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Alonso reveals physical suffering in Bahrain
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Alonso reveals physical suffering in Bahrain
Posted By:   |  07 May 2009   |  3:14 pm GMT  |  12 comments

One of the striking images from the Bahrain GP was Fernando Alonso being carried from his car, having fought his way to the finish in seventh place depsite having no drinks bottle. That in itself is not unusual, but what made Alonso’s situation really severe was a further problem inside the car.

“I had very specific problems with not having enough water in the car because I lost five and a half kilos in the race, this is not normal, ” said Fernando. “There was a problem with the radiator, we had some hot gas going into the cockpit. It burned my back and that was taking out even more water from my body. It was a very unlucky combination of factors that put me in that condition in the race.”

Five and a half kilos of bodyweight is a lot to lose in 90 minutes, it’s about 8% of his total bodyweight. One or two kilos is normal for drivers to lose on hot days.

Alonso disagreed with Nico Rosberg’s claims earlier today that the drivers are struggling at the end of races this year because they have been forced to lose too much weight, to compensate for the KERS systems in the cars.

“Generally I feel in better condition at the end of races than last year,” said Alonso. “We are running with less aerodynamics in the car so maybe it’s not so demanding in the high speed corners in terms of the physical [side].”

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What I don't understand about the "drinks bottle" situation a lot of drivers seem to face during races is that this is a safety issue surely?

F1 has done well to improve safety. I'm still surprised that the systems built for supplying water to drivers is so low tech. At least one driver per race seems to mention their lack of water.

Surely its about time teams were fined for unreliable drinks systems. Doesn't sound very macho but I this world of high tech gadgetry you'd think they had this simple technology sorted by now!


Amazing that with that degree of dehydration he was still able to drive, it does seriously impair one's brain function. I remember our Noige being carried off after a race as well.

Hot gas in the cockpit is not good, in fact the number of things allowed to puncture the survival cell walls is very limited in the regs for obvious reasons.


I tell you something, what with this and Webber's helmet-vomiting and burnt bum, it shows how dedicated these drivers are.

Boston F1 Fan

- I'm not a fan of his politics, but wow, what a man.


I am not a fan of Alonso, but he really showed dedication and determination here, so well done to him.

What I don't understand is, he got dizzy during an interview, didn't he? But I assume he gave interviews some time after the race but not immediately, getting out of the car. So why didn't he drink right after the race?


pure dedication and he still finished in eight place ! F alonso is a fantastic driver. hopefully his renault works properly




But why can't more be made out of this sort of thing? In terms of story, drama etc?

Beeb's coverage in Spain could start this story with footage made to look epic. Make it sound like something awesome happened - could have been a cover story for people.

Even for Renault, though it's a story of the car breaking, determination is a selling point surely...

Northern Munkee

I think this is a worrying sign, you only have to look at Mark Webber recently to see how much weight he has lost, he looked ill, during that piece with Brundle (and his moobs) and I don't think it was just because Webber had not being training properly due to his bike accident.

The risks about drivers losing weight, to free up movable ballast has been mentioned before, I read an interesting article about this in relation to boxing, where boxers have 24-48 hours after the weigh in before racing, typically they make their weight by losing water, then put back on up 5kg of water prior to the fight due to health risks of boxing dehydrated.

F1 is populated by jockeys anyway, its almost discriminatory, even DC who looked tall on TV, is actually a midget compared to Jake Humphreys. And what with improving safety by moving drivers feet behind the front axle line (a few years ago now) I think this is an issue that needs to be addressed, there's no reason why the rules on minimum weight could be tweaked.

I suspect someone like Mansell probably couldn't race a modern F1 car now.


This basically shows how much in good shape the guy is. Pretty amazing how he managed to finish the race under those physical conditions.

But what if he had suddenly lost consciousness in the middle of the race due to dehydration? Not good.


it's hard enough when it's hot for a driver... for the water system to fail and the radiator to heat the cockpit would have been truly horrible. i know that cockpit temperatures can get really high, 50 degrees plus (and the drink gets hot)... it's not really acceptable is it? i understand le mans have a regulation which states a maximum cockpit temperature - in the interests of safety that the FIA claim to be dedicated to, surely this would not be difficult to implement.

however, i understand that the minimum weight next year will go up by 20kg to prevent this stupid situation that we have now.


I don't know if it needs to be more hyped up and made out to be a drama. Great stuff by Alonso, but I think most drivers in his place would have done the same. Most of them are this determined.


I suspect someone like Mansell probably couldn’t race a modern F1 car now.

Indeed, didn't he have to sit out some races at the beginning of his return to F1 because the car was too small?

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