Being an F1 driver is a dream job.
But the 99.9% of us who don’t make it can comfort ourselves with the knowledge that there are downsides to it.
Here are ten reasons why you don’t really want to be an F1 driver.
Most former drivers will tell you laps in the car and not cross country skiing to the Arctic is the key to race fitness. But modern testing restrictions mean drivers just don’t get the cockpit time they used to.
Australia, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, India, Bahrain (maybe), China, Canada and Brazil are a long way from home in Switzerland or Monaco. At least they can stay in touch with new film releases.
It must be so frustrating to have to describe youy ‘good working relationship’ with your team mate who you really wish was on holiday in Tripoli.
That said, some drivers are happy to buck the PR trend – take a bow, Mark Webber, who’s not afraid to tell it like it is.
Who wouldn’t want to bask in the loyal support of thousands?
The problem is, there’s never enough time to meet and sign caps for all of them. Eventually, some of those who’ve been waiting hours to see you have to go home disappointed.
Lewis Hamilton has done some particularly excruciating appearances for McLaren – who can forget him being dangled above a stage playing the part of the Greek God Apollo in some ill-conceived stunt for Vodafone?
But some of them can be fun. Hamilton would be forgiven for feeling somewhat miffed that the same company that put him through that nonsense four years ago had Jenson Button lapping Bathurst in an F1 car last week.
Actually, F1 drivers have to spend far less time with sponsors than drivers in most other categories, but it can be a pain trying to explain to the daughter of Spain’s largest shoe manufacturer why cars are better than ponies five minutes before the start of the race.
“So Mark your treatment by Red Bull reminds me of the Kennedy assassination, what do you feel about that?” “My sources in the paddock tell me you support Partick Thistle, is that true?” and other such gems are likely to come your way.
Jenson Button had it in 2007. Fernando Alonso had it in 2009. And Timo Glock’s going through it right now.
That sinking feeling when you turn the first few laps in a new car and realise it’s trying to go in three directions at once, the engine’s got no power, and it’s going to be a long, point-less season.
Pasta and vitamin drinks
A healthy diet is fine and important, but they must be craving a takeaway by mid-season.
While the motorhome is filled with the delicious aroma of bacon rolls in the morning, it’s porridge for the drivers.
No ‘out of hours’ fun
Following Robert Kubica’s rally crash, Juan Pablo Montoya’s ‘tennis’ accident, and Alexandre Premat’s dismissal from Audi for running a marathon, drivers may be allowed no further than their couch or gym in the near future.
If you race in F1 you are more than likely an adrenaline or fitness junkie. So spending the off-season watching Glee re-runs doesn’t come naturally.
Not something to be taken for granted even in these days when every corner is bordered by acres of tarmac, and helmets are so strong you can park a 55-tonne tank on them.
Even if you don’t get hurt, a crash is not a pleasant thing. What must have been going through Sebastien Buemi’s mind when both his front wheels came off at 200mph during practice at Shanghai last year?
This is a guest article by Ben Evans. If you want to write a guest article for F1 Fanatic you can find all the information you need here.
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