Drivers can lose up to 3kg of sweat in just one race.
Formula 1 drivers are some of the fittest athletes in the World – a huge amount of both stamina and endurance is required. All drivers who enter Formula 1 undergo a period of conditioning beforehand to ensure that their bodies can meet the physical demands of the sport. Formula 1 cars can create up to 3.5 g of cornering force meaning drivers have to be incredibly strong to be able to endure these kinds of conditions over long periods of time. Formula 1 cockpits are also incredibly hot. This heat will also put huge strain on the body.
Endurance training will generally include cardio-vascular training – usually running, swimming or cycling. A Formula 1 car puts odd forces on the neck and chest muscles and these forces cannot be easily replicated in a gym situation. Many drivers have special rigs that help them to improve their neck and chest muscle areas. Strong neck muscles are really important because they support the drivers’ head and helmet under the loadings that the car produces.
Most Formula 1 drivers will adhere to a fairly strict diet, regulating the amount of carbohydrates and proteins that they eat. During race weekends, most drivers will eat pasta, rice and other carbohydrate rich foods to ensure they have enough energy and stamina during the race. Because of the huge amounts of sweat that is lost, drivers have to ensure they take on enough fluids before the race to keep their hydration levels up. Failure to drink enough water before a race could cause dehydration which could lead to a lack of concentration.