How Do F1 Drivers Drink in an F1 Car?

Published 08/13/2021, 9:29 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna


Kimi Raikkonen’s hilarious radio moment- “No Kimi, you will not have the drink,” begs the question, how do drivers drink in the car?

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The high-speed sport is physically demanding; a typical Grand Prix race exposes a driver to very high temperatures, excluding the environmental conditions. The engine and the cockpit emit a lot of heat by themselves. As a result, temperatures can hit 50 degrees for the driver.

Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll walks the circuit with his team ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

High temperatures, along with the physical strain of driving a Formula 1 car, cause drivers to sweat a lot. The average weight loss at the end of a race is 2-3 kilograms – all because of the loss of fluids. To prevent the drivers from passing out or suffering from dehydration, they drink up to 1.5L of fluids before the race.

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What is the drink and how do F1 drivers take it?

The solution given to the drivers is highly concentrated with glucose and is rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s not the same across the grid though, as drivers can choose the drink they want in their car.

For the race, teams fit each car with a bag of fluids. They usually attach it to the cockpit itself and it’s also fitted with a pump. Despite the complicated technology behind F1 cars, the drink system is relatively very simple.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – June 27, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after finishing second in the race Pool via REUTERS/Darko Vojinovic

If observed carefully, one notices a long pipe protruding out of the drivers’ helmets. This pipe is connected to the pump of the drink bag. The steering wheels come with a special button for the drink. During the race, the driver can use the button to activate the pump. This spurts water directly into the driver’s mouths.

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The most favored liquid to hydrate on is for a select few at the end of the race: the victor’s champagne. However, in the podium’s pursuit, it is extremely important for the drivers to constantly replenish themselves. There are many times drivers have complained on team radio regarding problems with the drink. While there is nothing the team can do about it; it results in drivers feebly stepping out of their cockpits at the end of the race.

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So it is important for the drivers to hydrate themselves over the course of the 90- 120 minutes they are on the competitive track.

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Shreya Sanjeev

329 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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