Some years ago, yours truly was embroiled in a heated debate with an old roommate – let’s call him Watson – after Watson remarked that he didn’t feel as though automotive racing constituted as a “real” sport. In support of his misinformed opinion, Watson didn’t cite the lack of a ball or goal posts, but rather the fact that “racing drivers aren’t running or anything. They just sit there.”
But perhaps we can forgive Watson’s lamentable lack of education on the subject, because to an outsider with no understanding of the grueling mechanics of motorsport, the driver truly does appear to be “just sitting there,” albeit while very effectively wrestling a high power, explosion-propelled metal beast around purposefully complicated corners.
However, if there’s anything that Porsche is out to prove this season, it’s that the physical and psychological health of Porsche racing drivers is of the keenest importance. No, not out of some strange sort of obligation to the driver and his or her family, as in, “We’re putting your husband in a lot of danger, so we’ll at least set him up with a personal trainer and a psychoanalyst. On the house!”
Rather, it’s because the manufacturer understands that it’s while the Porsche racing driver is subjected to temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the draining task of turning the front wheels of a car at racing speeds with an undersized till and no power steering, and the intense mental pressure of competition, that the metaphorical rivets are most liable to pop. Hence, the automaker uses every spare moment possible to get each of its world-class drivers into peak mental and physical health.
The video below employs Porsche racing driver Mark Webber, David Brabham, and others to explain exactly what it is we’re on about: