"Mercedes travels with a doctor and a physiotherapist at all races. They are at the track every day from Wednesday before the race until late Sunday evening. Many team members spend 150 days or more away from home, so for many of them the team doctor becomes almost like their family doctor.
"Over the course of a race weekend, the medical team does about 40-60 consultations. The vast majority of those are for common ailments like musculoskeletal issues, a common cold, the flu or gastroenteritis. The medical team keeps records of all the medication distribution and there is a clear trend; towards the end of the season, the medical consumption increases by 20 to 25 percent.
"The explanation is simple: in autumn and winter, seasonal spikes in common diseases like colds are a typical phenomenon throughout Europe. Add to that the high number of flyaway races, which puts an additional strain on the body, and the fact that the team members have already done 14 races, and the need for medical support increases.
"However, treating diseases is only one part of the job, preventing ailments is another one. For that reason, a physiotherapist is present during pit stop practice to focus on the individual members of the pit crew and watch their movements. Is everyone moving in a way that is optimal for the musculoskeletal system?
"Depending on the findings, the physiotherapist will work with the pit-crew members to improve their movements or even suggest rotating people from one position of the car to another to better suit their physique."