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#1 Dunc

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 17:14

Has an F1 driver ever published an article/book relating to their fitness?

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#2 Imperial

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 17:36

Ayrton Senna did a book called Principles Of Race Driving, but I don't know if he covered fitness in it. Perhaps another forumer can elaborate? It's long out of print unfortunately, or "fortunately" if someone owns a copy as I believe it fetches over £100 on ebay

F1 Racing magazine has over the yearsdone many features on driver fitness so it may be worth checking out possible back-issues to reorder.

I have the entire F1 Racing collection from the first issue but unfortunately they are currently lingering in storage still (following a house move) otherwise I would have looked through them to be able to tell you which issues to order. Sorry.

ITV have done occassional features on driver fitness, so maybe youtube is worth a bit of searching if anyone has uploaded them.

There did also used to be an excellent website devoted to F1 driver fitness but it has long since disappeared.

I'm sure I briefly looked at some website within the last year or two devoted to fitness for professional race drivers but it was log-in access only I think.

I realise there's not much help there, but it perhaps how difficult it is to find such information. Seriously, old F1 Racing issues are the best place to look if you're at a low level of race driving and want to do a bit of very cheap research.

Other than that just follow the basic principles of doing stamina work (i.e. exercise mostly at "fat-burn" levels) do moderate weights (no use bulking your upper body) and neck resistance. You'll get good information on all of that at any decent gym.

#3 StefanV

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 20:02

I think they do, or at least they should, do quite similar training as fighter pilots. Maybe they can skip the negative G parts. For now. Pilot training methods is pretty well documented everywhere. Try Google a bit and I am sure you will find quite a lot of info.

#4 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 20:50

By coincidence, there's a brief article in The Times today on the subject of f1 workouts; McLaren invited a bunch of journalists to work out at their facilities.

http://www.timesonli...icle3479045.ece

#5 turin

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 22:02

yeah, it involves a lot of photocopying and emailing


*shuts the door and runs away*

#6 karlth

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 22:42

Originally posted by Dunc
Has an F1 driver ever published an article/book relating to their fitness?


Try "James Hunt: The Biography" by Gerald Donaldson.

You'll find fairly a good descriptions of Hunt's pre-season workout. Just study his routines and then do exactly the opposite and you should be world champion in a few weeks.

#7 molive

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 23:12

Originally posted by Imperial
Ayrton Senna did a book called Principles Of Race Driving, but I don't know if he covered fitness in it. Perhaps another forumer can elaborate?


Dunno, but Senna had a personal trainer, Nuno Cobra, which published a best seller here in Brazil, the Seed of Victory , where he tells about his method (which, afaik, Ayrton followed to the letter).

#8 Risil

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 23:28

Originally posted by MrAerodynamicist
By coincidence, there's a brief article in The Times today on the subject of f1 workouts; McLaren invited a bunch of journalists to work out at their facilities.


You mean their 'Fitness and Wellbeing Centre'? :lol:

#9 alfa1

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 00:22

Originally posted by Dunc
Has an F1 driver ever published an article/book relating to their fitness?



In the back of Alain Prost's book "Competition Driving", there are 4 pages regarding physical fitness, and the exercises one must do. Completely obsolete nowdays, I would imagine.

#10 Jackman

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 09:30

Originally posted by turin
yeah, it involves a lot of photocopying and emailing


*shuts the door and runs away*

We're talking about drivers: I think you mean texting.

#11 glorius&victorius

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 13:31

Originally posted by alfa1



In the back of Alain Prost's book "Competition Driving", there are 4 pages regarding physical fitness, and the exercises one must do. Completely obsolete nowdays, I would imagine.


I would think that drivers had to work harder in the 80s and early 90s with the absence of powersteering and gear levers on the steeringwheel. Also drivers didnt really had headsupports in the cockpit. Also the feet had much more work.

Can you imagine driving the monaco gp practically with 1 hand on the steering wheel?

I think nowadays the cars are easier to drive.

#12 Jackman

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 13:43

All the guys I've spoken to have said that F1 cars are physically easier to drive on the limit than the GP2 cars, which need to be muscled around a lot more and are much heavier, although the g-forces are obviously stronger in the F1 car. Certainly all the guys are much bigger after starting in F1, particularly around the neck and shoulders, than they were in GP2.

Of course that may be a little different now, with the new GP2 car and the lack of traction control and engine braking in F1.

