Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Mental health becomes priority for Sam Bird, Formula E driver

For Sam Bird, who has been a Formula E driver since his championship debut in 2014, the hardest part of his job is staying positive when the going gets tough.

“It’s a battle with myself,” the Briton said in an interview with Business Insider Mexico ahead of the 2023 Mexico City e-prix.

In 2022, the Jaguar TCS Racing driver faced one of his lowest moments. While his teammate, Mitch Evans, struggled until the final race for the World Championship, Bird played his first season in the Electric Series without a win, while his best finish was a fourth place, so he could not advance further. Forum.

During round 14 of the London E-Prix campaign, the Englishman also suffered a collision with Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Porsche), which broke his left hand.

At Jaguar TCS Racing’s sponsor Dow’s Mobility Science Experience event, Bird explained how painful it was to end the race with an injury, which he described as “not fun at all”, and how he had to undergo surgery that sidelined him. Weather in Seoul.

His absence in the final E-Prix of the year was even more painful as it would mark his 100th race in Formula E, a mark he shared with Brazilian Lucas di Grassi, who were able to run both rounds.

Facing the start of the electric world championship’s ninth season at CDMX, Bird assured a press conference that we’ll see a “Gen3” version of ourselves, alluding to the new generation of single-seaters that debuted this week. Finally also started at the Autodromo. Rodriguez brothers.

Sam Bird

Courtesy: Jaguar TCS Racing

However, the Brit shared with Business Insider Mexico that her preparation for this new year of competitions was focused not on her body, but on her mental health.

“I’ve worked a lot with a sports psychologist and learned a lot about myself in and out of the car,” he said. “Growing as a person has been an important lesson for me. This is having a direct impact on my work and personal life as well.”

“Mental health is more important than physical,” he acknowledged. “I was working too hard in the gym. I was pushing myself like crazy and worrying about my job all the time.”

“Actually, working on the mind is healthy. For example, I didn’t need to be fit to compete in a race car. He was fit enough, but he didn’t work on his mind. It was a weakness and now I feel much stronger, in general, thanks for that.”

Qualifying is the time of the weekend when drivers feel the most pressure

Formula E

Courtesy: Jaguar TCS Racing

Earlier, Norman Nato, who currently drives for Nissan, explained to Business Insider Mexico that one of the most difficult moments for Formula E drivers is the minutes leading up to qualifying.

“You have to be ready in every way to get a clean lap and not hit the wall. If you crash, you have to start from the back of the grid and that makes it very difficult to score points,” he added. Told. “Plus, if you don’t try hard enough, you’re going to wind down too in the end.”

Sam Bird matched his rival in the championship, making sure all drivers looked to qualify well to start the race in the best possible position.

“That’s the special lap when you feel the most pressure,” he said. “Mentally it’s the hardest thing you have to face.”

“It’s based on trust. If you go into qualifying with confidence, that lap immediately becomes easier in your head. If you don’t feel comfortable and confident in your car, it becomes more difficult to lap “

What’s next for Sam Bird in the remainder of season nine?

Sam Bird

Courtesy: Jaguar TCS Racing

The start to Formula E’s ninth season at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez hasn’t been an easy one for Sam Bird. The Briton had to contend with software problems with his car in free practice on Friday, 13 January.

Motorsport.com reported that on Saturday 14 January, Jaguar TCS Racing had to change the rear of the car in order to qualify. However, he finished 21st in the qualifying session, last on the starting grid.

Ultimately, he had to retire on the sixth lap of the race at the Hermanos Rodríguez Autodrome. According to him, the problem was in his car’s driveshaft, which made it practically “impossible” to steer.

And although it’s disappointing to have this result in the first race of the season, the driver knew his electric car’s new technology would be difficult to introduce.

“Whenever a new race car starts out there is a learning curve,” he told Business Insider Mexico. “It’s never going to be easy. You’re constantly going to learn and improve in the car.

“Yes, there have been difficult moments where we have had to learn the hard way. It happens to a lot of people, but it can happen in all forms of motor sport.

Despite the obstacles he faces in his career as a professional athlete, Sam Byrd doesn’t forget what he loves most about his job.

“To be in my own race car and be able to drive as fast as I can. There’s nothing better in the world,” he shared.

In her spare time she likes to work out in the gym (without overdoing it, of course) and go to the beach for a day in nice weather with her two dogs.

“Nothing’s better than watching my big fat dog run in the water,” she said with a smile.

The Briton will return to the track with a double round of the Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia on 27 and 28 January. The season saw them compete in four new destinations: Hyderabad, India (11 February), Cape Town, South Africa (25 January), São Paulo, Brazil (25 March), and Portland, USA (24 June).

“It’s always amazing to visit new cities that haven’t experienced Formula E and showcase the current, relevant and futuristic technology that people will be driving in the years to come.”

Do you practice any sport professionally? write us at
editorial@businessinsider.mx

now read: Drivers debunk the 4 biggest myths they’ve heard about Formula E

Read also: Why Latin America needs more drivers in championships like Formula E, according to di Grassi

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