That was thirty years ago. Now the tune has changed
As a result, drivers have a team of athletic trainers and physiotherapists at their disposal, figures who day by day take care of the physical condition of their patients. The Indian Balbir Singh is an emblematic figure, a permanent presence alongside Michael Schumacher between the end of the 1990s and the first lustre of the year 2000.
However, there are also those who prefer the grandeur of a snowy mountain to the lull of the waves crashing on the shores, choosing to wear skis and engage in exhausting cross-country sessions, which harden the body and increase endurance under stress. It was the custom of the Swiss Sauber team - which became Alfa Romeo Sauber in 2018 - to take their drivers to a retreat in the Alps, testing them not only on skis but also in ice climbing challenges.
Lots of gym time to train the most stressed muscles
Nonetheless, in the gym there are those pilots who, like world champion Lewis Hamilton, in addition to the "controlled" exercises, vent stress by boxing, a sport he got close to – not really by his own volition - by his father Anthony. As a child, in fact, the British driver wanted to practice karate, but his father – his future agent, pushed him to put on the gloves. With these, he managed to beat an opponent who was bigger and stronger, a lesson that the driver still carries with him and encourages him to never give up, just like in the ring. Nevertheless, that is another story.
In short, in a sport that is increasingly spectacular and technologically advanced, drivers are called upon to be at their best to face all the challenges that await them.
Challenges that begin in winter, between a machine that simulates driving on the track and a race on uneven ground, and ignite as the last red light goes out.