Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Formula 1: The Return of the King

Starting in March, Formula One fans will be treated to a season with four Driver’s Champions in one grid. After a 3-year hiatus, 7-time World Champion Michael Schumacher returns to drive for an all-German team in Mercedes GP, while current Champion Jenson Button drives alongside former Champion Lewis Hamilton in the Woking-based McLaren Mercedes. Double World Champion Fernando Alonso drives for Scuderia Ferrari.

You could not ask for more!

But the question in most of everybody’s mind is how fit Michael Schumacher can be. Formula One is a physical sport and the gravitational pulls (G) a 700 hp technically-defined sophisticated 2.4-liter V8 is beyond compare to other forms of motorsports racing. No other sport comes close.

Imagine driving a car with a 0-60-0 mph acceleration to braking range in 3 seconds or less.

But Schumacher is no ordinary driver. Voted by experts, together with Alonso and Hamilton, as one of the naturally-gifted modern drivers able to maximize a car’s potential of any make, the German is the epitome of fitness in F1.

Back in the 90s until 2006, Schumacher pioneered cardio and resistance training helping him stay fit and win all of his 91 Grand Prix wins, an unbroken record to date.

Indeed exercise has become the norm nowadays among F1 drivers. When not in training, Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber has been known to go cycling and mountain biking while Jenson Button runs marathons.

For Schumacher to compete in the highest form, his level of fitness should anything be but extraordinary. Current drivers of NASCAR and the IRL could not be compared.

For a 41-year old, his work ethic as a sportsman is similar to other top athletes in the younger generation, namely: 7-time World Champion Manny Pacquiao of boxing, 15-time Grand Slam winner and current #1 Swiss Roger Federer of tennis and the world’s fastest man, record breaker and sprinter Jamaican Usain Bolt.

Backed by a reliable Mercedes engine and technical genius Ross Brawn, who engineered all of Michael Schumacher’s 7 Driver’s titles and 91 Grand Prix, reaching a hundred wins this year is a possibility, 18 races to go beginning in Bahrain.

The top 3 picks for this year? Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton.

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