Think you’ve got what it takes to handle a Formula 1 car? Before you rush headfirst into that carbon fiber tub, take the Nut Test—as demonstrated by Ferrari’s new driver Fernando Alonso.

Since the advent of colossal downforce through fat tires and wind-tunneled wings, racing drivers are faced with the unique problem of keeping their heads attached to their bodies. With g-forces in modern Formula 1 cars reaching 8 times the gravity of the Earth on certain tracks, this is not a trivial issue. The human head is a large, heavy spheroid attached to the rest of the body through the much lighter and thinner neck. As you’ll remember from our very educational How To Become a Formula One Driver in One Day video, even 3 g’s is a force to be reckoned with when applied laterally.


The solution? Develop neck muscles a Marine would be proud of.

When not using them to keep his head straight in Eau Rouge, Renault’s Ferrari’s two-time world champion driver Fernando Alonso can use his neck muscles to snap a walnut clear in two with barely a flex, as demonstrated here for his fellow Spaniards:


Photo Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images (Alonso’s Renault), lapstrake/Flickr (nutcracker)