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F1 drivers lose weight as new rules make every pound valuable

MADRID – Formula One’s new rules are forcing even the drivers to adopt a more aerodynamic profile for the 2009 season.

With the biggest changes coming to the world championship in more than 25 years, a racer’s weight could decides the title.

The new Kinetic Energy Recovery System, a hybrid technology that gives drivers an extra boost for overtaking other racers, will take up approximately 77 pounds, while car weight limits have not been increased. That leaves teams with only one variable – the driver.

“(Weight’s) always been an issue in F1, but particularly this year because of the KERS – all the weight is in the back, and with this year’s rules it’s beneficial to be a bit further forward,” said Nico Rosberg of Williams, who said he lost several pounds to get down to 154 pounds. “So that’s definitely something where the weight has become more important than ever, so I’ve watched that over the winter.”

BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica may have started the trend last season when the Polish driver dropped 13 pounds.

He’s had to make sure he didn’t slip up this winter, either, because of KERS, which is not mandatory for teams to use this season.

Fernando Alonso and Rubens Barrichello have dropped about 4.5 pounds each going into 2009, when at least half of the drivers expected to fill the 20-car grid have lost weight ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 29.

This week in autos


Food City 500

Site: Bristol, Tenn.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 12:30 p.m.); Sunday, race (FOX, 10:30 a.m.)

Track: Bristol Motor Speedway (oval, .533 miles, 36 degrees banking in turns)

Distance: 266.5 miles, 500 laps

Last race: Kurt Busch drove to a dominating victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 8.

Last year: Jeff Burton raced past Denny Hamlin on a two-lap sprint to the finish to give Richard Childress Racing a 1-2-3 sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Fast facts: Jeff Gordon’s winless drought reached 44 races at Atlanta, but he remained on top of the standings after his runner-up finish. He has a 43-point lead over Clint Bowyer. . . . Jimmy Watts, Marcus Ambrose’s gas man, was suspended for four races by NASCAR on March 10 for chasing a loose tire across pit road at Atlanta. This is the first of two consecutive short-track events. The series heads to Martinsville on March 29.


Scotts Turf Builder 300

Site: Bristol, Tenn.

Schedule: Saturday, qualifying, 6:40 a.m. (Speed Channel, 9 a.m., tape), race (ABC, 11 a.m.)

Track: Bristol Motor Speedway (oval, .533 miles, 36 degrees banking in turns)

Distance: 159.9 miles, 300 laps

Last race: Greg Biffle overcame numerous miscues at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Feb. 28 to snap his 76-race winless streak.

Last year: Clint Bowyer outraced Kasey Kahne and the rain to win at Bristol Motor Speedway when the race was stopped just past halfway.

Fast facts: Brad Keselowski won the most recent race at Bristol in August, becoming the first series-only regular to win at the track since 2004. . . Kevin Harvick has not won since Nov. 2007 at Texas. He was victorious at Bristol in 2004. . . Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 48 over Brian Vickers.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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