Carlos Sainz Jr believes drivers risk compromising their health due to teams asking them to lose weight before the new season in order to compensate for the heavier 2016 cars.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver says it is not safe for drivers to be losing the weight, and believes it is not their responsibility to be skinny just for teams to be able to improve performance by moving around ballast.
He also spoke about what happened to former Formula 1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne, who was taken to hospital after the 2014 Australian Grand Prix feeling weak after extreme dieting took its toll.
“How do you tell a driver to perform at his highest level while taking into account that he needs to lose three or four kilos?” said Sainz Jr to Reuters.
“It’s one thing against the other. You turn up to a test wanting to be as strong as possible but you cannot be as strong as possible because of weight (loss).”
“It’s a bit drastic. Maybe we (drivers) have to discuss it. I heard really drastic things from Jean-Eric Vergne, what he had to do.
“It’s not safe and not the right way to go. We like to be fit and thin, that’s our job, but it’s not our job to be extremely skinny.”
Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, Renault’s Kevin Magnussen and Sainz’s Toro Rosso team-mate Max Verstappen have all revealed they have been asked by their teams to lose weight this season.