Over the years, Formula One has given us a host of innovations from advanced aerodynamics to high performance hybrid drivetrains.
However, its latest development might be its most interesting: a pill that can take your temperature.
In a report by the BBC, physiologist Dr. Simon Sostaric explains that the new pill, which will be used to monitor drivers’ body temperature at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, features a thermometer and other electronics wrapped in a silicon shell.
The pill’s many tricks do not include the ability to cool a driver down from the inside. However, doctors will be able to monitor live body temperature telemetry to prevent drivers from overheating.
Monitoring a driver’s body temperature is especially important for this weekend’s race. The Malaysian Grand Prix is arguably the most physically gruelling race of the season. Not only will the drivers have to battle each other and the racetrack itself, but drivers will also have to contend with Malaysia’s infernal climate.
The weather for this weekend’s race is expected to reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit with 90% humidity. In car temperatures during the race is expected to top 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Drivers can lose more than 4 pounds of weight over a 2-hour race, with much of it in the form of sweat. According to physiotherapist Glen Lindsay, “In order to recover (drivers) have to drink more than they have lost, to allow for kidney function, so for example to replace of litre of lost fluid a driver would have to consume 1.5 litres (of fluids).”
This magic pill looks to be a hit amongst drivers as well. A driver simply takes the pill conventionally before the race, and it will eventually makes its way through his digestive tract. Former Formula One ace Mark Webber tells the BBC that the pill is much less invasive compared to the traditional method: a rectal thermometer.
This Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit will be the 2nd stop of the 2014 season. This year’s racing calender kicked off 2 weeks ago in Albert Park, Australia with Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg taking the checkered flag.
Check out the video explaining the pill here:
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