It is understandable that when you think of athletes, you think of people playing football, rugby, or basketball, or sprinting towards a finishing line. However, in motorsports, people often feel like the drivers are not classed as athletes. Today, we will debunk that myth as Formula 1 drivers are no less athletes than their counterparts in more physically demanding sports. Let’s take a look at the reasons why Formula 1 drivers have the right to be classed as athletes.
- G-Forces and Endurance
Formula 1 cars can generate G-forces of up to 5 Gs during races. Drivers have to experience obscene forces that are five times the Earth’s gravitational pull. This puts tremendous strain on their bodies.
Maintaining their neck muscles is crucial, as drivers often endure lateral G-forces that subject their necks to forces equivalent to carrying a 20-pound weight.
- Core Strength
- While seated, drivers must maintain a fixed position for extended periods, relying on core strength to support their bodies and handle the car’s intense cornering forces.
- Without good core strength, drivers can suffer from fatigue during a race. Some will last over two hours.
- Cardiovascular Endurance
- Formula 1 races are physically demanding, requiring drivers to maintain high levels of concentration and stamina.
- Their cardiovascular endurance is crucial for sustaining peak performance throughout the race.
- Weight Management
- Drivers must stay within a specific weight range to optimize the car’s performance. This necessitates careful dieting, strength training, and cardio workouts.
- Being too heavy can slow the car down, while being too light can put the driver at a disadvantage in terms of stability.
- Concentration and Reaction Time
- F1 drivers must remain intensely focused for the entirety of a race, reacting swiftly to changing conditions and competitors’ moves.
- Their reaction times are often faster than the average person’s, a skill honed through training and experience.
- Mental Endurance
- Races can be mentally draining due to the constant decision-making, strategic planning, and adapting to rapidly evolving situations.
- Maintaining mental endurance is crucial to avoid lapses in concentration that could result in accidents.
- Stress Management
- Drivers have to cope with a lot of pressure and this means increased stress levels. They not only have to face the rigorous demands of the race but also perform to a high enough standard to satisfy their team and fans.
- Effective stress management is essential to maintain composure and make sound decisions under pressure.
The Rigors of Training
- Simulation Training
- F1 drivers undergo extensive simulation training to prepare for different track conditions, strategies, and race scenarios.
- These sessions condition the drivers in preparation for the mental and physical demands of a race.
- Strength and Conditioning
- Drivers have to undergo intensive training regimes regularly. This is to ensure their bodies are in tip-top condition and able to handle the rigors of racing.
- This involves weightlifting, resistance exercises, and specialized training for neck and core muscles.
- Cardiovascular Workouts
- Motorsport requires a lot of endurance and that is why drivers regularly engage in cardiovascular fitness routines such as cycling, running, and swimming.
- These activities improve endurance and help drivers maintain their concentration.
In the world of motorsport, Formula 1 drivers are far more than just individuals who steer cars around a track. Anyone who has watched Formula 1 streaming gratis and understands the rigors involved will know that a Formula 1 driver has as much right as other sporting stars to call themselves athletes.