Despite reigning F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton speaking in favor of drivers needing to face a greater physical challenge while racing, Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost thinks the days of drivers being truly tired after a race are long gone.
Tost pointed to how experienced drivers are nowadays, even before they enter Formula 1. Then there’s also the fact that modern-day dieting, nutrition and physical preparation is better now than in any other time in F1 history.
“Of course, you cannot compare this time with – let me say – 20 or 30 years ago when Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell or whoever collapsed after a race,” said Tost as quoted by Autosport.
“They never saw a fitness center 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. This is reality.”
Still, there are those who would like to see Formula 1 become more challenging and more focused on an individual driver’s skill set, rather than engine and chassis discrepancies. However, that might be hard seen as how everybody on the grid is just very good at what they do, while some teams still have much bigger budgets than others.
“Nowadays we have really, really good drivers in Formula 1,” added the Toro Rosso exec. “Therefore you don’t see accidents, which on one side is very good but from the entertaining point of view is boring.”
“Friends of mine say you don’t even see a crash after the start in the first corner because they all manage to do it [go through safely].”
While that’s of course a slight exaggeration (accidents still happen), we understand his point, especially with regards to overall fitness, which has never been better in the world of sports than it is today.