Budapest, Hungary - Fri, 13th Aug 1999 - Even though Malaysia's racing ace had prepared himself well in terms of fitness and strength, Alex Yoong will need to undergo a course of radically unique programs to build up specific muscles on his upper body as well as to acquire new training methods to meet the very physical demands of Formula 3000 and Formula 1.
This was on the advice of the Minardi Formula 1 team's fitness guru, Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli, who saw Alex following the heavy bruises he incurred on his shoulders and the lower back as a result of the physical demands of the tough qualifying session for the F3000 race in the Hungaroring at the Hungary F1 Grand Prix at Budapest yesterday. Alex was very disappointed for not being able to give a better account of himself to qualify for the FIA International F3000 race at Hungary due to a combination of factors which included the no-testing rule in a completely new circuit for him, and the bruising which made him difficult to attack the F3000 car all out in the tight and twisty 4.972 km Hungaroring circuit.
Dr.Ceccarelli who runs a sports medicine and specialist fitness centre in Pisa, Italy currently looks after F1 drivers Luca Badoer and Marc Gene. He said he'll be happy to add Alex to his stable to give him the best programs available. Considering the fact that Alex has done five Formula 3000 races and qualifying in the last five weeks, he needs to be very well prepared in order to be 100% efficient for the rest of the season. He added that the demands and the physical bashing a race driver at top level takes are very unique and therefore the training methyods are not normal. For example, some new muscles need to be developed to drive the car while other muscles are needed to reinforce protection sround the spinal column to reduce chances of injuries from the constant vibrations of the near solid suspensions of the modern F1 race car. Alex will be starting the first series of many programs with Dr. Ceccarelli for 1999 at his Pisa clinic on the 23rd of Aug 1999. The training programs will include specific strength building, speed and reflex exercises, mental and focusing training, dietician advice, and cardio-vascular training. For the weekend in Hungary has now added yet another F1 circuit to his list of F1 circuits he has driven in. The others are Silverstone, Spa-Francorpchamps, A1-Ring, Hockenheim, Barcelona, Sepang and Nurburgring.
The next race for Alex in his very hectic race schedule is the FIA F3000 race at the Belgium Grand Prix at Spa on the 28th of August 1999.