Drivers face danger of ‘heat shock’ during Singapore GP
A warning of “heat shock” has been issued to Formula One drivers ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix amid fears that the race could be one of the most physically gruelling on record.
Temperatures are forecast to nudge 86F (30C) for Sunday’s night race under the arc lights of Marina Bay, with 86 per cent humidity. Add the length of the grand prix, which often touches F1’s two-hour limit, and the unevenness of Singapore’s street surfaces and it is little wonder the average driver loses 6½lb in body weight in the 61 laps.
Romain Grosjean of Haas disclosed last night that drivers had been told to expect even greater demands, given the increased cornering speeds of this year’s cars. “Fitness has evolved, but there is a high probability that we could get a heat shock and be in a pretty bad situation,” said the Frenchman, who explained the greatest danger would come at the end.
“Normally your body manages to keep going through the race, but when you get the chequered flag, everything switches off. The key is to drink throughout the race, even though it isn’t easy. When you jump into the cockpit, you’re sweating and thinking, ‘I’ve got to go in there for two hours and it’s going to get warmer’. We know it’s one of the challenges of the year.”
There has been a greater emphasis on cardio fitness to cope with the intensity of Singapore. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jnr, for example, spent part of his summer acclimatising in saunas with the dial turned up to over 120F (50C).