Even in the sweltering heat of Malaysia, the battle to reduce weight is forcing some drivers to deliberately dehydrate.

That is the claim of Jenson Button who, as the most experienced driver currently on the grid, admits he himself is having to go to extreme lengths just to keep the car as close to the minimum limit as possible.

Indeed the 34-year-old claims some drivers are putting their own health potentially at risk by not drinking or eating in the build-up to qualifying.

“I am sure they are dehydrating themselves because that is what I was going to do — go in a sauna, steam room, not drink or eat until after qualifying,” he is quoted by the Mirror newspaper.

“I was going to do it and did all year until now, but it is a shame for the guys who have to do it.”

The reason why bigger drivers, such as Button, are having to go to such drastic solutions is, despite an increase of 51kg for 2014, teams are struggling to keep the cars close to the 691kg minimum weight because of the new, much bulkier V6 power units.

Several drivers have been losing weight wherever they can while training with fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton admitting: ”It’s hardcore what people are doing.

“You can go into qualifying a little bit dehydrated. I heard someone was doing that, exhausting themselves,” he added.

Button said that he had been able to stop going to those kind of extremities as he had been able to get his weight down for the new limit to no longer be an issue, however he spoke of the diet he and other bigger drivers were having to stick to saying anything which contained carbohydrates was an absolute no-no, including bread.

His former McLaren team-mate and now Mercedes driver warned: “You don’t want drivers being anorexic.”

Particularly hampered by the new, heavier units are the Ferrari-powered teams with consensus in the paddock the new Italian marque’s engine is a massive 13kg heavier than their Mercedes and Renault rivals.


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