Extreme E News

19 May 2022

Christine GZ: "Every Athlete Should Have a Mental Trainer": 1019001996-LAT-20220219-XP2201 100601 ALS9929 (1)

Christine GZ: "Every Athlete Should Have a Mental Trainer"

During Qualifying for the Season 2 opener in NEOM, Christine GZ suffered injuries from a serious crash on her debut for Veloce Racing.

Three months on from fracturing her foot and breaking several ligaments, the Italian opens up in an enlightening interview with Veloce. GZ details the aftermath of the dramatic incident and reveals how a neuro coach has helped her through the mental impact as she readies to make her racing comeback.

Looking back to the Desert X Prix in NEOM, how were you feeling at your first race with a new team?

Christine GZ, Veloce Racing: “When I started the day off, I think I was jumping around as usual. My only thought was I wanted to get in the car and do my best. I felt ready that weekend, everything was great!

“I wasn't really on the edge. I made a few small mistakes that set me back a little but the guys on the radio said we were fastest on track. Then I remember going down the dune and trying to keep inside as much as possible. There were already a lot of ruts and I don't really know what happened because at the end of the day, I feel like it wasn't really a mistake, it just happened.”

What thoughts were going through your head immediately after the accident?

GZ: “My hands were back on the steering wheel, my foot was down, I was rolling, and I was like come on! Just go back on four wheels and we're going to finish this. Then, suddenly, I was upside down and trying to get out. I realised I couldn't because my foot was stuck.

“The guys were super quick taking me out of the car and back to the paddock, but as soon as they tried to put me on the floor, my foot felt dead. I realised something had gone wrong.”

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When you knew you were injured and would need medical treatment, how did that affect you?

GZ: “It was all so serious. I was like I’m fine, it's just my foot. But they wouldn't let me do anything, so we were just waiting in the hospital. I kept telling them that I have a race in an hour, so I have to get out as soon as possible. But the doctors said no, it's not possible.

“The doctor said that the foot was fractured on the metatarsian and two ligaments were broken. He was telling me that normal people take about four months to recover. I was thinking normal people, what does that mean? I can do it in one month for sure. Then the physiotherapist said that maybe in two months it would be fixed."

How did this setback impact you and your mentality towards racing?

GZ: “Mentally it impacted me in various ways. I passed from everything is going to be alright, to when I had surgery and I couldn’t do anything. I was stuck and I thought okay, this might be an actual problem.

“You go on Instagram, and you see everyone training and racing and then, you’re just there stuck in your bed. You can’t even get glasses of water.”

How did you manage to keep positive during this recovery period?

“I don’t think I ever let the bad, the not getting there, take over me. I was always like I know that I’m going to get there, even though I’m not right now, I will.

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“When the race was moved, I had more time to recover but the objective was the same. I never told my physio that my race was postponed so that they’d still let me train so much. Every day except Sundays, because they don't let me in. I was doing between five and six hours of rehab.”

What treatment did you receive in your recovery, especially around your mental health?

GZ: “I started having dreams about the accident happening over and over again. I talk about these things with our mental coach, and he helps me to understand what's going on and how we can take all this to make it positive.

“My friends were impressed that I was actually talking about it. Normally I would be like oh everything is fine, which I think is what most athletes do. We hide the fact that we are not feeling good.”

So, as part of your rehabilitation, you’ve been receiving neuro training. What exactly does that entail?

GZ: “I have been working on that since last year and I think I feel that has been a great improvement for me. In neuro, he works with your fatigue, nerves, stress, reaction and all this together, he tries to bring it to another level.

“Normally during my daily life, because it's so busy with training and racing and so on, he’s never gone too hard on me. You can’t start your day and feel already dead before going to training. What we’ve done now that I'm at home is to train at our maximum level so that you see the consequences of how you can train at that high performance and experience how that affects the rest of the day.”

Breaking the stigmatism around mental health, would you recommend neuro training to other athletes?

GZ: “Every athlete should have a mental trainer. People get a little bit scared when you say psychologist, but all this time has given me a chance to think and see how to get better in a different way.

“We kind of drive away from this mental health story because we’re drivers and athletes, we are strong and put in 150% for everything we do. I think we have to see it in a different way.

“It’s crazy because I thought okay, this is my limit. Then when I do neuro and I think that I can’t go over this and can’t do more, I see that my limit is actually so much higher.”

It sounds like, despite the hardships you’ve been through, you’re going to come back stronger than ever before.

GZ: My head right now is 100%. I’m ready to get back in the car. Maybe in another situation I wouldn’t be like that. But with all this help, I’m on it! I’m ready to get back and smash it in Sardinia.

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Head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k1QN_gDB7M to watch the full interview.

