Formula Medicine celebrates 500 Formula 1 Grand Prix

Doctor Riccardo Ceccarelli “blows out the candles” in Budapest.

Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli celebrates an important milestone in Budapest: his 500th Formula 1 Grand Prix. Since Imola in 1989, Formula Medicine has been present in the élite category with unfading enthusiasm.

No one else in the same field today can boast a similar history in terms of duration, but it’s also an event that repeats itself, always in the name of innovation, with young, qualified and dynamic staff. After 30 years of activity, Formula Medicine is an impressive entity, involving about fifty professionals in the medical and psychophysical preparation sectors. Over 1500 drivers have been assisted in its long history and 200 are currently assisted each year, coming from the most varied categories, ranging from Karting to Formula 1.

“That which is older, for obvious and predictable reasoning, is usually also less modern. We, on the other hand, live in a state of constant innovation and we have a young, dynamic team. Our 500th Grand Prix is an important milestone, starting from the days of Ayrton Senna up to the current days of Charles Leclerc, whose growth we assisted by following him in the minor categories. We have established and reached objectives that no one else has been able to achieve”, explains Dr. Ceccarelli, who is in Hungary with a team of 6 professionals, including doctors, physiotherapists and psychologists.

Dr. Ceccarelli’s initial entry into Formula 1 came about through his friend Ivan Capelli. It was the period in which the Milanese driver raced with Leyton House’s March, born from the mind of Adrian Newey.

“The best memories”, continues Dr. Ceccarelli, “are Jarno Trulli’s victory in Monte Carlo in 2004, and Robert Kubica’s win in Canada in 2008, a year after the terrible accident he had on the same track. They are important events for us because we know the difficulties they had to deal with to get to Formula 1″.

In such a long period of time, Dr. Ceccarelli has been a witness and at the same time a proponent of an important evolution in the field of preparation in the racing world. “In the 80s, drivers were professionals in the car, but outside the circuits sometimes they didn’t train at all, and if they did, they didn’t do it with awareness, apart from Senna and Alain Prost, who were the first to have a very clear training concept. Now the approach is much more professional, but in my long experience we are still missing a further step forward in the culture of the driver and the environment. In fact, if there has been great progress on the athletic side, the same cannot be said for the mental side. As we train the muscles, we have to train the brain. This is what Formula Medicine is bringing to racing today. Without an efficient electronic control unit, it is not necessary to have so much horsepower.”