This weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix is the most gruelling and physically demanding race on the Formula 1 calendar and drivers have been warned they could suffer “heat shock” as the humidity is set to rise above 80% for Sunday’s race.
The increased cornering speeds of this year’s cars is set to add to the physical demands and drivers have adjusted their fitness training regimes accordingly.
“Fitness has evolved but there is a high probability that we could get a heat shock and be in a pretty bad situation,” said Romain Grosjean of the Haas F1 Team.
“Normally your body manages to keep going through the race but when you get the chequered flag, everything switches off.
“The key is to drink throughout the race, even though it isn’t easy. Already on the grid, when you jump in the cockpit, you’re already sweating and you’re thinking, ‘I’ve got to go in there for two hours and it’s going to get warmer’.
“We know it’s one of the challenges of the year.”
Force India’s Esteban Ocon also placed a greater emphasis on cardio training.
“I did a lot of training, cardio, more than usual [as] I think it’s quite important,” he said.
“It is just a matter of getting used to the heat, getting used to the sweat a bit and arrive here well-hydrated and have the right food. I had a bike in the sauna, did some stuff like this which is not very nice but you have to do.”
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr added: “I was in saunas at 50 degrees and training in there. There’s been some extra preparation for these kind of races, from June more or less.
“I went through the summer training in the heat. I’m confident I’m prepared but it doesn’t matter how prepared you are, you are always going to suffer a bit with the heat.
“This weekend is going to be particularly tough, especially this year with the new cars. I expect a tough weekend from the physical side, also from the mental side.”
The night race often runs to the full F1 two-hour limit, as drivers battle the heat and humidity on the bumpy and uneven street surface, losing over 3 kilograms of their body weight as they are taken to the absolute limit – physically and mentally.
Image via Red Bull Racing