When we drive from home in our cars, we might have the occasional inappropriate aggressive driver or two that we have to contend with on the highway. It’s inevitable, and a fact of life, but have you ever wondered what it would be like if you had a full grid to take on, each vying for the same prize? What thoughts go through the mind of a Formula 1 Driver, and what preparations do they take in order to get ready for the next race? Wonder no longer, my friends. I spoke with an acquaintance of mine who is an F1 driver, to figure out just what exactly he does before each race.
“Sometimes I work out on the track for about 12 or more hours,” he tells me. “I’m completely focused on how to make my lap times better, and further my skill level.” Today’s modern drivers are far more sophisticated in their approach to greatness, consuming themselves with all things racing in an attempt to become the best driver on the track. Or at least learn how to beat the presumed best drivers on the circuit.
AD: I’ll show up to the track and immediately start in the morning. Its a few warm ups, then we start strategizing.
CW: So when does this start?
AD: About four days before the race. Then I’ll do some autographs, press and whatnot. If I’m lucky I’m in bed by 11pm, after dinner and a few sponsor events.
CW: Sounds like a hectic schedule. Do you have any rituals or anything for good luck?
AD: You wouldn’t believe it. [Laughs] I can’t tell you my rituals.
CW: I understand. And the next day?
AD: We’ll start again early with more practice runs, then I’ll go to the gym for about an hour or so. I’ll listen in on meetings and practice again if time permits. This is where my nerves start to rattle a tad bit.
CW: Why’s that?
AD: Because it’s the first round of qualifying. Everyone is looking to edge for that top spot, and it can be difficult.
CW: I see. So if or when you qualify, does that take some of the stress off you, or make it worse?
AD: Some, not all though. My wife helps with the de-stress.
CW: I’m almost afraid to ask…
AD: No, nothing like that. [Laughs] I talk to her on Skype. She’s my rock. After all practice and events, I look forward to seeing her every night.
CW: That’s awesome. I know how it can be on the road, going to city to city away from loved ones.
AD: It is hard, but we live a comfortable life because of what I do. We think it’s a fair trade.
CW: No doubt. One last question before I leave you alone, as I know how important sleep is to you. What is the hardest part of your job?
AD: You know, Chris, it’s mostly just the fact that I have all of these people at the team, who have invested millions into me to be the best driver on this team. I know that if I don’t perform at a level that is satisfactory, they could replace me. But I have the confidence in myself to give my whole heart to this. It’s much more than a passion for me, this racing. It’s a way of life. I live it and breathe it. I wouldn’t want to do anything else for work in my life.