To learn more about Extreme E, visit - www.Extreme-E.com


Contact Information

Simra Gulzar
Extreme E

Josh Bell
MPA Creative
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About Extreme E:

Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.  

To minimise local impact, Extreme E races will not be open to spectators, with fans instead invited to follow the action through live TV broadcast, and on social media. 

The St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, has undergone a multi-million Euro refit to minimise emissions and transform her into Extreme E’s operations hub. The ship will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint, as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through its on-board laboratory.

Extreme E is also pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology which will enable its race fleet to be charged using zero emission energy. This innovative solution from AFC Energy uses water and sun to generate hydrogen power. Not only will this process emit no greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will be water, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site. 

Season 2 Calendar:  

Neom, Saudi Arabia
19-20 February 2022
Sardinia, Italy
06-07 July 2022
Sardinia, Italy
09-10 July 2022
Antofagasta, Chile
24-25 September 2022
Punta del Este, Uruguay
26-27 November 2022

About Continental Tires: Founding Partner and Official Tire Partner

Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. Continental generated preliminary sales of €37.7 billion in 2020 and currently employs more than 235,000 people in 58 countries and markets. In 2021, the company celebrates its 150th anniversary.

The Tires business area has 24 production and development locations worldwide. Continental is one of the leading tire manufacturers with more than 56,000 employees and posted preliminary sales of €10.2 billion in 2020 in this business area. Continental ranks among the technology leaders in tire production and offers a broad product range for passenger cars, commercial and special-purpose vehicles as well as two-wheelers. Through continuous investment in research and development, Continental makes a major contribution to safe, cost effective and ecologically efficient mobility. The portfolio of the Tires business area includes services for the tire trade and fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for tires.


About ENOWA: ENOWA is a world-class energy, water and hydrogen company founded in NEOM, Saudi Arabia. ENOWA produces and delivers clean and sustainable resources for industrial and commercial applications using a customer-centric smart and connected system, designed to be circular and takes advantage of NEOM's optimal solar and wind energy profile. ENOWA benefits from NEOM's greenfield site, which has no legacy infrastructure, to advance Energy, Water, and Hydrogen innovation. 

ENOWA will act as a catalyst and incubator for developing new, sustainable energy and water businesses while creating a robust economic sector regionally. Through its commitment to renewable energy and efficient water management, ENOWA seeks to become a global reference for industry leaders and setting a benchmark for sustainable economic circular systems around the world.

For more information, please visit enowa.neom.com

About NEOM:
NEOM is an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a New Future might look like. It is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship will chart the course for this New Future. It will be a destination and a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for exceptional livability, creating thriving businesses and reinventing environmental conservation.

NEOM will include hyperconnected, cognitive towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues and tourist destinations. As a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in groundbreaking ways. Residents of NEOM will embody an international ethos and embrace a culture of exploration, risk-taking and diversity.

For further information email media@neom.com or visit www.neom.comand www.neom.com/en-us/newsroom

About CBMM: Founding Supplier

CBMM is the world leading supplier of niobium products and technology. Headquartered in Brazil, with offices and subsidiaries in China, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.

CBMM offers technical innovation to customers around the globe through a team of over 2,000 highly trained, dedicated professionals providing cutting-edge niobium products and technology to over 400 clients in around 40 countries.

About LuisaViaRoma: Official Fashion Partner

Defined by the Financial Times as “A haven for directional fashion,” LUISAVIAROMA.COM is the top online luxury fashion destination with 5,000,000 visitors per month and worldwide shipping. With each new season, the website presents the collections of more than 600 established designers and young emerging talents.

About Zenith: Official Timekeeper and Founding Partner


Zenith exists to inspire individuals to pursue their dreams and make them come true – against all odds. Since its establishment in 1865, Zenith became the first watch manufacture in the modern sense of the term, and its watches have accompanied extraordinary figures that dreamt big and strived to achieve the impossible – from Louis Blériot’s history-making flight across the English Channel to Felix Baumgartner’s record-setting stratospheric free-fall jump. Zenith is also highlighting visionary and trailblazing women – past and present – by celebrating their accomplishments and creating in 2020 its first-ever collection dedicated entirely to them, Defy Midnight.

With innovation as its guiding star, Zenith features exceptional in-house developed and manufactured movements in all its watches. Since the creation of the El Primero in 1969, the world’s first automatic chronograph calibre, Zenith has gone on to master fractions of the second with the Chronomaster Sport and its 1/10th of a second precision and the DEFY 21 with a precision of 1/100th of a second. Zenith has been shaping the future of Swiss watchmaking since 1865, accompanying those who dare to challenge themselves and break barriers. The time to reach your star is now.