#13 LostProphet

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 13:47

Originally posted by Risil


You mean their 'Fitness and Wellbeing Centre'? :lol:


Why the lol? That's what most Technogym fitness centres are called :confused:
(At least the one that I used to use is, as was the one at a hotel I stayed at last year)

#14 jondoe955

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 17:08

Two stories come to mind. A driver who had been out with injuries had to get back into shape - quickly. He worked on his endurance by spending many hours each day on a stationary bike - inside a sauna!
Another was of Art Arfons. He and his brother Walt were backyard engineers who first mated 29L Allison V12's to dragsters in the early 50's, then jet engines in the 60's.
To get ready for the season, Art built a centrifuge in his back yard to acclimate to the G forces!
In '66, I once went to Walt's garage - his barn - and inside, amongst the hay and the clutter, was his 3-wheeled, rocket powered land speed record machine, looking like it fell from another planet.

#15 rolf123

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 18:11

Originally posted by Imperial
Ayrton Senna did a book called Principles Of Race Driving, but I don't know if he covered fitness in it. Perhaps another forumer can elaborate? It's long out of print unfortunately, or "fortunately" if someone owns a copy as I believe it fetches over £100 on ebay


Wow I must be quids in!

I'll have to look it up. I know he covers diet definintely. I remember that he drinks tea in the morning substituting honey for sugar.

#16 King Stromba

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 20:32

ASome points about fitness in F1.

1. Most F1 drivers appear to overtrain. The fact that drivers are often better after a lay off, indicates to me that they overtrain and the lay off gives them the time to recover that they arnt given during intense training.

2. Fitness is specific. It amazes me that these drivers go cycling and running etc as the main part of their fitness. The best way to prepare for a grand prix distance is to keep doing grand prix distance. I dont know why teams training doesnt revolve around driving cars (ie shows specificity). All you would need to do is design a small single seater that had the ability to have adjustment in the pedals, steering etc, to make the rseistance of pusing the pedals and turning the wheel harder as you became fitter. In order to withstand g, the best way is to subject yourself to greater and greater g. Sitting in a g meter a couple of times a week slowly increasing the speed would do this better than any method ive seen in F1 training.

3. Fitness in F1 is overrated. The best drivers are ones that are the most naturally talented and are the strongest mentally. F1 teams are obsessed with showing up their drivers as some kind of supermen, and i think they waste too many resources on this. There is no correlation between F1 driver fitness and results.

4. Driver nutrition is all wrong. e.g. Ive seen driver eating mainly pasta / cereal meals before a race. Pasta is made up of carbohydrate, which releases serotonin in the brain. This is a relaxing and sleey brain chemical which reduces reaction time and enduces calmess / tiredness. The pre-grand prix meals should be protein based. Protein increases the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline in the brain, which increases coordination, reactions and maitains alertness. I could go on and on about the ineptitude of the nutrition i have seen, but a lot of it is quite complex and boring.



To finish i will give you an example of why F1 training is stupid. Drivers need to hold their head upright for an entire GP. Once they are able to do this, thaey have accomplished the goal. Why would they need to continue training their neck muscles? There is no advantage to being able to have a neck that is able to do more than 1 GP distance, or is stronger than the maximum G in the circuit. You see them doing hundreds of neck excersises, but after a few GP distance races the body has adpated enough for them to hold their heads up. So there really is no need to work on this area any more. Between GPs there is not enough time for muscular atrophy, so the level will be maintained.

It has been shown also that fitness levels once attained (in terms of cv fitness particularly) are able to be maintained with very minimal training. If i was in charge of F1 fitness for a team, i would have an intense off season training, to attain the correct level of fiteness (whatever this was and involved), and i would then have minimal training, except for driving) during the season. Heart rate, vo2 max and other parameters would stay at or near the maximum level, but the lack of training would allow complete recovery physically, which will refduce stress and allow maximum mental function.

#17 King Stromba

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 20:37

Originally posted by rolf123


Wow I must be quids in!

I'll have to look it up. I know he covers diet definintely. I remember that he drinks tea in the morning substituting honey for sugar.


Honey produces a higher insulin response than sugar (sucrose). Substituting honey for suar is stupid and makes no sense nutritionally.

Honey is not healthier than sugar (sucrose). Both are simple sugars.

#18 rolf123

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 22:03

wow you proved the legend Ayrton Senna wrong, does that make you a God or a pedant?

