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F1 drivers have doped - expert


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#1 camberley

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:17

Aug.12 (GMM) Even Formula One is not immune to doping, according to a French expert.

From 2003 to 2005, Marc Sanson was head of the conseil de prevention et de lutte contre le dopage, or the French anti-doping council.

Recently, the French senate revealed an explosive report about doping, with particular attention to the troubled world of cycling.

But according to Italian media reports, the senate also paid attention to other sports, including the use of beta-blockers in golf.

And Sanson is quoted as claiming Formula One drivers have also used performance-enhancing drugs.

"For many years," he said, "drivers have used tacrine, a product used in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's, in order to remember the circuits more easily."

Edited by camberley, 12 August 2013 - 07:17.


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#2 SUPRAF1

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:40

I highly doubt it's for remember circuits...all it took for me to memorize them was a few laps on F1 2012 :p.

Then again, if that video where Natalie Pinkham of SkySports F1 tested Jenson and Sergio's ability to remember tracks is anything to go by, they might need all the help they can get...

(Can't find the link to it unfortunately :()

#3 Chubby_Deuce

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:58

What happened to the report that they are all high out of their minds on cocaine? That one was a lot more fun and equally true.

#4 Santuri9

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:00

I remember discussing this with a few friends and we came to the conclusion that there is no space for performance enhancing drugs in F1

You don't make it to F1 without being at the top of your game mentally and physically and any side effects of PED's could risk that. As for remembering circuits, I agree with Camberley that it shouldn't be an issue. Kimi has said that he only needs a few laps on a circuit to know how it goes. From there on out its about pushing the limits of the car, which IMO doesn't require any PED's for memory as it should come naturally as they "feel" the car.



#5 zepunishment

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:03

"For many years," he said, "drivers have used tacrine, a product used in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's, in order to remember the circuits more easily."


I'd love this to be true. It'd be hilarious to watch 20 cars driven by men who can't remember 20 corners over the course a weekend get gradually more and more lost and confused over a two hour race. It might even make me get a sky subscription :lol:


#6 Ferrari_F1_fan_2001

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:20

Tomas Enge tested positive for THC in 2001 and was never allowed in F1 again.

I'd like to think that F1 has developed more advanced drugs testing since that time and if drivers were doping surely at least ONE would have been caught by now.

Wasn't there an F1 photographer/conspiracy theorist that accused Schumacher of doping a little while back on his blog? Darren something I think his name was.

#7 Santuri9

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:27

Also last year right before Monaco some racers were raided for random drug tests in their hotel rooms, IIRC perez tweeted about it

#8 Ali_G

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:57

You could easily see how a driver might use Adderall. Improves concentration a lot over a long period of time.

#9 teejay

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:58

Its not raiding - its jut the test are a surprise and when you had to get tested, you have to get tested.



#10 SpaceHorseParty

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:58

Tomas Enge tested positive for THC in 2001 and was never allowed in F1 again.

Not exactly, he last drove in F1 in 2001 with Prost, then when the team went under he returned to F3000. He was disqualified from one race and would have been champion had it not been for his disqualification. And it's not like he had any opportunities to get back in F1. Bourdais (the champion after Enge's disqualification) had to join ChampCar because nobody wanted him in F1 and Pantano (the other driver who beat Enge) had to drive in F3000 for another season and only got into F1 because he brought a lot of money with him.

#11 Ferrari_F1_fan_2001

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:59

They and their teams would have way too much to lose.

These guys practically have a baby sitter with them everywhere they go.

This isn't boxing with street kids growing up wanting to punch each others lights out at any cost. These are - for the majority - silver spoon kids who have lived this very regimented lifestyle all their lives.

#12 Uwe

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:01

And Sanson is quoted as claiming Formula One drivers have also used performance-enhancing drugs.

"For many years," he said, "drivers have used tacrine, a product used in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's, in order to remember the circuits more easily."

I believe this to be utter rubbish. Once you have the circuits in your head you don't need any drugs to remember them. And if I as a layman driver can get accustomed to a circuit within 10 laps the professionals can do that even quicker. And if they feel the need to polish up their knowledge from last year they can do a couple quick laps in the team simulator.

BS really.

#13 ApexOversteer

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:20

"For many years," he said, "drivers have used tacrine, a product used in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's, in order to remember the circuits more easily."


lol, what a joke. These so called experts are really good at making up crap.

