Oli Webb knows what it takes to go fast. The 20-year-old racing driver has just been selected to race in the 2012 Indy Lights Series, driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, the team that Dan Wheldon competed in before tragically losing his life. Oli tells FHM what it takes to get yourself ready for 240mph...
"This is a big thing within high-end motorsport. The more successful and further up the ladder you get, the more you're pulled in different directions. Trying to fit in three hours training a day, five days a week with two flights a week, meetings, spending time with the team, data and track analysis work, sponsors events and then the race weekends themselves is very difficult if you're not organised."
KNOW YOUR OWN HEAD
"The mind is a big part of motorsport, more so than most sports. Most drivers at this level will have a mind coach and will be trained in areas of breathing techniques, relaxation, and preparation. A mental edge is a big thing to have when doing speeds of over 240mph, (a football pitch in under a second) as one blink or lack of concentration when you're wheel to wheel can put you in the wall. Control of mind and body is huge."
FITNESS IS CRUCIAL
"People underestimate this. I compare it to being a fighter pilot, undergoing five times the force of gravity around corners without an anti-gravity suit, losing between 2 and 8kg per race while you try to concentrate and focus on the cars in front, behind and next to you as your body goes under this pressure. Our training on non race weekends includes both cardiovascular and heavy weights training to keep our core, upper body, neck and braking leg strong under the pressures of a long race weekend."
"Fail to prepare, prepare to fail." It's written in the gym where I train and I always see this as a very good motto to live by in my racing career. With all the different directions that a driver can be pulled it's easy to get caught up on a race weekend. Once at a race weekend everything needs to be done and sorted so that the only thing in your focus is the race and that very first lap."
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE
"A lot can be asked of a racing driver during his career and cracks can start to show in a weak-minded driver. The higher up the ladder you progress the more media and social attention comes with it. Here is where commitment comes in to play, whether it be attending the launch party or being in your room going through track data."
REMEMBER YOUR TALENT
"This is something I have to include, as no matter how much you work at it, there has to have been some natural talent there in the first place to mould around. F1 is far too competitive now for someone just to be a hard worker - it's the full package."
KNOW YOUR TEAM
"It's very important on and off track to have a good team of people behind you both to progress your career and help you be the fastest on track. An engineer, the team boss, mechanics, data engineer, tyre/engine and brake engineers all put the work in to make the car and driver the quickest package. Having a good relationship with these people makes it a lot easier to do the job on track when it comes to it."