#19 rolf123

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 22:04

your other points are good though. I agree, fitness is overrated in F1. Learning relaxation techniques to control your heart rate is the best you can do to avoid the "stress" of Gs in its toil on the body.

Aside from Gs, physically speaking these cars are as easy to drive today as they have ever been.

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#20 Bloggsworth

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 23:50

Originally posted by King Stromba
ASome points about fitness in F1.

1. Most F1 drivers appear to overtrain. The fact that drivers are often better after a lay off, indicates to me that they overtrain and the lay off gives them the time to recover that they arnt given during intense training.

2. Fitness is specific. It amazes me that these drivers go cycling and running etc as the main part of their fitness. The best way to prepare for a grand prix distance is to keep doing grand prix distance. I dont know why teams training doesnt revolve around driving cars (ie shows specificity). All you would need to do is design a small single seater that had the ability to have adjustment in the pedals, steering etc, to make the rseistance of pusing the pedals and turning the wheel harder as you became fitter. In order to withstand g, the best way is to subject yourself to greater and greater g. Sitting in a g meter a couple of times a week slowly increasing the speed would do this better than any method ive seen in F1 training.

3. Fitness in F1 is overrated. The best drivers are ones that are the most naturally talented and are the strongest mentally. F1 teams are obsessed with showing up their drivers as some kind of supermen, and i think they waste too many resources on this. There is no correlation between F1 driver fitness and results.

4. Driver nutrition is all wrong. e.g. Ive seen driver eating mainly pasta / cereal meals before a race. Pasta is made up of carbohydrate, which releases serotonin in the brain. This is a relaxing and sleey brain chemical which reduces reaction time and enduces calmess / tiredness. The pre-grand prix meals should be protein based. Protein increases the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline in the brain, which increases coordination, reactions and maitains alertness. I could go on and on about the ineptitude of the nutrition i have seen, but a lot of it is quite complex and boring.



To finish i will give you an example of why F1 training is stupid. Drivers need to hold their head upright for an entire GP. Once they are able to do this, thaey have accomplished the goal. Why would they need to continue training their neck muscles? There is no advantage to being able to have a neck that is able to do more than 1 GP distance, or is stronger than the maximum G in the circuit. You see them doing hundreds of neck excersises, but after a few GP distance races the body has adpated enough for them to hold their heads up. So there really is no need to work on this area any more. Between GPs there is not enough time for muscular atrophy, so the level will be maintained.

It has been shown also that fitness levels once attained (in terms of cv fitness particularly) are able to be maintained with very minimal training. If i was in charge of F1 fitness for a team, i would have an intense off season training, to attain the correct level of fiteness (whatever this was and involved), and i would then have minimal training, except for driving) during the season. Heart rate, vo2 max and other parameters would stay at or near the maximum level, but the lack of training would allow complete recovery physically, which will refduce stress and allow maximum mental function.




Bilgiferous drivel - I must tell Paula Radcliffe to stop running 100 miles a week, she's won a couple of marathons, why doesn't she just put her feet up until the Olympics.

#21 Axl

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:58

Originally posted by King Stromba
ASome points about fitness in F1.

To finish i will give you an example of why F1 training is stupid. Drivers need to hold their head upright for an entire GP. Once they are able to do this, thaey have accomplished the goal.


Not that cut & dry. Because they need to be able to do it for a whole race "effortlessly", and the only way to make it look easy is by being able to do it for the equivalent of 2 races. Same reason your street car is designed for 180km/hr, so it can handle the 100km/hr without too much of a sweat.

Anyway, maybe post your cv at Honda, I'm sure you're right up their alley ;)

#22 HoldenRT

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:59

Originally posted by King Stromba
ASome points about fitness in F1.

1. Most F1 drivers appear to overtrain. The fact that drivers are often better after a lay off, indicates to me that they overtrain and the lay off gives them the time to recover that they arnt given during intense training.

2. Fitness is specific. It amazes me that these drivers go cycling and running etc as the main part of their fitness. The best way to prepare for a grand prix distance is to keep doing grand prix distance. I dont know why teams training doesnt revolve around driving cars (ie shows specificity). All you would need to do is design a small single seater that had the ability to have adjustment in the pedals, steering etc, to make the rseistance of pusing the pedals and turning the wheel harder as you became fitter. In order to withstand g, the best way is to subject yourself to greater and greater g. Sitting in a g meter a couple of times a week slowly increasing the speed would do this better than any method ive seen in F1 training.

