Valtteri Bottas has blamed Mercedes’ black overalls for the nearly half-a-stone weight loss he experienced during last week’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Mercedes changed their colours in support of equality and Black Lives Matter, a move which was influenced by their driver world champion Lewis Hamilton, who is the only black star in Formula One.
The new black overalls and and all-black car were unveiled before the first race of the season, but Bottas believes the colour is to blame for higher temperatures in the cockpit as it absorbs the heat.
‘These black overalls are f***ing hot,’ the driver said over team radio during the race, which saw temperatures of 34 degrees in Barcelona.
Bottas lost 6.6 pounds during the race, in which he finished second, and admitted he felt more uncomfortable than usual because of Mercedes’ new look uniforms.
He said: ‘It was really hot in the car. This year, it’s been even hotter in the car. Obviously, we had to change the colour of the overalls.
‘And it’s known that black colour takes more of the heat, especially when there’s direct sun.
‘I don’t know any number or facts, how much actually black versus white is in terms of temperature difference, but this year, it’s been really hot in the car.’
Bottas also appeared to call on his team to scrap the black overalls – despite their relevance to F1’s anti-racism protests and the Black Lives Matter movement – by adopting white uniforms.
He added: ‘It was just so hot so I said, ‘guys, you know that these overalls are way too hot.’ And for sure, white would be cooler in terms of temperature and today for example I lost three kilos in the race, which is quite a lot.’
Bottas also revealed that the new overalls are thicker due to new regulations which could also have played a role.
The Finnish driver finished Sunday’s Grand Prix in third place with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton coming out on top.