During the course of the Formula One season the West McLaren Mercedes drivers are subjected to forces of up to -5G on track, an extensive travel programme and major climate changes, all placing a range of physical stresses on Kimi Raikkonen and...
During the course of the Formula One season the West McLaren Mercedes drivers are subjected to forces of up to -5G on track, an extensive travel programme and major climate changes, all placing a range of physical stresses on Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya.
The Malaysian Grand Prix is one of the most physically demanding events of the season with extremely humid condition. As a result acclimatisation and increased fluid intake are key aspects of Kimi and Juan Pablo's preparations.
The affects of heat and humidity on the human body:
*Dehydration levels of just 2% have a negative effect on concentration levels, muscle contractile strength and endurance.
*Losses of 5% or more can lead to up to a 30% drop off in physical performance.
*Fluids are an integral part of any nutritional programme, because
water comprises 92 percent of the blood in the body and 75 percent of
the brain, as well as 75 percent of the muscle tissue.
*Just a three percent loss of body fluid reduces muscle strength by 10 percent.
*Kimi and Juan Pablo travelled to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore respectively following the Australian Grand Prix, as it takes the body around 10 days to get used to heat. The majority of adaptation occurs within the first three to four days.
*The training is progressive and not flat-out from when the driver arrives in the local climate for the race. There is a small adaptation in time difference from Australia and the drivers start training outside in the local conditions progressively, building up day by day until the race weekend starts.
*The West McLaren Mercedes drivers train in the heat to get the body used to performing in the type of environment they will experience at the Sepang Circuit, and the more training that takes place in the local conditions, the better the drivers will adapt.
*This will also ensure their bodies get used to taking in a greater amount of fluids to replace what is lost through sweating, as they will learn to conserve electrolytes in the form of potassium, salt and chloride more efficiently
*Nutrition plays a vital role not only in refuelling the driver, but also in overcoming jet lag, acclimatising and helping the recovery process whether post-race, testing or training. As a consequence both Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya follow a specific nutritional programme created by their respective trainers, containing the appropriate amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins and minerals.
Conditions during the race:
*The drivers are working in a cockpit environment that can be over 50 degrees centigrade.
*In an average race, a driver loses up to a litre of his body fluid. In Malaysia the heat and humidity can cause them to lose up to four litres.
*During the build-up to the race the focus is on getting the body used to taking in more fluids, whilst during the race weekend itself it is to ensure the drivers are re-hydrated as effectively as possible after free practice, qualifying and the race.