Tougher training program is preparing racers for the demands of this year's Formula 1 cars.

With the cars expected to be up to five seconds per lap quicker than in 2016 thanks to the increased downforce, drivers are set to be pushed harder inside the cockpit.

The different demands mean drivers will need to become stronger, something Red Bull racer Daniel Ricciardo says he is looking forward to.

"For me it's going to be more fun personally because we're doing a bit more strength training," said Ricciardo. "I kind of enjoy it."

"Last year and the past few years you do training to keep your weight down, a lot of long endurance but not high intensity to put muscle on."

"So it's in a way, the training we've done is a little bit more boring where I think now we can push harder in training, afford to put on muscle and things like this. It'll be challenging but a bit more rewarding."

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The Australian admitted the final part of the season had been tough for him physically after more than 20 races, which is why he reckons the late start to testing in 2017 is positive.

"In a way it's quite nice the testing is late. That gives us a good chance to physically get a bit more time for ourselves to train," he said.

"That's one thing with such a long season, a lot of races during the year, you don't get a whole lot of time to train physically as well as you'd like. You get a day here or there. You don't really get a week of proper training, very rarely.

"I'm actually excited to get nearly two months of real training outside the car before we test, so I think that uninterrupted period will be quite nice."

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble


Ricciardo relishing physical challenge of 2017 F1 cars