Have you ever watched a race and asked yourself, ‘how do F1 drivers pee?’ F1 drivers have an arduous two hours of racing to do in a hot cockpit. Add to that the time they spend getting themselves ready for the race. So what do F1 drivers do when they feel like they want to relieve themselves? They will be sweating in the hot cockpit of the F1 car and will definitely need to drink some fluids. It may be a liquid with isotonic salts, a fruit juice, or just plain water. For an F1 fan, it will be interesting to know how and where F1 drivers pee…
FIA regulations require that an F1 Grand Prix race has to go for a maximum of two hours. If the stipulated number of laps has been run, the race is declared as completed. If not, the position of the drivers will decide their place in the race. Although most races are completed within the stipulated time, some can go on for up to two hours. Besides this, F1 drivers have to be ready in their racing suits much before getting into their cars.
Do Formula 1 drivers drink water during races?
F1 drivers have to concentrate on racing for two hours at a stretch. The slightest lapse of concentration might either cost them the race or result in a crash. The driver and the racing team have spent too much money and time on every Grand Prix race. They try to anticipate all the problems that the driver may encounter when racing. The team, along with the driver, make a plan for the race. Taking chances or lapses in concentration is certainly not a part of the plan.
Drivers, dressed in a heavy fire-proof driver’s suit and seated in a hot F1 car Cockpit, will certainly sweat heavily and lose a lot of fluids. Along with these fluids, they will also lose some essential elements from their body. They will get dehydrated and feel lethargic which might lead to a lapse in concentration. Drivers drink fluids heavily much before the race to boost the water level in their bodies. They go to the loo just before they leave for their respective pitstops.
Each driver knows his own bodily functions and times his drinking bouts accordingly. F1 drivers do get to drink during the race through a pipe in their driving suit. The reason they drink and pass urine before the race is to avoid drinking heavily during racing and feeling the need to pee. Because of the loss of fluids from the body. An F1 driver can lose two to three kilos while racing in a single Grand Prix race. It is imperative that they have to stay continuously hydrated.
F1 drivers sweat a lot inside their driving suits. When they sweat, the drivers also lose vital minerals along with the fluid in their bodies. Every F1 car has a leakage-proof flexible container that stores liquids. The liquid might be flavoured with the driver’s choice. The liquid will be loaded with all the minerals that are required to replace the minerals. The bag is connected to the driver’s mouth by a pipe which is routed through the driving suit. The pipe is controlled by a switch that the driver can activate to squirt the liquid in his mouth.
How hot does it get in the cockpit of an F1 car?
F1 drivers are as fit as any other sports athlete. They devote most of their time to their physical and mental fitness. They do this because they know that they will have to be at the peak of fitness for the racing season. Once the season begins, a lot of time is spent travelling to and from each venue, making training and recovery of paramount performance. They also know that they will lose weight in every race and that they have to regain that weight before the next event.
The driver has to endure the heat generated by the engine and the power unit for two hours. Heat is also generated by the tyres racing across the tarmac. As most races are held in the afternoons, the blazing sun heats the tarmac. As the cockpit of an F1 car is open the F1 driver will feel the direct heat of the sum. Add to that the driver’s fire-proof suit and his helmet, if this was not enough, he has to put up with heavy G-forces and drive in dirty air. All this leads to immense mental pressure on an F! Driver.
The temperatures inside an F1 car cockpit can reach more than 50 degrees centigrade or 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Most people would be extremely uncomfortable spending two hours in such temperatures. In an open cockpit car, the driver will also feel the draft of the heat of the tyres of proceeding cars. He is also wearing a fireproof suit and a helmet. All this can make the driver feel very uncomfortable. This discomfort can lead to a lapse in concentration that is vital in an F1 race.
Dirty air is the turbulence in the air that is left behind by the preceding vehicle. Along with the heat emitted from the exhaust the dirty air can cause great discomfort to the trailing driver. That is the reason why F1 drivers feel the need to imbibe fluids frequently. Even though they sweat profusely, drivers do feel the urge to pee.
How do F1 Drivers pee?
F1 drivers don’t have the option to take a 5-minute break to go to the loo. It is unbelievable, but not all F1 drivers pee during a race. Some of them may psychologically prepare themselves not to pee during the race. Lewis Hamilton reiterated several times that he has not peed during a race. Micheal Schumacher has admitted that he has peed several times… in his suit. The need to pee, when one feels the urge, is great and can lead to great discomfort.
But what options do F1 drivers have when they feel the need to pee? Not peeing when you feel the urge might lead to discomfort and a loss of concentration. As stated before, teams and drivers have spent too much money and time on an F1 race to sacrifice one because of a lack of concentration. A catheter would be too painful to insert and cause great discomfort every time he shifts his weight in his seat. Some drivers do wear adult diapers, but wearing a wet diaper for hours would also cause discomfort. Very few drivers have admitted to using diapers.
Most F1 Drivers pee in their suits when they feel the urge for it. They will feel discomfort for a short time when their suit becomes wet. The reason for this is the heat in the cockpit. The heat will dry the suits pretty quickly. The wind blowing into an open cockpit will aid in the evaporation of the dampness. Diapers have that much less chance of drying because they are insulated by the suit itself. The smell will linger for some time. But then all is accepted when the race ends well…