Obviously at a race weekend we’re sweating a lot, and the race suits aren’t that comfortable so we’re trying to be in them for as short a time as possible, especially in Jerez. As soon as we’re out of the suits we’re into these to try and stay comfortable: the suits are hot and wet from sweat, and they smell bad! You don’t want your engineer not able to talk to you because they’re smelling your body odour! [laughs]
These are obviously doping approved, as we have be careful around all that stuff! It’s to replace all the salts we sweat out. Our trainer shoves these down us, and says drink as much as possible: that’s how it is with trainers…
We use it for 2 things: reaction training and to get warm, but also with braking you can sometimes get pain in your back and this just helps. If you sit on it or lie on it, there are trigger points in your glutes which relieve the pain.
This does kind of the same thing as the tennis ball: it’s for self-massage. You get all these tight spots because the seats aren’t perfectly smooth, the ripples give you pain in your body, and these just help to relieve the stress and tight spots in your back, glutes, legs or wherever. We use this for training, and also for massage basically.
I did have my crash quite a while ago now and my collarbone is fine, but I still have a scar which leaves a very sensitive feeling: even now if I touch it, it’s hyper-sensitive. The bandage just relieves that a bit. It’s really strange when I have the belts on because I can really feel it: it’s right on my collarbone. And in a road car it’s really bad: I really struggle to drive a road car, because it’s just so agitated: it’s looser, but even if someone brushes it I’m really aware of it. I can’t even explain it, it just feels so strange.
My mum is really religious and superstitious, and I’ve definitely caught her superstitious side! And I’m slightly religious as well. They are good luck charms: there’s plenty of them in Thailand! These don’t go in the car – I have other things that look like woven handkerchiefs, but they’re written in Thai. It’s good for her head that I have them! But I use them as well: it’s just a family thing.
It’s important to have headphones, especially noise cancelling ones, because there’s so much chatter and we’re never alone in the truck, we’re always with someone. There’s never time to yourself, we don’t have private rooms or anything, so it’s good to isolate the noise and be alone to concentrate on whatever: your driving or your data. It’s good to get away, close your eyes and zone out, basically. Music wise I’m a bit of everything, from rap to chill out: I love it all. People think listening to calming music before I get in the car is a bit strange, but that’s how I do it!