Race car driver with mask squatting on a bench

Have you been watching the new F1 season, only to wonder, "how do race car drivers pee?" A Formula 1 race can last as long as two hours. This doesn't account for the time that the driver spends during the car preparation. We don't blame you if you're wondering how do F1 drivers pee. 

You're probably thinking, surely they have some kind of cool setup like a pee cup or tube that links up to their suit, right? Well, you're sadly mistaken. They don't have such things integrated into their racing suits. 

If they don't have special suits, you might come up with other answers as to how F1 drivers do manage to pee. Maybe they hold in their pee and wait until their next pit stop, right? Well, that's wasted time that drivers don't have. 

Before we answer this important question of how F1 drivers pee, let's back up for a minute and talk about race preparation for F1 drivers. If you've watched a Formula 1 race, you know that F1 drivers are a super focused bunch of folks. They take all aspects of their health and nutrition very seriously because it can make the difference between winning and losing a championship. Just ask Nico Rosberg what it took to beat his World Champion teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2016. Every fraction of a pound counts in Formula 1. And Nico Rosberg lost 2.2 pounds of leg muscles in order to edge out Lewis Hamilton ever so slightly. 

If drivers are conscious about the weight they carry, they surely wouldn't want to hold their whiz. Still, how do F1 drivers pee, and why isn't there a special suit or system? I mean, an F1 driver can't simply stop the car in the middle of a championship race and take a whiz. So that option goes out the window when trying to figure out how race car drivers pee.

Generally, one of the last things a driver does before hopping in the car is hit the bathroom. While you may think that's the answer to how F1 drivers pee, that's not it. Since the races last for hours and the driver prepares for another few hours in the cockpit, some drivers won't want to hold it in that long. 

F1 driver detached steering wheel and metal water bottle

Not only is it uncomfortable to be strapped in and experiencing 5Gs with a full bladder (think of riding bumps in your car when you're desperately searching for a rest stop, only much worse), but that's extra weight you're carrying around and losing lap time for as a result. 

If you've ever noticed how fast drivers down their drinking bottles, you might be even more perplexed and wonder how do F1 drivers pee. Going at 250 mph in the blazing hot sun is quite intense, and drivers are bound to suffer from fluid loss. In fact, they can lose about 5 to 7 pounds of fluids during the race. Teams will account for the driver's drink bottle that they use to hydrate during the race. Some races are harder physically on the drivers, and they'll need more hydration than in others due to the climate. 

You may be thinking that it's a nice cool beverage, but in reality, it's more like drinking luke-warm tea thanks to all of the hot car components surrounding the driver and their drink bottle. All the same, it provides crucial hydration. While F1 no longer races in Malaysia (a shame - Sepang is a wonderful circuit), drivers would be on the brink of dehydration when they get out of the car. They'd lose a few pounds of weight in sweat alone. While that sounds all well and good, drinking some fluids doesn't exactly answer how F1 drivers pee. 

Some teams and drivers go to an extreme to squeeze out every bit of lap time. At 5'11", former F1 driver Marcus Ericsson (now an IndyCar driver) was one of the taller drivers on the F1 grid. (Compare that to AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda standing at 5'3".) While a featherweight by normal human standards, he offset his extra weight just due to his height by not carrying a drink bottle for the entire season! Talk about dedication. 

An F1 driver and coach with mask talking

Going at 250 mph in the blazing hot sun is quite intense, and drivers are bound to suffer from fluid loss. In fact, they can lose about 5 to 7 pounds of fluids during the race. 

Okay, that's all well and good. But, how do race car drivers pee? Unfortunately, when you gotta go, there's nothing you can do about it. Yes, drivers will go in the car. They do try to avoid it, but with a full bladder, you might not even be able to hold it when you hit the seatbelt at 5G in a braking zone. Think you could hold it? I know I couldn't.

Lewis Hamilton once went on the Ellen Degeneres Show, and she was wondering how do F1 drivers pee? While he stated that he doesn't pee in his suit, Lewis explained that he knows a few drivers that do, such as Michael Schumacher

Also, due to the extremely high temperatures in the car, even if the driver does wet themselves, the suit will dry in no time. You'd be surprised how hot it gets. The F1 car can rise to over 50 degrees Celcius. Not to mention that the driver is suited in multiple layers of fireproof clothing. But what about the scent? Well, a little water or Gatorade poured over the suit, and nobody will suspect a thing! 

There you have it. If you've been dying of curiosity to know how race car drivers pee or how F1 drivers pee, you now have your answer. While it may sound disgusting (and it is), there's nothing that'll keep these drivers from winning the championship. If you've asked this question, we have no doubt that you're a huge Formula 1 motorsports fan! Gear up and find your favorite F1 merchandise from CMC Motorsports. Contact us if you have questions about our collections, gears, or policies.

April 27, 2022 — Jared Nichols

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