Karting as you age question

For driving? Lewis for sure. The marathon guy would have to learn all the driving. Lewis comes pre-assembled. The trained skill is the salient bit here.

you’re not answering the questions. :slight_smile:

Would you rather have Lewis Hamilton brain or body if you wanted to win a race?

Would you rather have Eliud Kipchoge’s brain or body if you wanted to win a marathon?

To win a race I want both of Lewis’s attributes. They are BOTH equally important to his ability.

Same for marathon guy. I could be the fittest guy on earth and not win a race or marathon without the total package.

Running is mental past a certain point. I did compete and win a lot in x-country. The best runners were beating each other with heart and mind. The physical was a given.

You think Hamilton’s fitness is equally important to his ability? It’s pretty damn easy to get to Hamilton’s fitness level. It requires no special skill, just a good program and dedication. His skill level? Nah, not easy.

His fitness is more than how many push ups he can do. His fitness is also his highly trained way of driving the car. It’s a physical thing. We don’t think the car around the track. We drive it.

What is the mental aspect though? Is the mental aspect overcoming physical pain? Dealing with the physical aspects? What’s the limiting factor? stride speed is it not?

The mental aspect was quite frankly, perseverance and pain. It requires training bith physical and mental to get there. I was not competing at college level where they likely get granular with training etc.

Insofar as limiting factors… talent and physical exceptionalism. ( and money, facilities, coaching etc)

Have you ever had a student that makes you think differently?

I used to go along the route of saying racing drivers were athletes until I witnessed someone who barely trained, smoked, got drunk and all the other stuff yet won at the highest levels of our sport. His skill level was just that high. No amount of physical training would lead to you beating him.He just had enough fitness to survive, and that’s all he needed

Also the task of driving can be simulated without the physical exhaustion aspect and the results are exactly the same. The good drivers are good and bad drivers bad. The primary performance differentiator was ‘skill’. Again this is an over simplification, but we have to otherwise, as I’ve said, say anyone who trains in any capacity could be considered an ‘athlete’

I think you have a very solid point here, which is that if a driver increased their strength past a certain point it would no longer benefit them. where as in rowing for example, increase in strength always means increase in performance. now the argument to be made is what do you consider an athlete. You imply that an athlete is someone who competes in a sport where stronger = better. F1 drivers are extremely fit, and while there is a spot where increasing strength no longer increases performance, that is the same with many other sports.

I believe a combination of all of these is what creates an athlete

This is not unique to racing. Iirc cocaine was used in tennis and a certain player achieved the pinnacle despite (alleged) self-destructive drug use. Talent trumps all.

Ive seen similar things in baseball.
To be completely honest, I think both answers to this debate can be right, and if F1 drivers were to be considered athletes they definitely arent the most athletic. Its mostly their skills that make them fast, but many physical attributes also contribute to being fast. As most debates are I dont think its as simple as yes they are athletes or no they are not athletes

True true but I was having fun being a pain in the butt. We all have opinions and they are (mostly) valid.

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Racing drivers fit the definition.

You can train past your usefulness in many sports. Cycling and running are prime examples - short vs. long distance are very different disciplines.

Replying to Alan’s comments about steroid doping:

Many distance cyclists dope, but not with steroids. Maybe I missed your point? More efficient muscles = more oxygen to the other faculties which are critical.

While this is true the dropping point is a lot higher. I do believe F1 drivers are athletes

I agree. Anything that requires specific training, and lots of practice for the sake of competition is an athletic endeavor; one performed by an athlete. If Alan wants to argue some other definition which I haven’t seen, then he’s arguing semantics that the majority of the [english-speaking] world disagrees with.

Then by definition a sim racer should be considered an athlete. Sim racers now do physical training to enhance their mental capabilities and to deal with long stints of driving. There is lots and lots of practice. And there is some physical movement involved in sim driving. So they fit all the requirements to be considered ‘athletes’.

The point is here unless you do get into the semantics, then pretty much anyone who does any kind of competition, any kind of activity can be considered an athlete.

Now, if race drivers are considered athletes, then we need a new name for people who do sports where physical capabilities dominate far more.

Personally I think the term should be reserved for a specific sub-set of sportspeople where they demonstrate feats of strength, speed and agility, not just more decent levels of fitness. F1 drivers do nothinjg particularly special from a physical standpoint. It’s not hard to build neck muscle either.

it’s embarrassing to me to compare race drivers with the likes of marathon runners, weight lifters, cyclists etc…