Issue 31: International News With Ashish
What’s so hard about being a racing driver?
The majority of people just see it as wearing a cool looking suit, getting into a fast car and just “going fast.” I can assure you, it’s far from that.
Apart from you trusting a wheel not to come off at 240 km/h +, you have to be extremely fit physically, mentally and emotionally.
I hear this pretty often:
“How fit do you have to be? I mean you’re just driving, right?”
Wrong, I’m racing. Driving is what you do when you go shopping. Racing in a single-seater category puts more emphasis on a driver’s fitness, specifically the neck. Due to it being an open cock-pit, you are subjected to higher G-forces in corners, making the average person’s neck feel like it’s going to rip-off!
Drivers regularly run marathons, participate in triathlons and train hours every day just to keep fit. During the off-season or winter break, many drivers spend the duration of the break training up in the mountains preparing for the next season.
What about family time you may ask?
Unless they’re training in the mountains with you, be prepared to see them a few times a year.
Then there’s getting the budget to race. Sponsors are extremely difficult to attain. You’re definitely going to be in tears, getting ignored like you don’t exist and told, “sorry I can’t sponsor you” by multi-millionaires who have the money you need in their car ashtray. The main thing is to never give up, no matter how down and out you are.
Once you get the much-appreciated sponsors, there are the sponsor commitments to live up to. This I feel can be really fun if you are passionate about racing, though the amount of commitments varies a lot depending on how demanding your sponsors are. It’s important, as a driver, to go more than the extra mile to make sure your sponsors are kept happy and proud to be associated with you, as without them, you won’t be on that grid.
One of the main aspects for a driver is trying to be as strong and as light as possible. 4kgs overweight is equivalent to roughly 0.286 seconds lost in time. For instance, during qualifying for the 2012 Monaco F1 GP, 1st and 9th position were separated by just 0.944 seconds.
So the next time you watch a race, remember there’s a lot more behind racing than just getting in the car and “driving fast.”
Twitter @Ashish_F1 Facebook AshishRacing