PHUKET: Adding to Phuket’s appeal as a first-rate sports destination is the recent arrival of two Formula 1 drivers, Jenson Button and Marcus Ericsson, to acclimatize to the heat at a local training camp prior to the Singapore Grand Prix.
Aside from heat training at the Thanyapura sports facility, the pair are also doing some triathlon training with fellow triathletes Sergio Borges, Chris McCormack, Paul Amey and former Tour de France competitor Nick Gates.
“I think you mentally prepare yourself when heat training. Every time I come to Thailand for training, the first day or two is a bit of a shock, but after a couple of days, I get used to it and don’t think about it as much,” Mr Ericsson told Tom Topham, a Thanyapura sports scientist.
“So, I think that is why we come here before Singapore, as Singapore is the worst race for us with the heat and humidity. You don’t want that shock [of the heat] to hit you when you are driving the car for the first time that weekend. I think it is good for your body to feel it and get used to it.”
The Singapore Grand Prix race will be run from September 18 to 20 on one of the slowest Formula One tracks, with plenty of twists, heavy braking zones, and some 90-degree turns.
The organizers plan to move forward with the event despite the current haze, which is also known to be a regular factor in the race.
“The haze situation is highly changeable, not only from day to day, but from hour to hour. Therefore, it is currently not possible to reliably predict what the PSI level might be over the race weekend. We will continue to work closely with all the relevant government authorities to receive the best possible forecasts when they are available,” a statement from organizers said.
The race itself is exceptionally hot for drivers, with some losing three kilograms as their hearts race up to 170 beats per minute, explained Thanyapura Executive Chairman Chris McCormack.
“Their week at Thanyapura can help dramatically during the race, especially in the last 15 laps of a Grand Prix,” Mr McCormack noted.
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