Constant training, constant hunger, overloads and other difficulties faced by riders.
It is no secret that Formula 1 drivers always need to be in great shape and train every day for several hours. However, some still believe that racing cannot be called a sport literally. It seems to people that in races, there is no strong physical tension, as in figure skating, wrestling, or football. The stumbling block for skeptics is the constant presence of the pilot in the car, which is more like a sitting rest, rather than a difficult task. Well, you can, and you have to argue with that. After all, an untrained man can hardly start it and move it. We will tell you what athletes are going through to succeed in their business.
The heart of the pilot: 50 to 200 beats per minute.
By the level of physical training, F-1 participants can compare with Olympians. Their training includes not only exercises for all muscle groups, but also tasks on the speed of reaction, concentration, overcoming of psychological and physiological difficulties. For example, the average pilot’s heart rate is 170 beats per minute. And at peak moments, it reaches 200 – the maximum, which can overpower a person without harm to health. This is the only sport with such a high rate.
In addition, the heart of the pilot experiences serious fluctuations during the race. When approaching the breaking point, the number of contractions is close to 160, while stopping the car increases slightly to fall to 50-60 beats per minute. It’s no wonder that every driver is thoroughly examined before the competition, as the load during the Grand Prix is similar to that of a marathon runner.
Rigorous diets: hunger as best friend
In order to be a race car driver, you have to at least sit in it—Christian Bale for the role in the movie “Ford vs. Ferrari” lost 30 kilos, because he did not fit in the car. And the ideal weight of the driver is determined not by nutritionists, and engineers who create the car. Athletes have to carefully monitor the weight and eat properly.
Big agony in the form of diets is subjected to tall people. Lewis Hamilton, who is 174 cm tall, confessed in one of his interviews that he has a constant hunger during the season. And, for example, ex-pilot Felipe Massa did not limit himself much in food because of his small height. Fortunately, the rules have become less stringent over the past couple of years. Now the big pilots can afford to eat a little more.
Training to maintain tonus
Despite the fact that drivers spend a lot of time in the gym, they do not look like bodybuilders. The essence of training is to keep the body in a tone so that muscles can comfortably withstand overloads. Most of the exercises are aimed at strengthening the neck and shoulder belt, because they are subject to strong tension when passing corners. In training, the pilot puts on a helmet, to which a five-kilogram weight is attached, and lies on his side. The task of the exercise is to keep the head in a horizontal position for as long as possible.
It is especially important to pay attention to the tasks of the speed of reaction, concentration, and coordination. They can be done anywhere, only if there is a desire. They can be done anywhere, only if there is a desire. Charles Leclerc likes to throw three tennis balls against a wall and try to catch them at the same time in his spare time, as stated by monaco-tribune.com. It, also enhances the nervous system.
During the races, pilots need not just to press the pedals and turn the wheel, but also to constantly maintain concentration and navigate through a variety of switches. The essence of one of the simulators for racers is to press the keys “truth” or “lie” when the display shows words with different colors. The correct answer depends on whether the shade is the same as its name. Naturally, there is only a second to think about it, so you have to act quickly and preferably correctly. For the first time, only one pilot, Mark Jeunet, managed the task.
In most sports, loss of attentiveness can turn into a loss. In-car racing, however, inattention can lead to the loss of valuable seconds or accidents. At high speeds with little maneuver space, an error can lead to completely unexpected results. It is, therefore, important for drivers to be at the peak of their physical development and to be able to concentrate on driving.
Mentality of Champion
A whole bunch of different interesting aspects comes into play here. Ayrton Senna, obsessed with improving training to perfectionist level, believed that the pilot should throttle on inhale and brake – on exhalation. However, modern doctors believe that holding your breath during a turn with such a breathtaking pulse can be extremely dangerous. Nevertheless, pilots are taught to breathe correctly with relaxation on inhalation and tension on exhalation.
But not just that. An important part of training is concentration and reaction. And the first stands in the report card of importance much higher than the second. As the researches say, statistically, the maximum reaction is necessary in a rather small quantity of a situation in a race – and the limiting concentration will help to react in the necessary moment anyway.
There are many simulators designed to develop concentration—for example, the display with words written in different colors. If the color is the same as the word that describes it – you need to press the “truth” button; if not – then the button “lie.” It would seem simple, but the answer is given only one second, and the necessary buttons are constantly changing their location. Only one pilot in history has coped with this test from the first time on all 100 – Mark Jeunet. And Robert Kubica, at his best years, easily gained 100% in 62 seconds.
To spend all one and a half hours at the limit of physical abilities is difficult not only for the body – the mind is tired of constant tension. That’s why it’s so important to keep it toned. The maximum assembled, operating in qualification mode pilot can win 0.2-0.3 seconds on each lap without any additional physical effort.