Insight: Lewis Hamilton to calm victory celebrations after being left breathless by F1’s physical challenge
Posted By: Editor   |  18 May 2017   |  4:48 pm GMT  |  242 comments

Lewis Hamilton has said that he might have to rule out celebrating if he wins the Monaco Grand Prix later this month because of the increased physical demands of 2017’s Formula 1 cars.

Many fans were pleasantly surprised to see that the physical challenge of driving these 2017 high downforce F1 cars is clearly greater after Hamilton left a number of breathless messages on team radio. The G force in Turn 3 this year, which lasts around 8s seconds, was up from 4.5g to 5.2g.

If his audibly clear team radio communications illustrated how fatigued Hamilton was during the Spanish GP, and he admitted being pushed over the limit after taking victory at Catalunya.

To the point that, should the Mercedes driver take another victory in Monaco on May 28 or in subsequent races he says he might rule out such a celebration.

“I used everything I had left when I jumped into my team [in parc ferme] – my heart rate hit the ceiling,” said Hamilton after the Spanish GP.

“I was good when I got out of the car but jumping in…I don’t know if I will do that again. I was a little bit tired after that one.”

Monaco is not one of the most physically demanding tracks on the F1 calendar, but concentration for almost two hours is at a premium and fatigue is the enemy of concentration.

Hamilton took victory in Spain after starting from pole and fighting back to retake the lead from Sebastian Vettel in a thrilling encounter to cut Vettel’s championship lead to six points going into Monaco. His post-race interview revealed more about what drivers are undergoing in the new breed of F1 cars.

“This [race] I was on a knife edge the whole way, flat chat, first trying to catch [Vettel]… and when you are flat chat you are using your whole body to balance the car. The car steps out, you are using your whole core to feel it,” said Hamilton.

“It’s not like sitting there and just reacting with the steering, it’s your whole core that’s activated and your legs, so yeah, I used everything.

“It’s not easy. People watch TV and think, ‘These guys, it’s easy for them’. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, I was on the edge the whole way.”

Over the winter, drivers took to the gym to increase their strength for the new season, particularly focusing on core muscles and cardiovascular training.

Even though F1 cars have power steering, lateral G-Forces resulting from cornering have increased this year. For example, in the Australian Grand Prix, Turn 11 inflicted 6G on the drivers’ bodies – up to 1.2 more than in 2016. Silverstone, Spa, Suzuka and Malaysia, with the added heat, will be quite a challenge.

Hamilton also revealed that he lost two kilos of mass during the last race and to save further in the Mercedes W08 he didn’t carry a water bottle while racing.

Have your say in the comment section or on JA on F1’s Facebook Page.


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I’ve thought about this quite a bit. It seems to me that the tires are way too heavy. A low profile tire would save a lot of weight. They would also look cooler and with less unsprung weight make the cars faster still. If the cars get too fast the aero could be limited.

Water should be mandatory.


Lewis is fatigued due to ‘being seen at events’…and partying with babes until the sun come up *green with envy*


first he started banging his head against the cockpit sides like there is no tomorrow, then he started running out of breath like there was no oxygen, and after that he undid his Safety belts just across the finish line, these symptoms could well be due to his overheating printed circuit.


salvoborg, you missed a stage, after running out of breath and before undoing his safety belts, you should have added “then he won the race”…

Paul Richardson

It was only a few years ago Adrian Sutil and Hulkenberg had to lose some extra weight and both struggled due to lack of energy, it may be the same that Hamilton has been overdoing it on the weight loss front too.


I am apply for this f1 games


So we have more weight in the cars this year. Why can’t these cutting-edge engineers tuck a little reservoir with pump below the seat. A couple of grams of Gatorade might be a worthy addition.


That’s exactly what they do have normally – minus the gatorade. I suppose we know what they drink at Torro Rosso and their parent team (trying to avoid spoilers) and I suppose Lewis has Monster!


All these discussions about Mercedes having overweight…

I allways said it, The Hulk is the best driver. It seems with a bit less body weight he would have 7-8 F1 WDC’s , 10 LeMans and Indy wins, …
And now we know the real reason why Rosberg retired. He was clever enough to knew about the overweight problem. And he knew that a mighty brain is too far away from the centre of mass. Given the more lying seat position: what F1 drivers really need are big cojones to keep the centre of mass low and in the centre of the four wheels.


More puff pieces…


James, a question a lot of us have I think is how fast the cars have been in previous years. Records are being broken now but only by small margins, and last years cars were not the quickest. Before the current era which year was closest to todays performance? maybe mid 2000s ?


I think today’s cars are slower on the straights but faster in the curves than those 2000 cars but very close in track time.


Maybe Lewis does more lifting than running? You can lift all the weights you like but running/swimming is where it’s at. Forget the front covers Lewis.

