and motorhome flew its flag at half-mast and team members wore black armbands in memory of Marchionne, who died on Wednesday at the age of 66.

Vettel and Raikkonen also had black bands attached to their cars.