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Formula E Jakarta ePrix I

Saunas to paddling pools - How FE drivers are preparing for Jakarta's heat

Formula E drivers have adopted a number of measures to prepare themselves physically for the Jakarta E-Prix, with some even going to saunas to get ready for the punishing temperatures.

Sacha Fenestraz, Nissan Formula E Team Norman Nato, Nissan Formula E Team Jake Hughes, McLaren Rene Rast, NEOM McLaren Formula E Team

With temperatures expected to hit 34 degrees Celsius in the Indonesian capital, and the humidity expected to rise to as much as 70%, drivers are bracing themselves for what they believe will be the most physically demanding weekend of the season.

Several drivers on the grid already have experience racing in such extreme conditions from Formula E's maiden visit to Jakarta in 2022, but the championship has added a second race at the 2.4km circuit this year, making the weekend an even tougher test of their fitness levels.

McLaren rookie Jake Hughes, who will be racing in Jakarta for the first time this year, revealed he visited a sauna on multiple occasions prior to arriving in Indonesia to get his body used to extreme heat.

"From the driving side we can do a little bit more approaching the event, like I tried to spend as much time as I could in the sauna," Hughes told Autosport.

"I was exercising as much as possible, trying to keep my heart rate down, things like that while exercising.

"But at the end of the day nothing can really prepare for you [better than] just being out here and just exposed to the heat and the body naturally acclimatising to it.

He added: "We have air conditioning units all around the garage where you always try to stay hydrated, keep cool, stay in the shade, and drinking lots of water.

"But it will feel like a challenge, especially this year being a double-header compared to last year being a single-header."

Asked if he had made any special preparations for this weekend, Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein told Autosport: "I went to the sauna and did more cardio training."

 

Wehrlein's Porsche team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa is bringing a paddling pool to Jakarta this weekend, similar to the one he used to cool down between on-track sessions last year.

"It's the most physical race of the year. And it's a double header this year so that's different to last year. I think Sunday is going to be difficult for everyone.

"[I've got a] cool vest and a swimming pool - swimming pool is a big word but some kind of cooling device to throw ourselves in between sessions.

"Loads of drinking. We have a physio in the team to help us guide us, not only us but also the mechanics and the engineers. It's important to have them in top shape."

Envision driver Sebastien Buemi added in an interview with Autosport: "Mainly try to focus a lot on the adaptation, trying to drink a lot and eat well. I got here a day earlier than I normally do."

The extreme weather conditions in Jakarta will also put extra strain on cars, with drivers and engineers having to work together to keep the temperature of key parts of the powertrain under control.

"From the car side it's a challenge for all the systems, the battery, the motors, everything really," Hughes explained.

"We've got a lot of energy in this system during braking for example, during regeneration and that has an effect on the temperature of the systems and therefore how much we can actually use the system, It becomes temperature-limited."

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