The final round of the inaugural Extreme E season takes place next weekend in Dorset, with the Jurassic X-Prix bringing down the curtain on the year.
It’s been a great first season for the sport, which combines great driving skill with a mission of improving environmental awareness in the locations it’s visiting, and it’s helped along by some great names in the motorsport world.
Ahead of the final race, we caught up with Red Bull athlete Catie Munnings who, alongside teammate Timmy Hansen, will be looking to finish this season on a high.
In this latest interview with her, we discussed just what it’s like to be sharing the track with her teammate, and how he’s feeling after narrowly losing out on the WRX title last month, as well as WRC legends like Sebastian Loeb and Carlos Sainz.
How’s Timmy Hansen feeling after being beaten to the WRX title by Johan Kristoffersson?
I think the Johan/Timmy rivalry has been going on for years, it’s ridiculous. Even on the flight back from Senegal, it was like 2 am, or something, everybody’s exhausted and sleeping, I looked across, and they’re playing chess on their phones. And it’s like an hour and a half match because they’re so competitive that they can’t lose to each other. They’re just incredible.
Ultimately, he’s disappointed. To lose a championship by one point, on penalties or a stewards’ decisions is never fun. And I think for him there are two sides to every story so was really hard to kind of accept. So I think he’s definitely got an extra bit between his teeth for the final Extreme E race so it’d be cool to channel that.
He’s an incredible racer and I think that’s what we’ll always want to keep is that pure form of racing. We don’t ever want to make it boring. And I think he will always go for the gap that’s not there! And that’s just part of who he is his driver.
What it’s like sharing a track with Rally legends Sebastian Loeb and Carlos Sainz?
Yeah, it’s been pretty surreal.
I mean, standing on the start line chatting with Carlos about which line we think is the best line in the final to have and everyone is actually a lot more open than I thought they would be.
I think it’s because it’s such a small family at these races that you end up having really weird conversations, like when we were walking the track in Sardinia, Seb Loeb was telling me how he was a tank driver in the French army before he was a rally driver!
So you really learn a lot about people. I’ve learned a lot. I think probably obviously, from Timmy, I’ve got the most because we’re able to share the data. And it’s in his interest for us both to be quick. So that kind of works for him to sharing but I think from the other drivers, you kind of just pick up the bits from watching them. And I think what’s got me the most is just realising how calm they are when they compete. And that’s something that I’m really taken forward not to get stressed or not to overthink it, and to just trust yourself to do the job.
You don’t have to kind of get yourself really worked out before you race.
Some big names like Hamilton, Rosberg & Button have all been involved this year, what’s that like and how important will their presence be with Extreme E’s environmental goals?
I think it really has shown that people believe in it, to have people that have almost come out of retirement like Nico to come back into a championship that he said he believes in is great.
My team has been in Formula E pretty much since the beginning. And I think that people believe in the message when they get behind it.
The championship is headed up by some people that are really passionate about promoting that and promoting the electric space going forward. So I think from a career point, as well as a personal point, it’s a really important space for me to be in.