To become an F1 driver, you need to follow some rules…

To become an F1 driver, you need to follow some rules…

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18 leads Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari F1-75 at the start. Austrian Grand Prix, Saturday 9th July 2022. Spielberg, Austria.

There’s no other sport in the world like Formula 1 – prestigious, intense, exhilarating, but also dangerous. That’s why F1 must be so firm with the rules.

For a sport with such a modest premise, which is to finish first, Formula 1 has some strict rules that drivers have to religiously follow before taking the wheel. And how else could it be? You drive high-performance engines that are not as easy to ride as usual cars. These vehicles reach unimaginable speeds, and although it sounds exciting, you must be thoroughly prepared for these fast-lightning cars.

From having an F1 Super Licence to meeting a weight minimum, there are several aspects Formula 1 drivers and individuals dreaming of getting there must take into account, so no, it is by no means a slapdash sport; it is rigorous, arduous, and requires much work.

To become an F1 driver, you need to follow some rules…

If you’ve watched Netflix’s “Formula 1: Drive to Survive”, you probably have some clue about what this sport is about, but that was only a chill start. Not to mention that rules are added or updated frequently. In 2021, for example, a new rule concerning copycat cars was introduced.

For the full scoop on F1 rules, read on – we ensure here’s everything you need to know.

You need a Super Licence?

Since Formula 1 cars are super-fast, you need a Super Licence to be able to drive them. It goes without saying that these vehicles are not even comparable with regular road cars, so the need for a special licence is an obligation. So, if you’re dreaming of becoming a successful F1 racer, you need to get your Super Licence from FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile).

To become an F1 driver, you need to follow some rules…

As you’ve probably guessed, this is issued by the FIA which is based in Paris and requires lots of previously successful racing experience; no way will you get one unless you have a history of winning in junior series. Plus if you have dual citizenship, you can drive under a your choice of nationality, like many other Formula 1 drivers have done previously. Take London born and raised Williams Racing driver Alex Albon (above), for example, he has a Thai mother and races under a Thai licence.

You must meet a weight minimum or be penalised

It might sound harsh, but this is a logical aspect involving safety and speed. In order to level the playing field, the driver and the car must weigh a minimum of 1,759 lbs (798 kg) together. And the surprises don’t end here – in the event that adding the driver’s weight to the weight of the car doesn’t reach the minimum 798kg, more weight is added to the chassis to meet that limit.

Some people believe that the success recipe lies in a combination of weight and height, and this can be relatable since most proficient drivers meet this rule. Lewis Hamilton, for example, the Formula 1 legend who has won 7 championships so far, is 5’9’’ (1.74 m) and 73 kg. The same is with Lando Norris – he’s 5’6’’ (1.70 m) and 68 kg. Even the shortest F1 driver, Yuki Tsunoda (5’2’’/1.59 m), is now competing, so the weight and height combo statement could be true.

You should train to race on rainy days

Wet weather is not exactly a Formula 1 driver’s best friend, and in general, the best friend of no driver. Low visibility, slippery roads, and discomfort are just a few negative aspects drivers experience on rainy days. But the competition must go on, so you must accept the situation no matter how unpleasant it is to drive in bad weather.

The only thing you can do is to prepare for these races thoroughly and do your best to finish. Accidents caused by wet weather are not that uncommon, all the most so when it comes to driving. When the visibility gets so bad, even the most professional racers out there can become victims of road accidents. It’s also essential to know this sport’s risks so you can make a pertinent, informed decision regarding your potential career.

To become an F1 driver, you need to follow some rules…

When these accidents happen, knowing what steps to take is crucial. Seeking medical help is the first and most important step, but even this aspect is tricky since you need to find a competent doctor. Thus, ensure you’re in good hands when going for medical care, as healthcare providers can make mistakes, too.

You surely don’t want to be a victim of both road accidents and medical negligence, but if such tragedy ever happens, be sure a professional lawyer helps you claim compensation in the UK. Formula 1 is enticing, but it’s also risky, so document well the rules this sport involves and then reflect on your choice.

You have to be fit

You must have heard that Formula 1 drivers are true athletes who are required to be super fit, but why? The reason behind this requirement is not often emphasised and merely goes as a general rule that defines other sports, too. In F1, drivers must be fit for their safety during racing.

If they don’t achieve specific fitness levels, Formula 1 drivers would never be able to withstand the G-forces (the force exercised upon their bodies during driving) as they brake and go through the corners. As previously mentioned, F1 cars reach light-fasting speeds, meaning the pressure felt while racing would feel a thousand times more intense than when driving a usual car.

To become an F1 driver, you need to follow some rules…

At a 200Mmph, for example, a driver is likely to experience a G-force of 5G, which is comparable to 5 times the force of the earth’s gravity. This pressure exercised on a normal human body is enough, in some instances, to lose consciousness. Imagine having to do this five to 10 times each lap for 50 laps or more? Hence drivers are supremely fit, exercising and working out almost every day to build up their muscle strength and endurance abilities.

But physical strength is not helpful only in this situation. Formula 1 drivers must be fit for dozens of reasons, including:

  • it helps drivers maintain their racing ability
  • it reduces racing fatigue
  • it allows drivers to be as lean and muscled as possible
  • it leads to more focus

You may be wondering whether all Formula 1 drivers are fit or not, and the answer is yes, they all are. All the 20 drivers (and the reserve driver for each team, too) participating in the annual FIA Formula 1 World Championship  know it’s a privilege to race in the most enticing and prestigious motorsport series today, so they go the extra mile to be and look fit. This helps them stay competitive and ensures their seat in F1.

Other rules you may want to know include:

  • Women and men can compete together
  • You don’t always get to keep your trophy (teams have trophy cabinets to fill)
  • You must qualify within 107% of the pole-sitter’s lap time during qualifying
  • If a prescribed engine part is changed before being allowed, you take a grid drop penalty
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