Formula 1 is an extremely physically as well as a mentally demanding sport, to say the least. You can argue as much as you want to, but the fact remains that a Formula 1 racer needs to keep his fitness levels high as much as any other athlete. From experiencing a massive G-Force during the races to encountering a certain weight loss, these racers give their all when on track.
Hence, in order to cope with all the demands of this sport, the racers need to undergo a heavy training regime followed by an uncompromising diet plan. That being said, here we take the comprehensive look at these racers’ day to day training as well as the diet plan.
First and utmost thing these racers can’t afford is to gain body muscle/fat. Formula 1 demands a lean physique and the science behind this is to maintain the total weight of the car+driver. Regular exercise is important, yes, but having a regulated timely meal is exactly as important. To start with, depending on the driver to driver, there are three to four meals a day starting with breakfast at around 7:30 or 8:00 am.
An intake of a regularized morning meal includes eggs (omelette or scrambled), fruits and raw vegetables, oats followed by orange juice or sometimes a cup of green tea. This meal is consumed an hour before the workout.
Then comes the lunchtime, somewhere around 12-12: 30 pm! Different drivers take different meals during this time. For example, some drivers love having chicken along with quinoa and some fruits, while others prefer wholegrain rice with some vegetables or tofu (no chicken). The point is to have an easily digestive intake. Then after a certain training session, protein shakes along with yoghurt is the regular routine which is followed by dinner at around 6:30-7:00 pm.
Dinner is usually the lightest meal of the day, hence having salads, mashed potatoes, little meat (fish or chicken) is a common meal amongst the drivers. A typical meal of a racer on the race day usually looks like this:
- BREAKFAST: Cereals and fruit
- LUNCH: Pasta and tomato sauce (not too much sauce — avoid garlic, onions and cream in the sauce, which are too heavy), Or even wholegrain rice.
- DINNER: This must be the lightest meal of the day. Meat — or even better, fish — served with vegetables like spinach, for example.
Clayton Green, who previously worked as the Manager of the Human Performance Programme at McLaren, had once explained in an interview; “Nutrition is really about not consuming excessive carbs, so we use low glycaemic index foods (e.g. vegetables, nuts, sweet potatoes) during the day and higher glycaemic foods (e.g. rice) to recover from activity. The drivers have a relatively high-protein diet, plus lots of fruit and veg.”
With that being the diet program, Formula 1 drivers also undergo an intensive physical work out which, for some, usually starts at as early as 8:00 am. In a driver’s schedule, McLaren had explained the first training session of the day is usually the endurance session. This session helps the drivers to boost their stamina levels. This can either be done on treadmills or even by cycling outdoors.
A sport like Formula 1 demands a great deal of physical strength and flexibility. And for that to achieve, weight training coupled with squats is a regular regime. It is important to undergo a sport-specific exercise, hence steering exercises are extremely crucial.
Aside from your usual core training which includes deadlifts and planks, this is how a Formula 1 driver’s schedule looks like.