About Allianz: Founding Partner and Official Insurance Partner

The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 100 million private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 790 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage 1.7 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are amongst the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2020, over 150,000 employees achieved total revenues of 140 billion euros and an operating profit of 10.8 billion euros for the group.

About Vodafone Business: Official Technology and Communication Partner

With expertise in connectivity, global scale and the leading IoT platform, Vodafone Business is a leading technology communications company helping organisations succeed in a digital world and keeping society connected. Vodafone’s purpose is to connect for a better future, enabling an inclusive and sustainable digital society, and many of its solutions have sustainability and inclusivity embedded.

Unique in its scale as the largest pan-European and African technology communications company, Vodafone transforms the way we live and work through its innovation, technology, connectivity, platforms, products and services. Vodafone operates mobile and fixed networks in 21 countries, and partners with mobile networks in 52 more.  As of 31 December 2021, they had over 300m mobile customers, more than 28m fixed broadband customers and over 22m TV customers.

This collaboration will see Vodafone Business leading innovations and capabilities such as 5G, MPN, IOT and MEC, integrated into Extreme E’s global operations and will include full involvement in the purpose- driven elements of the series, with special prominence on Extreme E’s Legacy Programmes and the Science Laboratory on board the St Helena.Through its IOT solutions, Vodafone Business is helping sustainability efforts, including agriculture, forestation and decarbonisation of energy grids.

Find out more on http://www.Vodafone.com/business  and follow Vodafone on its social media channels:

Twitter: @VodafoneGroup

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/company/vodafone


ALLCOT Group, Extreme E's Official Environmental Credit Supplier, provides innovative project development, carbon markets, and sustainability advisory services since 2009. Allcot’s unique approach is based on using Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, its linkage to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), non-market approaches, and other market mechanisms.

ALLCOT Group aims to lead and accelerate the global transition towards a climate-neutral society by 2050. ALLCOT provides knowledge and expertise to implement climate change intervention initiatives and carbon projects that rely on nature-based and technology-based approaches.

ALLCOT supports firms and public bodies in developing their own emission reduction initiatives by providing consulting services for various carbon quantification standards (CDM, VCS, GS), as well as for various sectors (forestry, waste, renewable energy, transportation, sports).  The entire carbon credit value chain is encompassed by these consulting services created under the Paris agreement.

To learn more about ALLCOT, please visit www.allcot.com

About Neat Burger: Official Plant-based Partner

Neat Burger is the first of its kind – the planet-friendly, plant-based, full-flavoured game-changer the world has been waiting for. The world’s first plant-based sustainable burger chain, Neat Burger offers a menu that appeals to not only those who follow plant-based diets, but anyone, meat-eaters included, who wants to eat delicious meat-free dishes that are more sustainable, healthier and ethical. The brand is backed by seven-time FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, in collaboration with hospitality organisation The Cream Group and investors, as well as UNICEF Ambassador and early backer of Beyond Meat Tommaso Chiabra. Neat Burger opened its first site in September 2019, just off Regent Street in London, and its second and third dine-in outlets at Camden Market and Soho in 2020. Plans for global expansion across Europe, the US and Middle East are already in place for 2021 and beyond.

About EY: Official Innovation Partner

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, strategy, transaction and consulting services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients.

About INTERprotección: Official Insurance Broker

INTERprotección is composed of a group of Mexican insurance, reinsurance and surety bond brokerage companies. With global presence and recognition, INTERprotección has more than 40 years of experience in management and comprehensive risk consulting in the Mexican market. Its business model is focused on bringing the client to the forefront and offering them the best service through innovative and disruptive products, more recently with its new brand ​inter.mx,​ its insurance digital platform that is transforming the insurtech game. Follow INTERprotección on YouTubeFacebook and Twitter @I​NTERproteccion

About Enel X Way: Official Smart Charging Partner

Enel X Way is the Enel Group's new global business line entirely dedicated to electric mobility. Currently, Enel X Way manages approximately 320,000 charging points, both directly and through interoperability agreements in place worldwide1. As a global platform for e-mobility, the company is focused on developing flexible charging technologies and solutions to improve the customer experience by supporting the electrification of transport for consumers, businesses, cities and public administrations

Find out more on https://enelxway.it/en/home  and follow Enel X Way on its social media channels:

LinkedIn:  Enel X Way

Twitter: @enelxway

Instagram: @enelxway 

Facebook: @enelxway

1 Public and private charging points, including points of interoperability.

About XITE ENERGY: Official Energy Drink Partner

XITE ENERGY was founded by Oliver Bennett and Megan Jones straight out of university two years ago. XITE brings disruptive innovation within the beverage industry; a new frontier to energy drinks. Designed around functionality but with no limitations on health, XITE ENERGY uses functional ingredients that are fused together to provide a cognitive boost, combining natural flavours, natural caffeine and zero sugar.