Formula 1 drivers are already known for their insanely gruelling workout regimes… But to prepare for the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix, some drivers are going to risky extremes.
Since its addition to the F1 calendar in 2018, the Singapore Grand Prix has carved out a dedicated following. The Marina Bay Street Circuit, the first-ever night race in F1, is widely considered to be one of the most challenging and unique tracks in the world – in no small part thanks to Singapore’s weather.
The Southeast Asian city state has an incredibly humid tropical rainforest climate, with temperatures averaging around 33°C during the day and 26°C at night. Shock tropical thunderstorms are also a regular occurrence. Singapore’s weather can already be tough to deal with as a tourist, let alone as an athlete.
Then, consider that F1 car cockpits are poorly ventilated and can reach up to 60°C even in cold weather… Oh, and most teams are running cars without drinks systems this year. No wonder drivers are trying some insane workouts to acclimatise themselves to Singapore.
Top drivers Carlos Sainz, George Russell and Sergio Pérez have all taken to Instagram to show off how they’ve been working out in steam rooms to get used to Singapore’s steamy weather. Sainz and Russell have taken things to particular extremes, both of them hauling exercise bikes into the steam rooms to work out. Russell even wore a rain jacket whilst on the bike in the steam room to make himself sweat even harder. Madness.
While these workouts are definitely impressive, they’re also not something you should try at home… In fact, working out in a steam room could be deadly.
Exercising in heat increases the load on the body’s cardiovascular system, as the body can’t send as much blood flow to the exercising muscles. On top of that, steam rooms dehydrate you much quicker than simply working out in high heat alone.
F1 drivers are incredibly fit already and have a minute, granular understanding of their physical limits – but for us average joes, it would be very easy to work out past our limits working out in a steam room without even knowing it. It’s a surefire recipe for a heart attack, basically.
It’s also not exactly good for gym equipment like exercise bikes to be taken into a steam room… It’s also very easy to injure yourself in a slippery, wet steam room.
Not all F1 drivers are getting on board the steam room workout trend, though – in fact, Charles Leclerc has gone the complete opposite route and is dabbling in cryotherapy. Yet another bizarre Ferrari strategy call…
The 2022 Singapore Grand Prix will run from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October, with lights out on the 2nd scheduled for 11pm AEDT (states that observe daylight savings will switch over to daylight savings time on the morning of the 2nd so don’t get caught out).