#14 F1ultimate

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:56

Would snooker players too benefit from the similar drugs given that they sport too is a high intensity mental concentration exercise?

#15 KirilVarbanov

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:05

Some people must have been really bored to post this... Move on, nothing to see here.

#16 Blackmore

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:21

Head of the council investigating this, claims F1 drivers doped...the fans say he is a liar because their idols won't do such things of course. Same as the cycling fans/Armstrong fans were saying those are lies because their idols won't do such things.

Ok guys, a little bit more objectivity would be needed.

Even drinking a Red Bull can has been proven to heighten a driver's focus and ability to drive more concentrated. If you think these drivers are not doing anything they can to get the best out of themselves, you are underestimating them.

Of course most of the drugs used in other sports won't have the desired effect in an F1 car, but when it comes to focus/concentration and also building up and maintaining certain muscles (like neck), it is easier with 'enhancing' supplements, they would definitely benefit an F1 driver.

Also people claiming the cocaine thing is a non-issue because drivers would be 'high', clearly never used cocaine. Cocaine gets you very focussed mentally in a way you can't achieve without, very direct and sharp in thinking and reacting, you have 100% belief in yourself and no fear. It's not like weed/hash that makes you all high and spaced out with cute moving colors on the wall.

Not that I am saying current F1 drivers are using cocaine around a race weekend (they allegedly did in the 70s/80s), but just to clear up the effects of cocaine.

#17 F1ultimate

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:44

I believe this to be utter rubbish. Once you have the circuits in your head you don't need any drugs to remember them. And if I as a layman driver can get accustomed to a circuit within 10 laps the professionals can do that even quicker. And if they feel the need to polish up their knowledge from last year they can do a couple quick laps in the team simulator.

BS really.


It's less about remembering the corners of a circuit and more about remembering braking points, shifts and throttle applications for every corner with less than a 0.1% error rate - and this, over 50-70 laps. Maintaining such concentration isn't easy. Similar to snooker, a good amateur can potential beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in a three set game but not keep up with him an 18 set game, as they will see their concentration fade away after five or weight sets.

#18 thesham01

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:49

I would be shocked if some drugs are not used by some of the drivers at least. Including current ones. There are obvious advantages to do so (concentration and fitness over long, stressful races)

Look how hard it is to get into Formula One, imagine you get lucky enough to get a chance to race for a season, you will have the mindset that you will do anything to stay in F1, and for some people that includes drugs.

When there is so much at stake, and someone builds their life around something (in this case racing) then the idea of taking drugs to gain an advantage is very real.

Edited by thesham01, 12 August 2013 - 10:52.


#19 BenettonB192

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:50

The only scenario where i see doping as viable in racing is to get a driver fit when he feels sick. I heard some uppers do wonders to feel normal for a couple hours when you have a bad cold.
I don't think it's viable as a long term thing because drugs that improve concentration and self confidence all have bad side effects that would actualy be disadvantageous for the performance after a while.

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#20 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:58

Tomas Enge tested positive for THC in 2001...


I think he'd be okay now. Wasn't there an update to the worldwide sports-doping rules that low levels of THC are now okay? And F1 goes on whatever the international standard is.

So if you're tested and 'high' you'll fail. If you've got some lingering amounts in your system they ignore it.

#21 jj2728

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:12

And Sanson is quoted as claiming Formula One drivers have also used performance-enhancing drugs.
"For many years," he said, "drivers have used tacrine, a product used in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's, in order to remember the circuits more easily."


what a load of shite......

#22 PayasYouRace

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:17

It's less about remembering the corners of a circuit and more about remembering braking points, shifts and throttle applications for every corner with less than a 0.1% error rate - and this, over 50-70 laps. Maintaining such concentration isn't easy. Similar to snooker, a good amateur can potential beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in a three set game but not keep up with him an 18 set game, as they will see their concentration fade away after five or weight sets.


But braking points, shifts and throttle applications will vary with what I'm sure is much more than 0.1% as tyres wear, fuel is used and the track rubbers in and marbles form. As Martin Brundle often says, the track is a living thing. It won't be the same over 50-70 laps so you wouldn't need to remember it to such a ridiculous standard of perfection.

