Fitness key to Stevens’s bid to succeed on track

Manor driver Will Stevens.
Manor driver Will Stevens.
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Will Stevens has followed the lead of England’s elite footballers and taken to using the world-class facilities at St George’s Park to help him climb the Formula 1 ladder.

Stevens, driver for South Yorkshire-based Manor, was introduced to St George’s Park by Michael Johnson Performance, the training company founded by the four-time Olympic champion and which has a partnership with the Burton-based centre where all 24 England teams train ahead of international fixtures.

The 23-year-old was a regular visitor last year as he looked to step up his fitness in preparation for a potential F1 drive, which came his way with Caterham in the final race in Abu Dhabi.

Stevens continued over the winter as he held talks with Manor prior to the Dinnington-based marque finally exiting administration in early March.

Due to Stevens’s grand prix commitments he has been unable to visit St George’s Park as much as he would like, although he is planning a trip over the summer months.

“The facilities they have there are great, better than anywhere,” said Stevens.

“Last year I spent quite a lot of time there because I needed to get myself ready if I had the opportunity to step up into F1.

“This year is a lot different because we need to manage the schedule to keep up my energy levels, when to train hard and when not to.

“I’ll probably go there during the break because obviously the German Grand Prix has gone.

“There is a lot longer break in the middle compared to what it would be normally, so I’ll probably spend a week or so there. I’ll have a fitness assessment for the first couple of days, and then after that I’ll work on the areas where I need to improve. They’ve a heat chamber which is good and a really good underwater treadmill so you can do a lot more non-bearing stuff on your body.

“If you’re training solidly for more than a week it’s good to do that kind of stuff. If you are out running or whatever it’s obviously a lot harder on your body, and you can train a lot longer over the duration of the day rather than a few hours.”

A small mistake from Lewis Hamilton allowed Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to edge ahead in second practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.