what music do f1 drivers listen to

What Music Do F1 Drivers Listen To To Maintain The Edge?

Music is magic because the right sound can transport you to different places in time and different spaces between times. Imagine you don’t have to be in the Formula 1 paddock, but the song from your favorite team’s playlist reminds you of the atmosphere every time you play it. The right sounds can take you from a relaxed mood to a competitive one. And this is what the job of a Formula 1 driver demands – to switch between emotional states. They need to be constantly on the go, highly motivated, and always relaxed on the track, and music fulfills these purposes. But what music do F1 drivers listen to to keep their mental and physical edge?

Let’s explore the specific musical tastes of professional racers. 

What Genres Of Music Do F1 Drivers Listen To?

Among the various musical genres, F1 drivers listen to Latin pop, rock, and classical/instrumental music, but it is hip-hop/rap that leads the musical tastes of the grid. The least popular are electronic and country. So, let’s start with the most popular!

Rap/Hip-Hop Music And Its Fans Among F1 Drivers

You may wonder, but almost every F1 driver prefers rap and hip-hop music. Moreover, Lewis Hamilton is the most prominent fan. 

A$AP Rocky, Drake, Rihanna, Will Smith, Beyonce, Amerie, The Weekend, and Dua Lipa are the seven-time F1 champion’s favorite artists. Hamilton likes powerful compositions that fill him with energy before the race, as his favorite songs are about rise, love, and power.  

In fact, Hamilton loves music so much that he bought a mini studio and even tried his hand at creating and promoting some compositions. Have you heard Christina Aguilera’s song “Pipe,” released in 2018? So people had to guess who the XNDA was for two years before Hamilton admitted it on his Instagram account. Conspiracy, no less. 

Alpine racer Pierre Gasly is also a rap music fan. He listens to P.I.M.P., Drake, and Wiz Khalifa.  

George Russell likes Drake, Kanye West, and Stormzy. Aston Martin F1 driver Lance Stroll listens to Post Malone.

Zhou Guanyu likes rap music by KEY.L, 24k Goldn, Jackson Wang, and JJ Lin.

However, pick any driver on the grid, and you will find out that rap is F1 drivers’ favorite music, but why so? 

In fact, it is because of their job. Rap bits are powerful and drastic. It is what professional racers need to mentally prepare for the race and spend a long time in the gym, exerting strength. The rap and hip-hop sounds inspire them to train better and more effectively. 

Classical And Instrumental Music To Unwind

The classical piano sound is the second popularity to lead the musical tastes of the F1 drivers, but among all the racers, Charles Leclerc is a fair fan of instrumental music. 

Hans Zimmer is Leclerc’s favorite composer. He also listens to Coldplay and Tom Odell, while ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Hello’ by Adele are some of his favorite songs. 

What’s more, Lelerc is also a musical artist. 

So, the Formula 1 community was shocked when he dropped the AUS23 (1:1) composition related to the 2023 Australian Grand Prix. It instantly made him famous on social media. 

He had previously played Georg Friedrich Händel’s Passacaglia and Johan Halvorsen’s Passacaglia to perfection on the piano, but making a self-composed symphony was the next level.  

How would you describe Charles Leclerc’s music? It is inspiring, reflective, and … depressing.

I find it similar in mood to Yann Tiersen and Ludovico Einaudi. Overall, Leclerc’s music goes well with watching the raindrops fall on the Belgian Spa Francorchamps with a cup of coffee and thinking about the ups and downs of life. 

Perhaps Lando Norris’ friendship with Leclerc has influenced his musical tastes because he likes the same. Harry Styles, Doja Cat, Taylor Swift, and Coldplay are Norris’ favorite artists, while “Speed of Sound” is one of his favorite songs. 

Norris prefers instrumental sounds because they help him get in the right frame of mind and reflect the good times and happy moments. He says he wouldn’t even enter the McLaren garage without it. 

Lance Stroll prefers to listen to classical music such as Beethoven and Mozart before a race as it helps him to focus his mind. 

Like Stroll, Norris, and Leclerc, Hamilton, Russell, and Gasly also listen to classical music to help them unwind, relax, and reflect after a race weekend. It helps them to calm down. 

Rock Music To Energize

Rock music is the third most popular type of music among racers, and Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg, Lance Stroll, and Fernando Alonso are among its biggest fans. 

Bottas likes rock and punk rock, which doesn’t seem like this modest guy. He listens to The Offspring, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Bruce Springsteen, while “Born in the USA” is one of his favorite songs.  

Lance Stroll loves Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Rolling Stones. Let It Bleed” is one of his favorites. It helps him get in the right mood.  

As for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fernando Alonso is an old fan. He seems so even-keeled in public, but we are sure he gets pretty wild at home to the sounds of “Californication” and “Don’t Stop,” which are some of his favorite songs.

fernando alonso favorite music and songs
Fernando Alonso” by Joachim_Hofmann is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Latin Pop Music To Have Fun

Latin pop and Spanish reggaeton come fourth on the list of F1 drivers’ favorite music. His fans on the grid include Alonso, Carlos Sainz, and Sergio Perez.

In addition to RHCP and Taylor Swift, Alonso also listens to Shakira, Daddy Yankee, Rosalia, and J Balvin.

Carlos Sainz Jr. likes Farruko, Don Omar and J Balvin, Shakira, Maluma and Enrique Iglesias.

As for Latin pop in general, it is Sergio Perez’s choice. He listens to music every time he gets behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car. Perez likes Alejandro Fernandez, Luis Miguel, Diego Torres, and Carlos Rivera. They are his favorite artists and friends.   

In fact, most F1 drivers like the sounds of Latin pop because they are upbeat and fun. This music helps professional athletes to switch their focus from bad days to great ones.

Different And Indifferent Musical Tastes

As for a different musical taste, it is Esteban Ocon only, who prefers to listen to electronic music. He is an Avicii fan.

However, Max Verstappen, Alex Albon, and Oscar Piastri are apathetic to the music. It doesn’t mean they don’t listen to music at all. Instead, they listen to pop but don’t emphasize it like Leclerc, Hamilton, or Norris. 

F1 Drivers Favorite Music Playlist For You

To meet the racers’ vibes and to understand what kind of music F1 drivers listen to, I have collected the most popular from different genres into one playlist. So you can save it or check out the link to Spotify.

f1 drivers favorite music playlist
by www.grixme.com

Takeaways

Being a Formula 1 driver is about mental health, physical strength, and endurance. And music helps F1 drivers maintain that edge. 

They listen to different genres for different purposes. However, rap/hip-hop music tops the F1 driver charts for a reason. Like spending a lot of time in the gym, drastic bits allow you to train more effectively, while it also fit perfectly to prepare for the race. Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, and Pierre Gasly are rap fans.

But it is not only necessary to get yourself after the Grand Prix because to relax and unwind is not less important. For this purpose, the drivers switch to classical and instrumental music. Charles Leclerc, Lance Stroll, and Lando Norris prefer instrumental compositions.

Besides classical music, drivers charge themselves with the energy of rock music, which is usable to express feelings or to work out better, like Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, and Nico Hulkenberg go wild to the sounds of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Rolling Stones.

To forget the bad days quickly and concentrate on the positive, the drivers listen to Latin pop. 

If I had made these findings five years ago, Rock music would have won, but with so many young drivers in Formula One, hip-hop dominates the grid, while Drake is perhaps the number one artist the drivers listen to on repeat.

Which driver do your musical tastes match the most? Feel free to comment below.

However, listening to music is not the only thing that helps racers to be more effective. So, you can also read about how they spend Formula 1 off-season

References