#23 SealTheDiffuser

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:17

please close this

#24 Wander

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:20

I wouldn't even mind if they did dope. In fact, I think it would make everything much simpler if all performance enhancing drugs were allowed in sport. You know they do it anyway!

#25 thesham01

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:24

But braking points, shifts and throttle applications will vary with what I'm sure is much more than 0.1% as tyres wear, fuel is used and the track rubbers in and marbles form. As Martin Brundle often says, the track is a living thing. It won't be the same over 50-70 laps so you wouldn't need to remember it to such a ridiculous standard of perfection.


The fact it changes means you need a higher level of cognitive functioning. You need to be working things out all the time, and therefore would benefit from certain cognitive enhancing drugs. Modern F1 is the era that drugs would have the biggest effect on.

#26 Jackmancer

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:24

I wouldn't even mind if they did dope. In fact, I think it would make everything much simpler if all performance enhancing drugs were allowed in sport. You know they do it anyway!


yeah and let everybody collapse of heartattacks or high bloodpressure.
great logic :down:

#27 PayasYouRace

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:31

The fact it changes means you need a higher level of cognitive functioning. You need to be working things out all the time, and therefore would benefit from certain cognitive enhancing drugs. Modern F1 is the era that drugs would have the biggest effect on.


Which isn't about memory. It's about concentration and reaction. A drug that helps one remember things better isn't going to be of much use.

#28 thesham01

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:33

Which isn't about memory. It's about concentration and reaction. A drug that helps one remember things better isn't going to be of much use.


I wasn't talking about memory drugs, my bad if you were. I thought you were arguing against performance enhancing drugs in general.



#29 Amphicar

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:47

There is at least one documented case of a Formula 1 driver taking a performance enhancing drug before a major race (albeit not an F1 race). Before the 1955 Mille Miglia, Stirling Moss took some "pep-pills" given to him by Fangio, his Mercedes team-mate. Moss, driving single-handed alongside navigator Denis Jenkinson, duly won the grueling 10 hour race, with Moss recording in his diary "Fangio's pills are FANTASTIC !" Much later, in an interview with Doug Nye, Moss commented:

"In the first grand prix races that year in Argentina - run in terrible heat - the Old Boy had been the only one to complete the distance solo. So when he offered his magic pills (and that was the only time he ever shared them) we accepted. I took mine, Jenks didn't take his. To this day I've no idea if that pill would be legal or illegal, acceptable or banned. But at that time it was no issue. Dexedrine and Benzedrine were commonly used in rallies. The object was simply to keep awake, like wartime bomber crews."

#30 PayasYouRace

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:50

I wasn't talking about memory drugs, my bad if you were. I thought you were arguing against performance enhancing drugs in general.


That's what the quote in the OP refers to.

#31 Elissa

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:57

Tomas Enge tested positive for THC in 2001 and was never allowed in F1 again.

I'd like to think that F1 has developed more advanced drugs testing since that time and if drivers were doping surely at least ONE would have been caught by now.

Wasn't there an F1 photographer/conspiracy theorist that accused Schumacher of doping a little while back on his blog? Darren something I think his name was.


By THC, I presume you mean tetrahydrocannabinol? Ie weed??

I don't personally have an issue if a driver likes a smoke, same as those that like a drink, so long as they're not affected during racing and a risk to others.

Actual PED's though, no I don't want them in the sport.



#32 JHSingo

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:00

Very vague. No detail on when this took place, etc. Also, "many years" suggests that it is not happening now, so who really cares?

The lack of detail makes me call bullsh*t on this one.

#33 Amphicar

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:09

By THC, I presume you mean tetrahydrocannabinol? Ie weed??

I don't personally have an issue if a driver likes a smoke, same as those that like a drink, so long as they're not affected during racing and a risk to others.

Actual PED's though, no I don't want them in the sport.

James Hunt was fond of the odd joint after a race as was Tommy Byrne. Byrne mentions his liking for weed several times in his autobiography "Crashed and Byrned", which also includes tips on how to smuggle hash from Mexico to the USA.

#34 SealTheDiffuser

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:31

James Hunt was fond of the odd joint after a race as was Tommy Byrne. Byrne mentions his liking for weed several times in his autobiography "Crashed and Byrned", which also includes tips on how to smuggle hash from Mexico to the USA.



as far as I now the fire extinguishers were filled with blow in the 80ies

#35 Amphicar

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:38

as far as I now the fire extinguishers were filled with blow in the 80ies

Tommy's technique was more subtle, involving golf clubs with hollow shafts.

