They have been called supermen. Machines with heart. And men of iron. They follow perhaps the strictest diet in the world and exercise like giants. Their excellent physical condition will help them to survive in a difficult environment: what they experience inside the car and to come out unscathed from an unexpected accident but also to withstand the stresses that the neck mercilessly receives. In every race they raise their pulses from 160 to 200, lose 3 kg and have to walk once they finish!
Aperfect physical condition is their passport to get inside the 350km/h car. They don’t just hold a steering wheel in their hands. They obey the laws of physics. Their daily schedule includes endless running, swimming and aerobic exercise. In each race their bodies burn about 3,000 calories and after the grand prix when they are weighed the scale shows that they have lost at least three kilos through perspiration.
Most people prefer to exercise in nature. In mountains with low atmospheric pressure. There they practice breathing techniques. They are trained in special breathing techniques to enable them to remain calm even when something goes wrong. It is characteristic that they had taken the pulse of an old world champion and found that his heart rate was in a state of ..sleep!
THE Hamilton, Leclerc and Verstappen keep their bodies and muscular frames steely and durable to injuries in the event of a crash, to withstand the powerful pressures of up to 7 G’s – an unfit person might even be crippled if they haven’t built steely muscle tissue for such instantaneous accelerations.
In addition to demanding training, they must also practice their reflexes. A large team of doctors, psychologists, personal trainers and nutritionists monitor each one individually so that he is ready to cope with his duties behind the wheel.
As far as nutrition is concerned, it differs from pilot to pilot. For example the Hamilton has publicly stated that he eats an exclusively plant-based diet. This helps him to have high reserves of self-concentration, and to recover his strength more quickly at the end of the fight. “I live on salads and pancakes” Hamilton had emphasized. Fruits and vegetables make him, as he had declared, more agile. He runs every day 30 minutes likes martial arts and loves to ski.
THE Verstappen does at least one or two practice sessions on a daily basis while on the weekend he has stated when he does not have a match he rests. “The place where the biggest forces are exerted is the neck, the lower back and the forces you feel when you have a crash,” the two-time champion previously said. He has also emphasized that his diet changes depending on where the match will be held. Another diet in Abu Dhabi and another in Monaco.
Quite demanding is Leclerc’s program where he plays soccer, boxing for his reflexes while walking backwards for ten meters. He does this to exercise his lower arms and the muscles in that particular spot. He has even climbed glaciers to test his endurance. A few years ago the former World champion Jenson Button declared that he had to eat sweets for a year!