What are the specific points that drivers need to work on?
It’s mainly the lower back, the pelvis part because they are in a seat that has to fit three different drivers. They are not necessarily all the same size, so in the car they have to put a special bucket to be in the best possible conditions. However, the bucket does not perfectly match the morphology of each driver and, in terms of their back, they are more or less well installed. This can exacerbate the back problems that are often already present. At the end of a race, the riders have a lot of pain in the buttocks muscles, the stabilising muscles, because they are always sheathing. You have to know that the right foot that presses on the pedal is always under tension. So there is tension from the Achilles tendon to the back. As the left foot works less well, they are always obliged to stabilise, to sheathe: this is what causes all these pains.
I am here for all the competitions and also for all the tests. This year there were only three races but next year there will be six, maybe even seven. So we will have more work to do in the races.
What are the specificities of physical preparation according to the type of race: Formula 1, rally, endurance, e-Formula?
Where there is the most G (gravitational force) to bear is in Formula 1. So, in this discipline, there is a lot of muscle strengthening work on the upper back, neck, arms and shoulders. It is also essential that the drivers are “at weight” because they must not be overweight. So, in parallel, they have to do cardiovascular work to stay in the best shape possible. In any case, they are all sportsmen: they swim, run, cycle, play tennis, paddle, etc.
For endurance races, it’s a bit different: there are fewer Gs but the effort is longer and more repetitive. So it’s a bit more complicated to manage. The back and the forearms will be more tired. This is why, for endurance riders, physical preparation must be rigorous and regular throughout the year.
For rallying, on the other hand, these are very short events. The riders have less Gs but upper body strengthening is essential for them.