Updated 13 December 2019

Do F1 drivers pee in their pants?

Stopping for a bathroom break during a race is not really an option . . . but what does one do when nature calls?

An average Formula 1 race can last for up to two hours, with drivers consuming large amounts of fluid during the race. This begs the question: Where do they pee during the race?

Stopping for a bathroom break is not an option, and carefully manoeuvring urine into a bottle might not end well.

Read: 5 ways to deal with someone peeing their pants in public

Lewis Hamilton, a British Formula One racing driver, admits some drivers can't contain themselves during a race.

“You're supposed to go in your suit, but I can't do it. I've never done it. But there are drivers that do,” he was quoted in The Mirror.

Apparently some drivers wear adult diapers, but most of them just let nature take its cause. 

Staying hydrated

According to lifestyle website Gizmodo F1 cars are equipped with a “drinks system” – a simple bag of fluid with a pump. The “drinks” button sits on the steering wheel, with the tube feeding the driver through the helmet.

Read: Hamilton: I've never peed in my suit but apparently Schumi did

Whenever the driver is thirsty, he can simply press the button and fluid is squirted into his mouth.

Why all the fluid?

Why do they need all this fluid? There are a few factors that cause drivers to become dehydrated:

  • The driver is surrounded by heat generated by the vehicle.
  • Concentrating for this long can lead to excessive sweating.
  • Driving at such a competitive level is physically very demanding. 
  • The drivers wear several layers of fireproof clothing, which also generates a lot of heat. 

Read more:

Should you keep a bladder diary?

Urinary incontinence in menopause

How incontinence can mess with your mental health


Ask the Expert

Incontinence Expert

Dr Prenevin Govender completed his MBChB at the University of Cape Town in 2001. He obtained his Fellowship of the College of Urologists in 2009 and graduated with distinction for a Masters in Medicine from the University of Cape Town in 2010. His special interests include laparoscopic, pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence surgery. He consults full-time at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont.

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