#36 SealTheDiffuser

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:54

Tommy's technique was more subtle, involving golf clubs with hollow shafts.


hollow drive shafts

#37 noikeee

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 13:15

(GMM)


/thread

I don't think it's hugely inconceivable F1 drivers could take "stuff", but it's far more conceivable that this is just a typical slow news day in August, filled by an agency contracted to do at least 'x' stories per day/week/whatever.

#38 beqa16v

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 13:35

I remember discussing this with a few friends and we came to the conclusion that there is no space for performance enhancing drugs in F1

You don't make it to F1 without being at the top of your game mentally and physically and any side effects of PED's could risk that. As for remembering circuits, I agree with Camberley that it shouldn't be an issue. Kimi has said that he only needs a few laps on a circuit to know how it goes. From there on out its about pushing the limits of the car, which IMO doesn't require any PED's for memory as it should come naturally as they "feel" the car.

This is not true. People who have raced professionally will tell you that extracting a lap time is not about the limits of the car. Every decent driver can do that. It is about thinking like crazy, finding different lines (you can not notice that on TV) thinking about very small details, like braking tiny bit early to have a better exit etc. You think and concentrate so much that your brain is boiling. There are corners, especially fast ones, where some drivers go further than the others but most time between highly pro drivers like F1 is won in slow corners with lots of thinking involved.
So if one thinks that racing is about going all out like a maniac and being fearless while taking the car to the limit, is wrong.

#39 JaredS

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 13:45

Also people claiming the cocaine thing is a non-issue because drivers would be 'high', clearly never used cocaine.


Have you?

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#40 pinkypants

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 14:20

Seriously why do we have to put up with this on nearly every thread.. if you aren't interested in the topic matter, read another thread. If you want to discuss something where there is no relevant thread, create one. It's not rocket science. Stop clogging up threads with why the thread shouldn't exist and perhaps consider contributing something worthwhile from it or move on.

I don't understand why it's so offensive and unbelievable that F1 drivers may have in the past taken performance enhancing drugs? Testing is done is most major sports series, and just because people haven't been caught doesn't mean people haven't done it. I'd be interested to know if there is a history of this in F1 and if there is any benefit for modern F1 drivers to risk it? The margins are so small in F1 I guess that any edge over your rivals may be considered. However, with F1 being less physically demanding over time, I guess any drugs considered would be more to improve mental performance?

Edited by pinkypants, 12 August 2013 - 14:24.


#41 Myrvold

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 14:32

I would like to know how many tests there are in F1 (and other high-profile racing series) compared to... say, cycling.

#42 Winter98

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 14:40

There is at least one documented case of a Formula 1 driver taking a performance enhancing drug before a major race (albeit not an F1 race). Before the 1955 Mille Miglia, Stirling Moss took some "pep-pills" given to him by Fangio, his Mercedes team-mate. Moss, driving single-handed alongside navigator Denis Jenkinson, duly won the grueling 10 hour race, with Moss recording in his diary "Fangio's pills are FANTASTIC !" Much later, in an interview with Doug Nye, Moss commented:

"In the first grand prix races that year in Argentina - run in terrible heat - the Old Boy had been the only one to complete the distance solo. So when he offered his magic pills (and that was the only time he ever shared them) we accepted. I took mine, Jenks didn't take his. To this day I've no idea if that pill would be legal or illegal, acceptable or banned. But at that time it was no issue. Dexedrine and Benzedrine were commonly used in rallies. The object was simply to keep awake, like wartime bomber crews."


Wow!

Thanks for posting. :)

#43 Bloggsworth

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 14:43

You could easily see how a driver might use Adderall. Improves concentration a lot over a long period of time.


I believe that any of the drugs developed for the mythical ADHD has the opposite effect on adults to that it has on children.

#44 Winter98

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 14:51

Also last year right before Monaco some racers were raided for random drug tests in their hotel rooms, IIRC perez tweeted about it


IMO, that doesn't really mean a lot.

It's evident that in baseball (and other sports), for various reasons, the leagues don't really want the drug use to stop. In many sports one reason is because steroids help athletes heal much quicker, so star players return sooner from injury, and so more tickets are sold.

