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Unravelling the Science of BFR and Team Dynamics that gives Red Bull Racing an edge, with Bradley Scanes

Whilst the driver might be the face of a Formula 1 team, we previously learned from Bradley Scanes – Max Verstappen’s Human Performance Coach - that it’s very much a team sport with high demands on all involved. Bradley recently joined us for an update on the season, how that team effort leads to success, and how Max’s weekly use of BFR is playing its part in this exhilarating championship.

Bradley Scanes with Max Verstappen holding F1 race trophy

The season to date has seen Max Verstappen and the team at Red Bull Racing dominate the track with not only a team title for Red Bull Racing but now Max Verstappen has claimed the 2023 driver championship also. This level of success doesn’t come easily and requires dedication and commitment from all involved to continuously function at such a high level.


In our last conversation, Bradley commented “The results speak for themselves. It’s all the good work we have done coming to fruition. Max and I have built a really good relationship, we work through our race weekends with super efficiency and the team is just vibing. It is really great to be a part of.”


Red Bull Racing employs around 2000 people who all play an integral part in delivering a world championship for the constructor and the driver. Being part of that team, especially when the wins come in, is always greatly celebrated within the closely-knit race team. Formula 1 is unquestionably a challenging sport to be a part of, with a demanding schedule and extensive travel.


Whilst Formula 1 is perhaps the most taxing sport as far as international travel, sports like Tennis, Cricket, Golf, and Hytro’s recent US expansion into American Football and Ice Hockey, have further illustrated the impact jet lag can have on players and how BFR can be used to elevate the struggle.


Bradley shared that this season’s success is down to a combination of factors. The exceptional design and engineering of the car itself, the pre-season work done with Max, and the continued work throughout the season to keep everyone at their best. Formula 1 isn’t a forgiving sport so any lack of fitness, or creep of fatigue can affect decision making which ultimately leads to being slower.


He commented: “I believe it’s an accumulation of everything we have done, we are in great shape. We’ve seen Max driving around a few seconds ahead of the field making strategy calls, chatting on the radio, without being out of breath, which shows where he is at right now.”


Bradley Scanes with Max Verstappen walking at race weekend

Credit: Instagram @bradleyscanes


With such a short pre-season heading into this championship, Scanes explained that this was the only block of time available to build a strong foundation: “You want to build a really good strength profile across the whole body in preseason to last through to summer break. That endurance base is what will help maintain performance throughout the season. F1 requires the driver to have real neck, core, and upper and lower body strength.”


Bradley used BFR to overcome the short preseason, firstly testing the Hytro BFR Performance Shorts on himself before introducing them to Max. Heading into the season, both Max and Bradley have continued to use the shorts on a weekly basis.


Bradley explained: “We’re traveling around so much and don’t always have a lot of time to train. We use the Hytro wearables in a variety of ways. Sometimes as a full strength session, sometimes a shorter session if we need to also do cardio and only have one day to train. I find it really useful when we don’t have time to do a full 2-hour training session, we can still achieve the same outcomes with BFR.”

He added: “Subjectively, it always feels great, and we feel a lot lighter which enables us to then train again. We’re not having to take a couple of days off after a race, we can take one day off, as we have used BFR as a passive recovery tool.”


Using BFR to shorten strength sessions whilst still being able to get the same output means time-poor athletes like Max buy into what BFR can offer. This is another reason why coaches are adopting BFR within their toolkit. Athletes are happier as their perceived input is lower and the coaches still achieve the required outcomes, albeit in a shorter space of time and with minimal equipment when using Hytro.


Bradley Scanes, Human Performance Coach to Max Verstappen


This feedback is consistent with other commentary received from Hytro Coaches and Athletes in the field and has fuelled the brand’s efforts to translate athletic performance into supporting human potential and medical rehab.  Being able to achieve physical adaption and a quicker return to fitness means you can begin to not only improve performance but also quality of life.


Trialling BFR as a coach first was Bradley’s biggest advice to other coaches. He advised: “I used it a lot myself first before introducing it to Max. I immediately saw the benefits and had a good hypothesis of how I wanted to use it within F1.”


Whilst sport-specific research for BFR is limited, Hytro has several ongoing research partnerships that are starting to build a robust understanding of how BFR can be used independently and alongside other modalities. Bradley recognises that there isn’t any specific research around BFR within F1 so has worked within the known protocols, and utitlised the Hytro protocols sheet to trial various ways of using it to maximise performance whilst always working safely due to the built-in guardrails.


Bradley began trialling it when coming off long-haul flights sharing: “The long-haul fly-aways obviously create jet lag, so I wanted to explore how BFR could help. After using the shorts, I have found I sleep much better and feel great after a flight, really not having any jet lag. Max and I will be using them for the upcoming fly-aways.”


Bradley went on to suggest that whilst the research isn’t there to support his feedback even a subjective perception of reduced exertion is a huge benefit to an athlete who is looking for that one percent.


Bradley Scanes with Max Verstappen celebrating at race weekend


The hard work and commitment of all the Red Bull Racing team is evident with the results on the table underlining Max’s ability to perform week in and week out. With the crescendo fast approaching, in the midst of the long-haul fly-aways, BFR will continue to support both Max and Bradley as they see out this not-to-be-missed season!


To find out more about Hytro’s expansion plans, and perhaps even be a part of the future of BFR, visit our Seedrs campaign page and join us on the journey. Or read more about how Hytro BFR is being used within motorsport below.


BFR in Motorsport

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