Why do F1 drivers drink from a long straw after a race?

Why do F1 drivers drink from a long straw after a race?
Video why do formula 1 drivers drink through straws

F1 is an extremely demanding sport where drivers go through immense physical, mental and emotional stress. They are always expected to be up to the desired mark of physical strength to manoeuvre an F1 car.

That apart, there are also several technicalities involved ahead of any race. A lot depends on the driver’s weight, which needs to be optimum for desired lap times. To maintain that, drivers need to be mindful of their diet, which includes how much water they drink. If they drink too much or too little, their performance can suffer and fluctuate in terms of a few more seconds around the corners.

Moreover, how an F1 driver drinks his water needs to be precise too. While during the race, the car has its drinks system, drivers need to be careful post-race as well. To avoid getting overhydrated, they use long twisted straws to stream fluid into their mouth. Notably, an F1 driver is likely to be dehydrated post race, making it necessary for them to rehydrate as quickly as possible.

The long twisted straws (attached to a bottle), only allows a certain amount of water to pass through in one sip. That makes it impossible for the driver to drink a hefty amount of water at once to rehydrate. Furthermore, long straws are easily accessible when the driver is sitting inside the jammed and constricted cockpit. It also avoids any water spillage inside the car, avoiding unnecessary issues.

How do F1 drivers drink during a race?

This is another popular and important question. Before we dive into this one, we need to understand that an F1 driver faces up to 50 degrees Celsius of heat while sitting in their car. That heat comes from the electronics and engine installed in the car as well as the weather. As a result, post race, drivers even lose weight. In fact, on some tracks, they can also lose up to 3-4 kgs (Singapore Grand Prix).

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Hence, to avoid any complications, remaining hydrated is important for them throughout the race. Consequently, F1 has come a long way with its drivers’ drinks systems. For a long while, drivers had a small water vessel in their cockpit. The vessel had a long straw that ran from the bottom of the vessel through their helmets and into their mouth.

This vessel was usually placed beneath the driver. However, the method proved to be uncomfortable, as the drivers had to concentrate on putting the straw into their mouth to suck up the liquid.

Later, another method was implemented, where a series of pumps were installed in the car. The driver’s water supply surely became easier, as they only had to press a button, but it was still complex and presented the teams with a lot of complications.

However, F1 finally hit the jackpot when the pumps were replaced by an inflatable bladder. They can also be pumped via the same steering wheel, where only the drinks button on the wheel needs to be pressed. The drink is then squirted into the driver’s mouth, and he can concentrate on the race with minimal movement.

What do F1 drivers drink during a race?

Every driver’s body and requirements are different. Hence, each pilot is trained and monitored individually and carefully. That helps the health professionals of teams to choose the ideal drink for each driver.

It’s not necessary that an F1 driver drinks only water during a race. It has been reported that saline solutions and isotonic drinks are also an option for many. Further, combinations of herbal extracts or refreshing salts are also found in driver drinks.

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So, these were a few facts about the long straws and peculiar drinks we often spot by F1 drivers’ sides on our screen. There’s no doubt hydration is very important for these athletes, as they muscle through the physical and mental requirements of a demanding sport.

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