F1 races are tough to begin with. Drivers have to go through tons of challenges in order to win. They need to have total control of the vehicle they are driving. They are also under great risk and they have to drive at really fast speed. Aside from the dangers of F1 driving, they also have other physical challenges to contend with.
For instance, they need to compete in places where it is really hot. Malaysia and Singapore are two of the hottest places hosting the Grand Prix. They are tropical countries and temperature could go really high in certain days. Imagine if you are driving a tough race and the temperature outside stands at 32 degrees with 75% humidity. It makes them lose at least 3 liters of bodily fluids.
The weather is added factor in making it difficult for some drivers to win the race. There were even some drives who have complained that it is really hot that they have cried in pain at the cockpit. Some drivers even have to be creative just to feel cold. For instance, one driver has to turn his palm and back of the hand in order to face the airflow. This allows cool air to enter the sleeves and make a difference in the temperature. Others tried opening their protective suit at the bottom part. This allows more air to enter, but is also riskier as there are small particles of dust that might come in and easily irritate the eyes.
Another problem with extreme heat is that the drivers could be dehydrated. This is why most of them bring a bottle of water on the car. Take note for some drivers, they could lose up to 3 kilos of water in a 90-minute race. This makes up around 5% of their total body weight. The problem with bottled water is that after several laps, it also heats up. They could no longer drink the water at that point.
Once the drivers start to dehydrate, they lose focus and they start feeling fatigued. This is why even the first ones to finish the race don’t really feel like they are in the mood to celebrate. They have gone through a lot during the actual race and they have lost too much energy.
Preparing for the race
Since these drivers already know the condition that they have to be in during the race, they have to prepare well. For instance, instead of drinking ordinary water, they drink water that contains more sodium. This helps retain water in the body. They also drink high amounts of caffeine to retain focus and attention. They even do carbo loading so they will have enough energy in a long race.
There are other drivers who spend a lot of time on the shower just to know how it feels to be in a normal or low temperature before they face heat. They have even installed one of the best electric shower 2017 models so they can easily adjust the temperature and enjoy a nice cold shower.
It is indeed difficult to compete in this kind of race especially in a tropical country like Malaysia. These racers deserve commendation.