What it takes to be an F1 driver

Imagine driving the fastest cars on earth, imagine the strain this puts on your body. Fitter than football players and leaner than athletes: racing car drivers possess the most finely tuned bodies on earth.

Medical studies consent. During a race a driver must remain calm, focused and in constant communication with the technical team whilst perfectly maneuvering a highly complex vehicle around and unfamiliar track alongside competitors, travelling at speeds up to 300 kilometres/hour.

All this in an environment where one wrong move can cost lives calls for a sportsman at the very peak of physical and mental strength.

Some interesting facts related to F1 drivers:

  • They have prolonged exposure to high G forces and temperatures for little over an hour. This results in an average F1 driver losing about 4kgs of weight after just one race.
  • When an F1 driver puts brakes on his car he experiences huge retardation or deceleration. It could be compared to a regular car driving through a brick wall at the speed of 300kmph.
  • They can lose approximate 2 to 3 litres of water.
  • They have a resting heart rate of around 40 beats per minute (the average, healthy human has a resting heart rate of around 60bpm).
  • They are able to maintain a heart rate of up to 200bpm for the duration of a two hour drive (the average healthy human has a heart rate of around 150bpm during an intense gym workout).
  • They have a constant body fat ratio of around 7%, similar to that of a marathon runner just before a big race.
  • They have neck muscles able to support up to 24kg when rounding corners at high speed.