Montagny proves F1 aces among fittest in sport

Wed, 14 March 2007, 05:29

Toyota’s F1 team doctor Riccardo Ceccarelli believes grand prix racing is the most physically demanding sport in the world.

To tackle the common belief that sitting in a formula one car is akin to reclining in a deck chair, Ceccarelli put F1 test driver Franck Montagny head-to-head in a fitness test this week against top Australian football player Brendan Fevola, who is widely considered one of the fittest men in the AFL league.

Fevola, 26, fared better in tests for leg power and vertical jumps, but after runs on an exercise bike, Montagny – the 29-year-old Frenchman who early in his career had his feet reconstructed after an horror crash – had better aerobic capacity, according to the newspaper The Australian.

Ceccarelli said formula one drivers boast some of the best aerobic capacity, upper body and leg strength, and ability to perform while dehydrated and with heart beats of up to 200 per minute, in the entire world of sport.

And “it is not only the physical stress but the brain stress,” Ceccarelli explained.

He added: “A driver’s brain has to run faster than his car, which is more than 300kmh, with no rest. That makes this sport very difficult.”

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