How Much Weight Do F1 Drivers Lose During a Race?

Published 12/16/2020, 12:45 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 13, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race on the podium with second placed Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and third placed Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace


It is no joke racing in F1 single-seater supercars. The two-hour-long race in a compact place is extremely strenuous for the drivers. The assortment of extreme heat, humidity, and running for 2 hours proves to be a challenging task.

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In addition, each of them stays under heavy mental pressure to compete with some of the best drivers in the world. The stress of making it till the last lap neatly is a substantial challenge for everyone.

It is not an unknown fact that every F1 driver loses some weight over the course of the race. All of them lose around 2 to 3 kilograms in every race.

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Subsequently, each of them battles extreme dehydration and heat pressure that arises throughout the race.

The trainers of the racers help them develop the pattern of their schedule according to the place of the weekend races. Furthermore, the body clock adjusts as per the standard time of the place for the scheduled Grand Prix of the calendar.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – November 29, 2020 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The trainers make their respective drivers push themselves to such an extent so as to ensure that the driver puts out their best on the track.

What’s more, each racer goes through a mental state that equals no less than a rollercoaster ride. The physical discomfort affects the mental stature too.

Every driver wears several layers of clothing to protect themselves from any accident. The design of the apparel offers to protect the racers from certain dangerous accidents. However, there are certain cons related to it too.

The reasons leading to the weight loss of F1 racers during the race

In every weekend race, racers pass through severe physical challenges to compete. The racers cover themselves in a two-layered fire-resistant attire of gears, inner suit, and the racing suit on top of it.

Further, to shield their head they wear the balaclava and the crash helmets with visors. Following that, each of them has socks under their racing boots and gloves for their hands. The racers cover themselves from head to toe to protect themselves from disastrous accidents.

F1 cockpits on a usual day with palpable weather measure around 45 to 50 degrees Celsius. However, in places with higher humidity and heat, the temperature in the cockpit may soar.

While in normal environmental conditions when the cockpit temperature ranges between 40 to 45 degrees, the racer tends to lose up to 2 to 3 kilograms. Whereas, in extreme environmental temperature, the racer loses around 4 to 4.5 kilograms.

Although there is a supply of liquids from time to time while racing, that does not match up to the amount of water they lose through perspiration in the boiling environment, which further causes extreme dehydration.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Haas’ Kevin Magnussen during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Kevin Magnussen, in 2014, was in an accident that tested his life to a high extent. After the race, Magnussen stated, “It was completely terrible,” he said.

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“I can’t remember the last half of the race — I was just waiting to blackout. I was so hot and I was overheating, sweating and dehydrated. It was like racing in a very hot sauna.”

Every racer goes through a process of checking their weight pre and post racing. Through this process, one can keep a track of the weight lost during the session of the race.

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Debarati Saha

42 articles

Debarati Saha is an F1 and NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing English Honours from Calcutta University, she is an avid fan of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.

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