You might think that all a race car driver does is sit behind the wheel, mash on some pedals, and change gears. Well, it’s not quite as simple as it seems. And no, it takes a lot more than just a pair of balls to drive like a maniac and win.
As the name suggests, ‘motorsport’ is indeed a sport and those who compete are considered athletes, whether they’re good at it or not.
Drivers need to cope with high sustained G forces and scorching temperatures during races, which could last between a few minutes to several hours such as the famed Le Mans 24 Hour. That’s why you see professionals spend hours training in the gym (for both strength and endurance) to prepare themselves for the rigors of motorsports. Of course, this also requires them to follow a strict diet regimen. Some even hire coaches to sharpen their mental fitness, which helps them stay focused during a race.
Sure, they might spend the entire time sitting on their butts, but what you don’t see is how much work goes into wrestling a race car. Remember that, like the finely-tuned machines they drive, they too need to be at their peak physical performance if they want to finish in 1st place.
Luckily, the guys at Toolorders.co.uk made this easy to understand infographic explaining why race car drivers are considered athletes.