what is the cost difference between a semi automatic gearbox and a manual gearbox ? That would surely make it more physically demanding if the driver has to continuously move his hand off the wheel to change gears all the time
FB Today's cars are easier to drive .. narrower tyres not being able to drive flat out because of the Pirelli's short life unless everyone wants to risk a blow out. Engines producing less power plus it is easy to make a mistake ... you know you make a mistake you're likely to hit an escape road or wide run off area.... its only circuits like Suzuka where you go off you're likely end up beached in the gravel. Therefore you have to concentrate far more to keep off the grass and away from the kerbs
I know Il_leone. Mansell's comments just came across as the sort of discussions which take place when the A level results are announced each year "it were much more difficult in my day". I suspect that mentally these cars are much tougher to drive than when "Our Nige" went out and just aimed the car at the corner, stamped on the brake and waited for all the electronics to do the work. Perhaps the physical demands are not the same, or perhaps F1 drivers are now significantly fitter than they were in Nigel's day.
Mansell's was an extremely fit driver but he was quite a bulky driver and his driving style lent to more physical effort to being applied
Now Schumacher was the pioneer of supreme fitness and he always looks like he 's hardly broke sweat when he's out of the car
on today's calendar only Singapore really tests the drivers because of the humidity and they made the race 2hours long and not realising how physically demanding it is still as a night race
Senna use to struggle for fitness but he was always pushing for the limit of his abilities and sometimes beyond.
There is a feeling that the cars are easy to drive that makes it easy for rookies to adapt and compete at the sharp end of f1. I do miss the days when drivers would be punished for their mistakes and get beached in a gravel trap