She is a rising name in motorsport – and she’s now become the new face of adidas by Stella McCartney
way to the top
As one of the few female racing drivers in Formula One, the 28-year-old Spaniard continually defies and redefines the expectations of her industry. Carmen Jordá’s dynamic lifestyle and vigorous training regime do not only prepare her for her career as a world-renowned female racing driver – they also inspire women around the world to accomplish more by taking on new challenges.
THE RED BULLETIN: At the moment, you work as a development racing driver. But when you’re not racing, what does a typical day in the life of Carmen Jordá look like?
CARMEN JORDÁ: I’m a total training addict! Whenever I can, I’m at the gym or out for a run or cycle. It helps me in my day job, but I also just love the feeling I get when working out.
What’s your exercise regime like?
I work out twice a day. In the morning, I‘ll do yoga or Pilates, then in the afternoon I focus on strength and conditioning training that helps me particularly in motorsport. Driving requires very specific muscle management, so it‘s important I have core strength and a foundation of flexibility and mobility. I also drive as much as possible in go-karts and in the simulator to improve my reactions and driving style.
Do you have any unique training drills?
I have lots of drills designed to prepare me for the specific challenges that motorsport puts on the body. For example, I do a lot of neck-strengthening exercises. The level of G-force that you experience, combined with the weight of our helmets, can put your neck under huge pressure, so I try to mix up a variety of stretches and drills that work on this.
Your job means you’re often moving at extreme speeds – aside from on the racing track, do you live a fast-paced life?
In motorsport, you don’t have much of a choice! Formula One is always on the move from one country to the next, so naturally things move at a fast pace. But I’m used to it by now; I‘ve been driving since a very young age, go-karting since I was 11, so I’ve learnt to love the fast-paced life.
How important is it to you to have time for yourself?
It‘s really important, particularly in a career where you’re so often in the public eye. The good thing is that travelling and also training gives me time to myself. Yoga and Pilates, both being centred in mindfulness, hugely help me to unwind. Other than that, because I’m on the road so much, I try to see my friends and family as much as I can when I’m at home. With my training, I can go weeks and months at a time without seeing them, so I really value that time to be just Carmen, rather than Carmen the driver.
You’ve just become part of the adidas by Stella McCartney team – what does this collaboration mean to you?
A huge amount. Having the support of such an incredible brand and such talented people means a lot to me as an athlete. I‘ll be working with them to support marketing initiatives and provide input into the product design that will be central to my training and wider life. There is then, of course, my role as an adidas ambassador, working closely with the brand’s audience, which I always find really inspiring.
How would you describe your style?
Generally, I love to combine sporty and chic in any outfit I wear, given that I work in F1 and this suits that sport. Also, given the amount of travel I have to do, I like to always have something comfortable to wear that I can really relax in. All that said, I don’t see myself as having a defined style – I just wear what I like, which makes me feel confident. If other people like it, too, then even better.
What are your experiences as a woman in a male-dominated sport?
It‘s positive overall: I‘m well supported and there are lots of great people in Formula One. There are, of course, people who question you and criticise you along the way, but I just see that as part of what we do. I‘m sure male drivers experience the same. I use any negatives as motivation to prove people wrong and stay focused on my goals.
As one of the few prominent women in your particular sport, do you have any specific female role models who you look to for inspiration?
Throughout my whole life, I’ve always been inspired by Danica Patrick and Serena Williams. More recently, when I was watching the Olympics last year, I was really inspired by Nicola Adams, the female boxer in Team GB who won gold medals at two consecutive Games. I really respect the mark she has made in boxing – a traditionally male, “macho” sport – through hard work and a positive attitude.
You seem to be keeping very busy at the moment, so what’s next for Carmen Jordá?
This year is set to be an exciting one, with lots planned, so watch this space.