21 November 2022
5 minutes read
STORIES OF EXCELLENCE: JÉRÔME BIANCHI, PHYSICAL TRAINER FOR THE PEUGEOT SPORT TEAMS
Let's start by stating the obvious: it is not enough to have a driving licence and be an attentive driver to compete in motor sport. Like all high-level sports, motor racing requires specific physical preparation. For the drivers, of course, but also for the so-called "wheel change" teams, which play an essential role. Without them, it would be impossible to achieve a podium finish. Throughout the year, Jérôme Bianchi, the Peugeot Sport teams' regular physical trainer, provides sound advice and ensures that each driver receives adequate and rigorous physical preparation for optimum performance on the circuits.
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So physical preparation is not just for pilots?
Where there is the most G (gravitational force) to bear is in Formula 1. So, in this discipline, there is a lot of muscle-strengthening work on the upper back, neck, arms and shoulders. It is also essential that the drivers are "at weight" because they must not be overweight. So, in parallel, they have to do cardiovascular work to stay in the best shape possible. In any case, they are all sportsmen: they swim, run, cycle, play tennis, paddle, etc.
For endurance races, it's a bit different: there are fewer Gs but the effort is longer and more repetitive. So it's a bit more complicated to manage. The back and the forearms will be more tired. This is why, for endurance riders, physical preparation must be rigorous and regular throughout the year.
For rallying, on the other hand, these are very short events. The riders have less Gs but upper body strengthening is essential for them.