Becoming a Formula One racing driver is no mean feat. Just because you got the fastest lap when you went go karting on your mate’s stag do, it’s more than likely this was achieved because everyone else was hungover from the night before.
To stand any chance whatsoever of spraying champagne over your fellow victors at the Nürburghring podium, you’ll need to invest all the energy, determination and dedication you can muster – not to mention the GDP of Hawaii in funds.
If you don’t know anybody that’s rich and/or crazy enough to set up a Formula One team to fund your ascent to pole position, you’ll have to hope one of the established teams’ drivers falls spectacularly ill at the precise moment you make it known to the sport’s money men that you’re the next great talent of the racing world.
Here are some of the skills you’ll need to ensure everyone else stays in your slipstream:
Down be fooled by the sitting down part. The average Formula One race takes about 2 hours and covers a distance of 200 miles. That’s the equivalent of travelling from London to Leeds. Whatever your fitness levels, the G-forces involved put an enormous strain on the drivers’ bodies.
- Formula 1 Fans
You’ll be required to sign more autographs than JK Rowling at a book launch when you finally join the Ferrari team. Whilst being a driver means sitting at your steering wheel for most of the time, you’ll also need to be a people person for the other part of the job.
- A resistance to jet lag
There are 21 Formula One races in a season spread as far across the world as Australia, China, Brazil, Japan, and India, to name but a few. If you’re thinking of becoming the next Ayrton Senna – be prepared to rack up some serious air miles along the way.
- Dealing with the Media
People will hang on your every word when you first become a track sensation. You’ll have to go on the Graham Norton show and do TV adverts for sunglasses manufacturers and maybe date one of the Pussycat Dolls. Are you sure you’re ready for such a lowly existence?
- The nine lives of a cat
Life insurance premiums for F1 racing drivers must be nearly as costly as the car itself. The sport is fraught with danger at literally every turn. If you made a mistake in your last job, you might only have got a tongue lashing from your boss. Make a mistake whilst cornering at 200 MPH and there’s considerably more at stake. You have been warned!
- Saint-like discipline
Whilst the life of an F1 driver may appear to be a bit like that of a rock star’s – albeit with a four-stroke, turbo charged, V6 Cosworth Engine behind you rather than a drummer, the reality is quite different. To be successful in F1 you need to live an austere and disciplined life which involves a strict diet and lots of sleep. If you want to spend your days high on drugs you should maybe try entering the Tour De France.
- Tech Talk
Do you know what, ‘Maximum downforce required at the next chicane to minimise the drag co-efficient,’ means? If not, you’ll need to learn this and lots more technical gobbledegook to even begin to consider having a conversation with the boffins in the pit lane. Time to dust down those old physics text books me thinks.
- Cracking open a champagne bottle
………Essential for any aspiring Formula One champion and by far the most important part of the job. You’ll need to win the race first of course.