From everything I've read about BE, the last thing he wants is a drug scandal in F1. For that reason, I personally doubt if the drug tests were seriously meant to catch anyone out, but rather to protect FOM/FOA from charges that drivers were taking drugs, that FOM/FOA knew about it, and is thus at least partly responsible for any damage the drugs caused (This argument has been used by athletes in other sports leagues).

Edited by Winter98, 12 August 2013 - 15:06.


#45 Winter98

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 15:03

I would be shocked if some drugs are not used by some of the drivers at least. Including current ones. There are obvious advantages to do so (concentration and fitness over long, stressful races)

Look how hard it is to get into Formula One, imagine you get lucky enough to get a chance to race for a season, you will have the mindset that you will do anything to stay in F1, and for some people that includes drugs.

When there is so much at stake, and someone builds their life around something (in this case racing) then the idea of taking drugs to gain an advantage is very real.


This is the way it works just about every other sport, so to think F1 drivers are somehow immune is extremely naive imo.

And considering the margins between success and failure are so small, once one or two athletes start taking drugs, the rest have to follow suit or forever remain in the background. (Read post #29 regarding Fangio, Moss, and their PED use).

Edited by Winter98, 12 August 2013 - 15:09.


#46 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 15:11

I believe that any of the drugs developed for the mythical ADHD has the opposite effect on adults to that it has on children.


No, it has the opposite effect on people who don't have the symptoms.

#47 Blackmore

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 15:25

Have you?


Yes I have a decade orso ago, which is why I stated facts about it instead of pulling things out of my back-end.

On cocaine, you are more 'awake', focussed, sharper, confident, not afraid of anything, your senses strengthen meaning you see/hear/smell/taste much better, i.e., exactly what an F1 driver would need. I was much better at semi-pro tennis the times I used it and you need a lot of focus and concentration to see/hit the ball at those speeds. Which was easier on a line of cocaine.

So people dismissing cocaine use under sportsmen like some useless drug that makes you see gnomes or leprechauns are clueless. Many businessmen use it too, many politicians, many 'artists', musicians, cab drivers, lorry drivers, you name it.

But again, I am not saying current F1 drivers are using cocaine during race weekends. But I know they would benefit massively from it after getting used to it and anyone who used cocaine knows this. Which makes us wonder about Senna's alleged cocaine use... looking at the way he touched his nose and his mannerisms/characteristics, it is a dead give-away to me personally.

#48 PayasYouRace

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 15:43

There is at least one documented case of a Formula 1 driver taking a performance enhancing drug before a major race (albeit not an F1 race). Before the 1955 Mille Miglia, Stirling Moss took some "pep-pills" given to him by Fangio, his Mercedes team-mate. Moss, driving single-handed alongside navigator Denis Jenkinson, duly won the grueling 10 hour race, with Moss recording in his diary "Fangio's pills are FANTASTIC !" Much later, in an interview with Doug Nye, Moss commented:

"In the first grand prix races that year in Argentina - run in terrible heat - the Old Boy had been the only one to complete the distance solo. So when he offered his magic pills (and that was the only time he ever shared them) we accepted. I took mine, Jenks didn't take his. To this day I've no idea if that pill would be legal or illegal, acceptable or banned. But at that time it was no issue. Dexedrine and Benzedrine were commonly used in rallies. The object was simply to keep awake, like wartime bomber crews."


Of course, if someone like Fangio gave me some jelly beans and told me they made him a better driver, I'd probably follow suit and the placebo effect would take care of the rest. Who knows what was in those pills? They could have just been sugar for all we know.

#49 Winter98

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 15:49

Of course, if someone like Fangio gave me some jelly beans and told me they made him a better driver, I'd probably follow suit and the placebo effect would take care of the rest. Who knows what was in those pills? They could have just been sugar for all we know.


"Pep" pills were already in use in other sports, read "Ball Four" by Jim Bouton to see how wide spread they became in baseball.

Edited by Winter98, 12 August 2013 - 15:49.


#50 Fastcake

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 16:55

I would like to know how many tests there are in F1 (and other high-profile racing series) compared to... say, cycling.


Take a look at the FIA's figures here. A lot less than Cycling or Athletics, but then those sports have had major problems with doping.