Renault driver Jolyon Palmer anticipates that Formula One drivers who aren’t working out enough will get found out next season as the physical toll on drivers is set to increase.
The increase in speed of around 5-seconds-per-lap will mean that drivers will have to deal with increased downforce levels. Palmer said,
“I can see it making a difference. We don’t really know exactly the performance next year. We know the numbers, but we don’t know what the tyres are going to do.
If it is what we think, then I think it will show early on who has been in the gym over the winter and who hasn’t. If drivers aren’t in the gym this winter they will be found out.
It is quick. It is clearly much quicker than we are racing now, it will be a challenge to drive. Physical as well, I think it will be really exciting.”
– Jolyon Palmer
Valtteri Bottas, who has tried out some 2017 concepts at Williams already voiced a similar expectation,
“In terms of winter training, there is always the balance you have to find with how much to do. Every athlete is different but you have to find the balance between muscular stuff and cardio.
Maybe with G-forces you have to make adjustments with your muscles.”
– Valtteri Bottas
All of the drivers are extremely conditioned and physically fit anyway, but the fact that the ceiling in peak fitness is about to get a bit higher suggests that this will be another variable worth looking into.