Yes, F1 drivers would be athletes under that definition. They compete in a total of 20 races to win the Drivers' Championship. Merriam-Webster defines an athlete as "a person who has been trained or proficient in exercises, sports, or games that require stamina, physical strength, or agility." F1 cars are highly tuned machines that can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds. They have ultra-lightweight bodies and high-performance engines that give them immense speed.
They also need to be able to withstand intense heat during practice sessions and races and remain competitive. An F1 driver needs to be able to control a car at speeds up to 300 miles per hour with no mechanical assistance from devices such as motors or transmissions. In addition, they must be able to detect small changes in temperature and humidity while driving at high speeds around some of the most dangerous tracks in the world.
They also need to know how to manage their energy levels throughout a race because it is very possible for them to be penalized if they do not switch off all engine power at certain points during a lap of the circuit.
Finally, an F1 driver must be talented enough to drive a car quickly and accurately enough to keep up with team mates and opponents. There are only ten spots available in the field each year, so only the best drivers will make it.
According to Simon Reynolds, driver performance manager at McLaren Applied Technologies, in an interview with the Telegraph: "A Formula One driver is a complete athlete. They are most likely among the fittest athletes in the world. Marathon runners and sprinters may train on certain talents, while F1 drivers must be proficient in all areas."
In addition to being skilled race car drivers, F1 drivers must be able to ride motorcycles at high speeds, take sharp turns, and respond quickly to information from their crew members. They also need to have perfect eyesight and be free of diseases or conditions that would prevent them from engaging in intense activity over long periods of time.
All these factors combine to produce a product that is only slightly different from those used by elite marathon runners or NBA players. In fact, according to Reynolds, driver fitness levels can be accurately measured using standard laboratory tests designed to measure athletes' maximum oxygen intake (VO2 max).
McLaren's website states that F1 drivers work with coaches to prepare for races by doing exercise tests to determine their maximum capacity for endurance activities. It continues that F1 drivers should have an average VO2 max between 60 and 90 ml/kg/min.
However, Reynolds told the Telegraph that F1 drivers do not necessarily have to be fit enough to perform at maximum levels for more than one hour at a time.
Is racing in a race vehicle considered a sport? It is, indeed. Ball and stick athletes are not the only ones that train/practice and put their bodies under duress. Motorsports may range from off-road driving to drag racing and round track racers from various organizations. Race cars are driven an average of between 10,000 and 20,000 miles during their lifetime. That's more than two trips around the world!
The first thing you need to know about why racing is a sport is that it involves risk. Even when races are not run on real roads but instead on closed tracks, there is still a chance that participants could be injured or killed. Drivers must be aware of what kinds of risks they are taking and decide for themselves if those risks are worth it. Some people choose not to race because of this fact; others love pushing themselves physically and trying something new.
Racing also involves skill. You can drive a race car fast even if you have never been to school, but you will not go very far unless you know how to pass other drivers safely at high speeds. Both factors combined make racing a sport. If you're interested in joining a team or going it alone, find a race that matches your skills and try out!