Also that Ferrari is quicker than the Merc. It’s Lewis who’s dragging it round. Now with these tyres Lewis has been let of the leash and isn’t being held back. It’s 2007 again behind the wheel and he’s able to do qualy laps every lap.

Ding dong! Go F1!


Look at the guy – more lifting than cardio? Not exactly Arnie proportions is he? I bet he does tonnes of cardio, hiit training, swimming or whatever.


Some races just take it more out of you than others. In the old days of F1 there were stories of drivers physically vomiting inside their helmets and still finishing the race. Who remembers the state of Senna at the end of the 91 Brazilian GP, or Mansell at the end of the Michigan 500 in 93? Those guys literally had to be lifted out of the car at the end of the race because they gave 100%.


Top marathon runners don’t need to drink over the race duration of 2 hours.
Hydration or pre-hydration is done before the race to last the race distance,again about 2 hours. Any hydrating done during the race is for the benefit of the driver afterwards.
What the sports drinks manufacturers will tell you sell you is the importance of continued hydration to keep you at your peak bla bla bla.
Absolute nonsense of course. There is a big difference between having a dry mouth from heavy breathing and wanting a drink,to being dehydrated and needing a drink.
What Lewis is doing here is what Lewis is good at which is self promotion. What he has categorically failed to grasp is that he signed a contract with monster energy drinks and what he is now saying to all the potential consumers of that brand is that actually you don’t need it,it’s of no benefit to you so don’t buy it. This underlying message will of course be lost on the majority of Lewis Hamilton fans because it is far too subtle.


@ F1canmaker…So what are all those people doing standing along the course with glasses of water etc? and what are all those people doing manning the tables with drinks set out for the …..runners?


hamilton has not signed a contract with monster..


Sorry, you’re talking nonsense. Marathons are raced at 88-92% of HRmax for 120-140 minutes. The athletes all take on water during this. Not every mile, but certainly a few times during the race.


Ah yes, that old chestnut – Lewis fans unable to understand subtlety because….why? I agree with you about hydration but why the unnecessary dig?


F1 canmaker… It’s quite obvious isn’t it? Yes, these cars may call for some additional fitness but they are only race for less than 2 hours . No one else has been seen to be ‘out of breath’ and as i said earlier, Alonso has been testing now for 5days continuous and he started less that 24 hrs after the finish of the Spanish GP. Consider the stress that he’ll be enduring as well! I would still question the loss of 2KG ‘body mass’. My understanding of that is it is not loss of liquid which is what everyone seems to be talking about. Body mass doesn’t include liquids per se IMO. Maybe we have a resident physio trainer who can qualify that aspect.


hamilton makes a note of his mass before the race starts and is publically weighed at the end of each race. he is therefore in a better position of authority to say how much he loses each race than anyone on earth..
putin asked him how much weight he lost in the race and he said 2kg..
why is it an issue now?


@ Aveli…’Hamilton makes a note of his mass etc etc etc’ What does that mean? How do you know that?


He goes through his bin, i think….


What about Nigel Mansel that had to be helped out of a race care after he won back in the day.

It’s only 2hrs but the g forces are in a strange direction compaired to air force pilots and they have g suits.

Yeah a minute per lap could mean the difference between 4 and 5+ Gs in that big sweeping curve.

Vettel seemed OK tho. Hamilton did seem out of sorts and not acting.


Our Nige was often seen at the early opener…


Hi James,

Just a note to say thanks for stopping at chatting with me and my partner in front of the TV compound after the race in Barcelona. We really enjoyed your insight and general F1 chat.

Good to meet you, hope to do the same in Monza.



Hi James

At the start of the season Lewis said he was no longer employing a personal trainer. Do you think this is connected?


This article remind me of the 1999 Malaysian grand prix I rewatched recently. After months out of the car, Schumi dominated qualifying, and in the post quali press conference, Irvina and Hakkinen looked like they were dying whereas Schumacher looked like he’d just walked down the stairs. I wonder how prime Schumacher would have done in these cars. I don’t think I ever saw him out of breath even when he came back with Merc.


he wasn’t driving as fast as rosberg.


Interesting, there is an interview on youtube with Esteban Ocon by WTF1 yesterday, and he said the cars aren’t as physical as he was expecting… I know they aren’t as fast as the mercedes, but still….

The Grape Unwashed

I think this article omits the most interesting part of that interview –

[Hamilton:] “The majority of races we do, you get into the first stint, you realise you’re second, so you have to back off, save your tyres, so you’re driving at 80 percent, so you have loads of energy,” he told UK broadcasters Channel 4.

“This one I was on a knife edge the whole way, flat chat, first trying to catch him…

Normally, when drivers are behind another car, either they’re a bit slower than it (in which case the leader pulls away), or a bit faster (in which case they’re driving below 100%). In Spain Hamilton appeared to be able to inch towards Vettel during the first stint, but he was right on the limit doing so – and that meant he was driving pretty much on the limit for most of the race. On the limit and with no drinks bottle (in pursuit of every last fraction,) it’s little wonder he lost a couple of kilos during the race.

