Last year, Jean-Eric Vergne took to keeping a soft toy lion in his room at the race track, as part of a joke that it was there to deal with the black cat that was the cause of his run of bad luck in some races.
With 2014 just a few days old, our French driver is already doing all he can to ensure that he is in the best possible shape to tackle the coming season, without having to resort to lucky charms. As for all sportsmen, that involves being in the best possible physical shape, as Jev confirmed from Chamonix, in the French Alps where he is on a pre-season fitness training programme. “This week is the first time I have worked with my new trainer, Juuso,” he revealed. “Surprise, surprise, he’s another Finn and Antti, who worked with me since I started in F1 has been here with us for the first couple of days to pass the baton! There have been other changes to the professional group around me, including the fact I will have a new Race Engineer, Francisco Javier Pujolar, because my previous one, Phil Charles is switching to the role of Chief Engineer this year.”
“I spent the holiday time with my family and friends and now we are here for some serious training over a two week period. I love being in the mountains and, although the plan involves quite a lot of gym work, it’s the outside stuff I love, like snowshoe walking, climbing mountains, and cross-country skiing. This is the first week, so it’s nothing too demanding, just building a solid base and then next week, we will step up the pace. It’s vital to get as much work done now over the winter, to build up a “reserve” of fitness for once the season starts. There will be more of the same after the first F1 test in Jerez.”
Jean-Eric is not the only F1 man in the mountains, as the entire “Equipe de France” group are also in Chamonix, as part of a training programme organised by the French motorsport federation. “Jules Bianchi is here, along with lots of other French karting and single-seater drivers,” confirmed Jev. “I have been coming to Chamonix with them for the past six years, although apart from doing some mountain climbing with them on the first day, I will be doing my own thing this time.”
Photo credits: KSP Reportages