JANUARY 2, 2005
The drug fiends of Formula 1
The rather sad "revelations" of a former Ferrari doctor suggesting that a number of Formula 1 drivers are cocaine users is an indication, if nothing else, that the doctor in question is somewhat out of date. There was a time when Formula 1 was peopled by wilder young men than is the case today (although that was back in the 1970s) but to suggest that a large number of drivers use the drug today is absurd. The F1 medical staff have long been of the opinion that cocaine is not what a driver needs to perform better as the potential gains from the drug (in terms of more focus and concentration) are offset by the likelihood of more mistakes caused by a more excitable state. Similarly other drugs calm down the drivers to such an extent that they are not able to generate the kind of aggression needed.
The other evidence that the claims are wrong is very simple: if there was an advantage to be gained from using cocaine, everyone in F1 would be doing it - not half the grid!
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