Steiner’s thoughts: Ban gyms and eat fast food

Date published: June 8 2019

Guenther Steiner believes things can't get any worse for Haas at this point.

If Lewis Hamilton wants Formula 1 to be harder and drivers to physically exhausted, Guenther Steiner suggests banning gyms and stocking the paddock with fast foods.

Hamilton recently had a go at today’s Formula 1, saying it should be a “man’s sport” but that “a lot of youngsters come in and it’s quite easy for them to get straight into it.”

He added: “I’d make it harder for the drivers. You should be just so physically exhausted after the race, like a marathon.

“Sometimes you do these races and you can get up and I could do a race… I could probably do two or three races in a row.

“Formula One should not be like that.”

However, Lando Norris – one of those “youngsters” – reckons F1 is “much harder now” than when Hamilton started in the sport.

The debate was put to the team bosses in Friday’s press conference in Montreal with the general consensus being today’s drivers are just a whole lot fitter than yesteryears’.

Haas team boss Steiner said: “We could ban the drivers from going to the fitness studios so they will be tired at the end of the race.

“It would be a lot cheaper.

“And to eat fast foods all the time!

“No, without joking, I think the fitness level is just so high and the cars are so sophisticated so it’s just getting better and it’s evolution.

“It isn’t that they are easy to drive, we are just so well prepared – they are so well prepared altogether.

“That is why they now complain about it.”

This is a sentiment echoed by Franz Tost.

The Toro Rosso team boss reckons today’s drivers are the fittest they have ever been, unlike in the past when the drivers were too unfit to complete races so they blamed gearbox problems for their retirements.

“In my opinion, the current level of the drivers from the fitness side is the highest I’ve ever seen in Formula One,” said Tost.

“Our drivers have special physical training plans. They have their own coach, they have a nutrition plan.

“You cannot compare this time with – let me say – twenty or thirty years ago when Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell or whoever collapsed after a race.

“They never saw a fitness centre from the inside and some of them were smoking as well and in former days, I remember that some cars did not finish the race and then they talked about gearbox problems.

“Hey, they were smoking beforehand and they were not fit enough to finish the race and then they put it in any gear so that the car stopped. They were not fit enough.”

As for Hamilton’s team boss, Toto Wolff says just “look at the lap times” that the Formula 1 drivers are doing these days.

“I think we have the quickest cars by now,” he continued.

“We have changed the aerodynamic formula to take a few seconds off the cars and we are going faster than last year, so the levels of downforce are enormous and like Franz said, it’s very right that the level of perfection has just increased enormously and you don’t see these kind of mistakes any more.

“You could, artificially, make it much harder: take the power-assisted steering out, then you will have drivers like bodybuilders and they will struggle to finish races because it will be so tiring – that is easy – but it would be a step back in technology but maybe that is something we should consider in the future for the entertainment factor.”

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