What makes Formula 1 Drivers Athletes?


I’m reading about their slender and low muscle mass body frame consistent with every driver to maximize performance. Will they not benefit from bigger size to sustain the g force?

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In F1, every smidge of weight matters *a lot*. They’re not gonna spend millions to shave off 1 kg of weight from the car while the driver is 10 kg overweight because he likes eating cookies. The driver also needs to be strong though, so what little weight he does have needs to be effective muscle, not dead weight. Simply holding your head straight at the G’s they pull is serious work, and they need to keep their entire body in control constantly because they can’t just flop about in their seat what with the precision they need in order to control the vehicle. Additionally, it’s *hot*. Simply enduring that requires fitness.


I would think larger people would have more trouble with g forces. If you’re 100lbs, 2g is putting an extra 100lbs if force, but a 200lbs person is getting +200lbs at 2g. A 200lb person is still made of the same stuff as a 100lb person so they don’t have any special resistance to g forces.

Every KG is worth around 5 hundredths or .05 seconds

That doesn’t sound like a lot, but in F1 that’s can be the difference between being on pole or 3rd place.

The drivers have to remain lean to reduce the weight of the car, but balance having the strength and stamina to last a race and handle the G-force

In the 80s being a bigger guy like Nigel Mansell was a bigger deal because they didn’t have power steering back then, but now weight is far more important.

Nico Rosberg said the difference between getting pole on Lewis was the couple of pounds he dropped in his legs by stopping cycling that year.

F1 drivers these days are incredibly fit and the type to do marathons for fun.

Driving those cars is absolutely nothing like driving your road car. The mental and physical requirements are orders of magnitude greater.

To start with, they will achieve 4-5 Gs more than. Ten times a lap. Number of laps varies per circuit but typically there are 40 or more laps in a race.

Presses the brake pedal takes hundreds of pounds of force to reach optimal breaking pressure. They then have to be able to modulate that pressure to avoid locking a wheel.

The heat of the vehicle, along with the required fire safety gear can lead a driver to losing more than ten pounds of water weight across a race distance.

These two factors alone cause heart rates to elevate.

Takes these factors, as well as the mental strength to process things coming at you at well over 150mph for 90-120 minutes, and the average persons body couldn’t handle it. Physical strength, mental toughness, and grit at this level requires extensive training and physical conditioning.