Attending the driver press conference at 10pm on Wednesday following the Las Vegas GP’s opening ceremony, Sergio Perez has joked he’s going to hit up Lewis Hamilton for a few sleeping pills.
From the beginning, this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix set out to do something different, something that includes a Saturday night race.
That’s made for an interesting schedule with qualifying taking place at midnight on Saturday and then, less than 24 hours later, the drivers will be back on the track for Saturday night’s 10pm start for the Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton has ‘no problem’ with jetlag
The crazy hours have been criticised by some drivers who have complained about jetlag, Fernando Alonso making it clear “it is not okay”.
But he added, this is “a tough sport, this is not football”.
As the drivers voiced their concerns there was one who stood apart, Hamilton.
“I personally have not found any problem. I’ve still managed to keep the training up and I feel great at this point in the year,” said the Mercedes driver.
“I saw the drivers in there before all complaining about the jet lag. I mean, jet lag is something that’s probably can get all of us but I’ve not found it a problem since I’ve been here.
“It is demanding but we know that entering the sport, we know what a season entails. And there’s three back-to-backs, so definitely tough but if it was easy, everyone would do it.
“I think I’ve always just tried to be conscious of like the mechanics and all the people that work, everyone in this room, and everyone in the teams that are moving around and away from their families a lot.
“That’s probably the hardest thing from their perspective but that they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else and I’m pretty sure they love what they do. As do I.”
Sleeping pills and caffeine shots
That had Sergio Perez joking he’ll turn to the Briton for a solution.
“We’ll ask Lewis for some of his pills! He seems to be the only one not suffering with it,” said the Red Bull driver.
“But no for me, I’m used to it. I come from Mexico so I spent so much time on the jetlag. So I’m used to it.”
Nico Hulkenberg says jetlag is part of the sport and affects all the drivers in some way.
“You just got the big time difference, and we’ll probably face jetlag, some suffer more than others.
“It’s going to be a challenge, and maybe you’re not going to feel super sharp on Friday or Saturday but I think it’s the same for all of us and we have to manage, cope the best we can.”
Carlos Sainz says he’ll be resorting to caffeine to help him come Sunday.
“I think come Friday, Saturday, Sunday, caffeine shots, espressos, or adrenaline of driving an F1 car normally removes the jet lag.
“I struggle more these days, long Thursdays. This is where I start to struggle a bit more.”
That the drivers and team members will have to hop onto a plane on Sunday or Monday and make the 11-hour flight to Abu Dhabi – if they can get a direct flight – won’t help the situation.