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what it takes to become a F1 driver? workout

Are you as Fit as an F1 Driver?

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If you drive a car in Singapore’s famously sedate roads, you may be forgiven for thinking that Formula One or F1 is the most leisurely of sports.

How hard could it possibly be to press a few pedals and run a few laps behind the wheel of an insanely fast car?

Our editor, Gary Yeo, decided to take on the Fit for Racing Fitness Challenge at SAFRA Punggol to find out for himself. 

F1 fit for racing challenge editor Gary Yeo (second from right) warming up with fellow participants before starting the Fit for Racing Challenge 2016. Photo: Sport Singapore

The Fit for Racing Fitness Challenge is a circuit-style workout created by Paul Haines, an Australian high performance fitness coach, and it features a series of workouts to simulate the training regime of a Formula 1 driver.

It focuses on core stability, balance, upper and lower body strength, conditioning, as well as full body muscular endurance.

“The challenge is all about giving competitors an idea of how hard a Formula 1 driver works.” said Haines, who has trained elite athletes including Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo. “All the exercises are designed around a Formula 1 driver’s training regime.”

As we watched editor Gary Yeo go through the various stations, it was pretty clear how intense each station was. 

F1 fit for racing challenge

Gary at the Tyre Flip station, flipping a 60kg tyre. Photo: Sport Singapore

Gary is no couch potato and works out with a bunch of colleagues who “take fitness very seriously” at Sport Singapore, but even he felt the strain going through the 5 stations - Abdominal Driving, Single Leg Balance, 20 Metre Sprint and Push Up, Single Leg Squat and Tyre Flips. 

fit for racing challenge

Gary aced the Abdominal Driving station, holding this position for a full 120 seconds, while holding a 5kg weight plate. Photo: Sport Singapore

At the end of the final station, Gary found it surprisingly tough. “It’s been an extremely gruelling half an hour of physical and mental exercises. You have to push pass your limits to get phenomenal results,” he said.

“The drivers have to face these kinds of stresses for two hours during the race. After this challenge, we have a better understanding of what drivers like Hamilton and Vettel have to put in to get into the right physical and mental shape.” 


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