The new technical regulations that came into effect in Formula 1 this year caused the cars in the category to be about five seconds faster than those used until last season. For this reason the pilots increased their physical preparation to make the most of them.
"Cars are more physical and we have to keep up because what we did in 2016 does not work for us," summarized Carlos Sainz, from Toro Rosso. How intense will be the new training that the Spanish gained four kilos of muscles and reinforced, especially, the neck area.
This increase in muscle mass is based on Crossfit sessions with a duration similar to those of a Grand Prix. “Instead of the 50 minutes they usually take, mine is an hour and a half to two hours. We work at 180-190 beats and include boxing and cardio work, ”explained the 22-year-old runner. Outside the gym, the preparation is completed with an hour of swimming.
Under the supervision of a personal trainer from his team, the Madrilenian focuses on two areas of work: the shoulders and, above all, the neck. “We have two ways of working it: the first is by lifting and holding weights in the gym, the latter is what we have to do in Formula 1, put resistance against a G force; and the second is with a specific job in karting ”, he pointed out.
To this end, Sainz designed a weighted helmet that helps strengthen the neck. Contrary to the one used by other pilots, and which is intended only for gym sessions, the Spanish one can be used on the track. “These weights make the helmet weigh between 1,5 and 2 kilos more, which generates lateral forces more similar to those generated by the new Formula 1. That, together with other specific exercises that I do, makes the neck muscles ”, he explained.
Regarding how this new physical requirement affects the F.1 grid, Sainz considered that it has an "advantage" because "with 22 years you reach the peak of physical form of a human body", although he stressed that rivals such as the English Lewis Hamilton, his compatriot Fernando Alonso or the Finn Kimi Räikkönen, "already experienced similar G-forces in mid-2000."
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