As Formula 1's popularity has increased here in the States, the hard work of achieving and maintaining success in motorsport's premier class has remained the same for McLaren's Lando rris.
In his sixth year at McLaren, rris is now the team's lead driver. The 23-year-old exudes a calm and cool attitude that serves him well in this position while also being one of the fastest and most talented guys on the circuit.
With a schedule consisting of 24 races in 20 countries and five continents over nine months, it is imperative that Formula 1 drivers use all the resources at their disposal to do their best. It's a results-driven sport and excuses don't fly far and wide. When you're not performing, there's no shortage of emerging talent waiting for their chance.
Whilst Lando rris enjoys spending his free time with friends and family, whether it's golfing or enjoying his newfound love of cycling - when it's time to train or discuss the technical aspects of his job, he gives it his all. Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix here on Sunday, Lando rris sat down with M&F and shared his thoughts on the steps needed to be successful in Formula One.
Formula 1 training is very specific
I have a very good coach who I've been with for almost 10 years. He knows what I love and what I hate. I can't do super long sessions. I need shorter, targeted sessions. Formula 1 is also super specific. A lot of this has to do with neck strength and that would probably be the biggest shock to anyone. If you jumped into a Formula 1 car and drove, not only would the speed and acceleration stun you, but the G-forces related to braking and cornering would be the biggest shock.
There aren't many things in everyday life that you need to strengthen your neck for, and there's specific training for that. You can run easily and just staying active is good for your overall health. It's certain things like heat training. When you are in the car, it can get hot in some places. It's all about maintaining the stamina side and maintaining focus for such a long period of time. The cognitive side of things is very important. His neck, core, buttocks, upper and lower back and all those things are very important. I like to play golf. I've only recently started cycling and I'm going to do more. Much of my training isn't heavy weight, it's more like yoga. It's about keeping my body healthy and flexible, and keeping those little muscles you don't use in everyday life sharp and in peak condition.
How Lando rris drives his body
I think over time you learn what's best for you, what you like better and what you don't. My coach takes care of all of that for me. I have a guy who takes care of my nutrition when I'm not racing. He will come to Monaco and prepare food for me for about a week. When I'm over in the UK at MTC [McLaren Technology Centre], I usually have a cooler bag that holds a couple days' worth of groceries - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks. Just because it's better to go that route than to snack on things I shouldn't.
I think it's nice when you can eat well on the go and do something with my friends from time to time. But it is important that I stick to a diet that is given to me to stay as healthy as possible.
Everything in Formula 1 has to work at the highest level. It is the pinnacle of motorsport. It's a big part of our health, fitness, and strength. I've learned more about what I like to eat and what works for me when I'm on and off the track. I would say I'm the type to stick with what I like. When it comes to weekends, I only have one thing and I stick to it for three days. Even if my coach hates it, I just stick with what I like and enjoy.
How Lando rris adapts to different time zones and climate changes
I fly there the weekend before the race, so I'll be there from Sunday evening to Thursday, the first day of work. Friday is the first day of riding. So I have four to five days to air condition. The same applies to Singapore, where it is much wetter and temperatures are much higher. It takes time. There is no special cheat to get over this. You can have the melatonin, tweak your exercise schedule, blue light glasses, and the other little tricks to help your body trick your mind in certain ways. But there's no way to go from one bed to the next and get used to it.
You just want to tweak these things—exercise at the right time, eat at the right time, blue light glasses, and just give yourself time to adjust to your surroundings. The difficult thing is you come home and you have a race next week. It is not always easy to put yourself in these times. Then all you have to do is strictly follow your schedule and sleep times. If not, you pay the price. If you do, you can resume it within a few days.
The beauty of Nice's Ice Baths
For those hot races, nothing beats a nice ice bath. Especially a race like Singapore, Austin sometimes and Miami last year. it boiled. In some of these races you can easily lose up to four kilos of body weight and you pay the price. A cold tub just wakes you up after a hot race. Drink lots of water, eat lots – I'm always hungry after riding. I usually eat a nice chicken burger. This is my little treat to just recharge my batteries.
i love austin The Texas BBQ place called Terry Black's is so good. It's also very different from UK foods and it's nice to have that kind of variety. I love doing In-N-Out, although I rarely get the opportunity to do so. Italian food is my favorite. If we go to Monza and the races in Italy or Japan, those are my favorite races. i hate fish I can't eat fish or seafood in any way. However, when I go to Tokyo, I love the meat and the dishes. I have to be careful, but it's very pleasant.
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