Thursday, 1 January 2015

Special Feature - Training A Formula One world champion

(© Ben Johnston 2014)

Formula One is a fast moving sport with the drivers, teams and mechanics working flat out over the course of a season.

The one person who will know a driver the best other than their race engineer is their personal trainer. Mark Arnall plays a key role in driver performance as the Englishman is Scuderia Ferrari Driver Kimi Raikkonen’s trainer.

Arnall began his Formula One career with McLaren in 1997 working with both their drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard.

In 2002, Kimi Raikkonen joined David Coulthard at McLaren following Mika Hakkinen’s retirement from Formula One at the end of the 2001 season. A trainer’s responsibilities are not just confined to helping the team to be stay in shape and focused but they also prepare team kit for their driver and work with the team kitchen to ensure that the drivers eat well.

Arnall moved with Raikkonen to Ferrari in 2007 and when the Finn took time out from Formula One to try other Motor Racing categories following the 2009 season Arnall continued to work with Raikkonen before he joined the Lotus F1 Team in 2012.

Arnall is also involved with organizing Kimi Raikkonen’s media schedule over the course of a Grand Prix weekend.

He revealed that Raikkonen prefers the one to one interviews with the media as he does not constantly get asked the same questions during a round of interviews in the Formula One pen. Arnall also confirmed that the Raikkonen that we see in the paddock is certainly not the same away from the circuit. Raikkonen is very is private person and does not like the spot light.

Arnall has confirmed that he will remain with Raikkonen as long as the Finn is in Formula One and that when Raikkonen retires from Formula One, Arnall is refusing to rule out remaining in Formula One as he loves the travel that comes with the sport and he always loves the people in the sport.

When it comes to a training raceme for Raikkonen, Arnall thinks outside the box and tries to make their sessions fun.

He says that the Finn doesn’t always like the gym so he believes that if Kimi is happy on a stand jet ski for a couple of hours then that is absolutely fine with him as it gives his body a complete work out. 

© Ben Johnston 2015

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