With the title chase gradually opening up and the cars so evenly matched, this race was about the desire to win – Hamilton was willing to push his body harder for longer than his rival.


‘Today’s Top Story’:

Lewis Hamilton may jump around a bit less and needs to drink more….

Really? C’mon JAF1, this is weak.

Slow (no) news day, a cynic may suggest you need to keep your stats up. Is there really nothing else going on?


I agree. Same issue could have been dealt with in a much less ‘sensationalist’ manner. i.e. is it right to go without a water bottle? what are the risks? How much do they normally carry? What are the benefits in terms of absolute lap time and so on.


This was the first time you could see (hear) the new F1 being so demanding from a physical level. The drivers can push more and for much longer – we’ve all heard it, this was the evidence.

I don’t want to sound pessimistic because the fight at the front is great, but I wonder what the impact is further down the field. There are some great midfield scraps (we don’t often see) but the cars there are something like 1 second per lap slower. How much of a difference does that make? Also someone like Ricciardo for example who had no fight on his hands was essentially “cruising” to the finish line. he wasn’t nearly as fatigued as Hamilton for obvious reasons.


He is just saying that to get attention.


Super human that guy. On lap 44, car 44 overtook car 5 for his 55th win. Symmetry, I love it.


Shhhh – there are plenty on here that will take that as “proof” of a conspiracy. 😉


Slow news day huh?


someone official should have something to say about no water bottle being carried on Hamiltons car, that’s surely a health or safety risk

also surprised its not mandatory to carry a water bottle, thought for sure that it was but I can’t see a team with two Austrians at the helm making such an oversight


There’s nothing new about it – DC said he never used one, and that was years ago.


Health and safety risk! What is this f1 or ping pong?


can you imagine racing around Malaysia without a water bottle in these cars?

add to that drivers shedding as much body weight as possible to accommodate over weight cars and its a recipe for something silly or sad, pending how the sports gods feel on the day


Interesting to note that Alonso left the circuit immediately after the race, flew to the US and was heavily into Indy practice the following day/ monday!!! He must be superfit. I’m also interested to know how one can actually lose 2KG of ‘body mass’ in 2 hours? Is this really possible? My searches indicated that it was not possible unless one weighed in with a mega load of liquid on board then unloaded before a reweigh in. I’d be grateful if someone could elaborate further on this.


Alonso has a trainer plus he was a lap or two down. All the Finns seem to have big necks.


And he probably worked twice as hard to get that beast over the line as well!


hamilton hardly tells lies. if he said it, then it happened…
the best driver of all time doesn’t need to lie to impress..


@ Aveli…someone doesn’t want me to win the championship’


Elite marathon runners can easily lose 6-7% of bodyweight during a race (even with drinks), so yes it’s very easily possible.


Yes it’s possible. 1litre of liquid equals 1kg (depending on altitude). You can sweat that out in 2 hours – especially if you’ve had a comfort break after weigh in before the race and maybe while in the car as well.


84% of fat burned during weight loss is actually exhaled as carbon dioxide, with the remainder being water.
To burn 2kg of fat the average joe needs to inhale just under 6kg of oxygen, and will exhale 5.5kg of CO2 and excrete just over 2kg of h20.


I’m not sure if you are agreeing with me, arguing with me or simply stating a fact! Bear in mind that we aren’t talking 2kg of fat. No one is losing that much fat in 2 hrs.


I was stating a fact (that i ripped off from a physiology website). But to your point -isn’t the discussion about losing 2kg of body mass? I didn’t interpret that as 2kg in fluids, but rather fat burning (stored energy).
Is there a doctor on the plane?


See below link Kenneth

ESPN’s bio of Lewis states 66kg, so 2kg loss is 3%.


@ Van.Bear…thanks for that. I don’t quite see the correlation.


If you’re feeling starved of motorsport action following the padding out of the 2 car race in Spain, it’s worth dipping into the Indy 500 practice, free via youtube with speed/time/laps data beneath the live stream on the indycar site. Think they’re about 5 hrs behind uk, so on in evening.

Sounds like a tough challenge, getting used to the miniscule setup changes to push the corners and especially traffic racing multiple cars on such a tight line where in some cases cars can lift and be sucked about with the aero holes. Tough running the 500 without previous or smaller oval experience.

Qually is Sat and Sun, all cars 2 lap aggregate times then shootouts from 10th down and top nine. Lot of luck involved but I’d bet Alonso gets more points from this qually/race than in that F1 Honda this year.

Hopefully a good race, last 500 I watched was Mario Andretti v Danny Sullivan a long time ago…


A lot of pit stops at Indy. Plenty of water not too many Gs but highly dangerous.

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