3. Fitness in F1 is overrated. The best drivers are ones that are the most naturally talented and are the strongest mentally. F1 teams are obsessed with showing up their drivers as some kind of supermen, and i think they waste too many resources on this. There is no correlation between F1 driver fitness and results.

4. Driver nutrition is all wrong. e.g. Ive seen driver eating mainly pasta / cereal meals before a race. Pasta is made up of carbohydrate, which releases serotonin in the brain. This is a relaxing and sleey brain chemical which reduces reaction time and enduces calmess / tiredness. The pre-grand prix meals should be protein based. Protein increases the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline in the brain, which increases coordination, reactions and maitains alertness. I could go on and on about the ineptitude of the nutrition i have seen, but a lot of it is quite complex and boring.



To finish i will give you an example of why F1 training is stupid. Drivers need to hold their head upright for an entire GP. Once they are able to do this, thaey have accomplished the goal. Why would they need to continue training their neck muscles? There is no advantage to being able to have a neck that is able to do more than 1 GP distance, or is stronger than the maximum G in the circuit. You see them doing hundreds of neck excersises, but after a few GP distance races the body has adpated enough for them to hold their heads up. So there really is no need to work on this area any more. Between GPs there is not enough time for muscular atrophy, so the level will be maintained.

It has been shown also that fitness levels once attained (in terms of cv fitness particularly) are able to be maintained with very minimal training. If i was in charge of F1 fitness for a team, i would have an intense off season training, to attain the correct level of fiteness (whatever this was and involved), and i would then have minimal training, except for driving) during the season. Heart rate, vo2 max and other parameters would stay at or near the maximum level, but the lack of training would allow complete recovery physically, which will refduce stress and allow maximum mental function.

Gee maybe the multi million dollar F1 teams should hire you instead of the fitness experts that they currently employ LOL :

#23 HoldenRT

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 02:03

Originally posted by Axl


Anyway, maybe post your cv at Honda, I'm sure you're right up their alley ;)

Not bad. :D

#24 Modern Lover

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 16:36

I know Juan Pablo Montoya published a book back in 1999 in which was called: "Eating your way to the top: Its easy to become a top athelete"
He recommended a fitness regime that consisted of copius amounts of: beef jerkey, milkshakes, and pancakes dipped in butter and chocolate.

#25 snx843

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 17:13

Originally posted by King Stromba

4. Driver nutrition is all wrong. e.g. Ive seen driver eating mainly pasta / cereal meals before a race. Pasta is made up of carbohydrate, which releases serotonin in the brain. This is a relaxing and sleey brain chemical which reduces reaction time and enduces calmess / tiredness. The pre-grand prix meals should be protein based. Protein increases the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline in the brain, which increases coordination, reactions and maitains alertness. I could go on and on about the ineptitude of the nutrition i have seen, but a lot of it is quite complex and boring.

[/B]


Disagree. You want to reduce adrenaline to a minimum in a racecar. You want a little but not too much. Nervous tension alone will give you what you need. No need to boost levels with diet, you want to be calm in the car, loose and relaxed. You have it backwards if you ask me. The drive of a racer will create the correct chemical balance, the diet should beused to reduced the physical levels of stress etc...

Serotonin does not always relax you. It can make you quite intense also and POSTIVE mentally...Melotonin reduces reaction time and makes you sleepy...Seratonin does the OPPOSITE, its why people get seasonal effects disorder...In summer they need no sleep and are awake and motivated cause the sun produces Seratonin in the brain, stimulating them. In winter the levels of seratonin reduce, replaces with melotonin, and these people just wish to sleep all day and feel knackered. You have it totally wrong mate!

You think they are eating what they eat for no reason? No its cause its the BEST thing to eat!

Some halfbacked washup may need all the adrenaline they can eat, but a true sportsman will understand its a pretty useless chemical actually. You want just a little of it.



#26 lukywill

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 17:22

best workout is to go out and try to speed a wheel at 2.
(years old this days, tomorrow it will be as soon as you create the wheel)

beyond that you´re a failure.

no matter how crazy you are or how much you´ve trained: you want to forget the usual economic status and want to win a easy life and have a great time: lot´s of money and a lot of women available.

must be a weird person to go racing these days. life is much simple without all those noises and smells.