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Russell calls for standard Formula 1 cockpit size

Daniel Herrero

Thursday 11th April, 2019 - 9:09am

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George Russell steps into his Williams pic: Rokit Williams Racing Twitter

George Russell believes that Formula 1 should introduce a standard cockpit size now that it has mandated a minimum driver weight.

The championship introduced a driver weight of 80kg this year, which requires any shortfall to be made up with ballast placed around the seat to prevent a centre of gravity advantage.

The 185cm tall Russell revealed that he had put on around six kilograms during the off-season and now weighs in at around 72kg.

However, he believes that smaller drivers still have an advantage due to greater freedoms in packaging the car’s components, which could be negated by specifying cockpit sizes, as junior categories do.

“I’ve always been on the lighter side and over Christmas I put on about six kilos,” said the Williams rookie.

“Not just from the turkey, but also from the gym. I just feel much healthier for it.

“(I have) a lot more energy, I feel better. I’m sure my girlfriend would argue I look better too.

“It is very beneficial in more ways than one. F1 really needed that. The next step is to make the cockpit a standard size across all cars because there is still benefits if you are a smaller driver.

“You can cram everything tighter, you have more room to do whatever you want. You can bring the radiators in closer.

“I know in Formula 2 and GP3 (replaced this year by Formula 3) they have a standard size to meet a driver of 172cm I believe.

“At the end of the day, you guys (media) won’t notice it, the fans won’t notice it. But it’s definitely going in the right direction.”

Russell won last year’s Formula 2 championship but put his slim figure at the time down to his F1 aspirations rather than the title battle he was involved in at the time.

“F2 did not have a limitation but I knew that when I jumped in the Mercedes last year that if I was heavier than Lewis or Valtteri I would be slower on the lap time,” he explained.

“So, I wanted to show what I could do, and I didn’t want any additional limitations or free lap time (given up).”

Round 3 of the season at Shanghai starts tomorrow with Practice 1 from 1200 AEST.

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