A healthy diet is good for everyone, particularly for an athlete. Here we discover the secrets of a Formula 1 driver! Excellent Gusto interviews Xavi Martos, Personal Trainer of Sergio Pérez, Mexican Formula 1 driver in the Sahara Force India, also known as Checo. We thank Eduardo Cervantes, Checo’s Personal Assistant, who has organised this interview on our behalf.
Xavi, what is the role of a Personal Trainer for a Formula 1 driver?
I have always worked with elite athletes, but with a Formula 1 driver it is very thorough. We work on the cognitive area, on the physical preparation and diet. It is a very balanced and thorough training program.
Have you ever driven a Formula 1 car?
No. I have always stood on the side and witnessed the adrenaline rush experienced by a driver.
Sergio Pérez’s personality
Aggressive – self-controlled. Competitive, but self-controlled. A Mexican personality! He leads a quiet life, but as Checo Pérez, driver of Formula 1, he’s rather fast on the circuit. He races for his country, he’s intelligent, sensitive, humble, cold, calm and calculating, easily trained, accepting of the training regime that I prepare for him. Both discipline and self-discipline are necessary in order to improve. It’s a question of choice and Sergio is responsible.
I am very passionate about my work. I am away from home for a long time, and when I am here I concentrate only on the driver.
‘Yes’ Foods and ‘no’ Foods
The Mediterranean diet is excellent. Salads of all types, but without cream or mayonnaise; steamed vegetables; olive oil; fresh fruit and dried fruit such as walnuts and almonds; pasta, wholegrain cereals; meat such as chicken breast and grilled fish; salt; fluids to maintain a high level of hydration. The driver needs to drink every 20 minutes because he looses one and a half litres of fluid in the first hour of training. Foods to avoid are all processed and rich foods such as ice cream, white bread and sparkling drinks; all spicy foods, alcoholic drinks, caffeine, acidic foods, fats, cured meats. All unprocessed foods are good. There are a number of prior competition menus and post competition menus, because before a competition one needs energy and after a competition one needs to recover the lost energy.
The relationship between food and lifestyle
The driver needs to be taught about food. Checo is 25 years old and at that age we’re often tempted! However, it is extremely important to have a good diet, when he is training and when he isn’t. Pérez is focussed on his career. He doesn’t think about his diet and I am always teaching him. The driver can have a fun night, but only one! As with a son, it’s important not to always say ‘yes’, but to reward him when he does something positive. Occasionally there can be a small exception.
What are Sergio’s commitments after a race?
For Checo there may be holiday, a quiet time, he may perhaps have interviews lined up, advertising work… For me, however, it’s a very busy time, catching up on what I have not been able to do during training time.
How do you see the future?
In my heart I am very positive about our future in Formula 1 because Sergio Pérez is great!
Thank you Xavi, you’re great too!
Let’s also ask some questions to Eduardo Cervantes. Eduardo, what is your role in relation to Sergio Pérez?
I have to supervise many aspects of his personal life and keep everything organised.
What does this experience offer you?
Working with Checo gives me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and with different lifestyles.
Eduardo’s future projects
I still don’t know exactly, I live for the moment! I wish Sergio the best for his work in the coming season!
Xavi Martos’ message to readers of Excellent Gusto
Checo is very careful about his diet… From a young age it is important to eat well, which means being aware that your diet has to be a ‘perfect fit’!