Adrian Sutil admitted he did not eat for two days in a drastic attempt to lose weight and increase his car's speed.

Despite the weight limits being raised, heavier power units has led to teams seeking to save weight wherever possible, and naturally that has led to the drivers trying to shed the pounds.

The Sauber is one of the heavier cars on the grid and Sutil is one of the taller drivers, so the necessity to lose weight has affected the former Force India driver more than most.

Quoted on ESPN, Sutil said: "Of course we go to the limit and I also went to my limits. I tried to not eat for two days and see what the reaction is. I just try really hard to lose the weight, but if you are already light for your height you have to lose muscles and if you lose muscles you lose the strength of your body.

"There is a point that you shouldn't go over. I still believe we are in an area that safe, but we shouldn't go over it."

There have been calls to increase the minimum weight limit as it punishes the larger drivers and benefits naturally smaller racers. Sutil not only fasted for two days but has also raced without a water bottle in an attempt to save weight.

He said: "I was testing a little bit here and there. Two days with no food and only drink, I tried. It was not easy, but interesting what the reaction is. I'm still eating now, it's better.

"My training programme has changed, because first of all you need to lose the muscle so I can run, but cycling you just build up muscle and heavy muscle, so you need to avoid it those kinds of things.

"But at the time I didn't eat I couldn't do much sport because the power was missing. I did it because I wanted to see and go on the limit to make sure I did my maximum. I don't want to be in the car and say I could have done more.

"I like to be on the limit and if it's not enough I go really hard on the edge. I tried it, but I'm still alive, don't worry too much. And it was my own decision and that's an important thing. It helps now to have a lighter car so we are close to our weight limit, but it's just my target and I want to improve myself whatever it takes. I'm willing to do it."

A lighter chassis and aerodynamic and power train changes will help move Sauber up the field, Sutil hopes.

"It's a very good step I think in every area. The weight, the aerodynamic and also the powertrain has improved. So the time we had during the races has been used quite well.

"It's all theoretical numbers but I believe in it and especially tomorrow will be an important day to test it all to make sure it works fine and I expect a good performance improvement throughout the weekend, whether it's qualifying or the race, we should make a good step."

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Formula 1