|Home Shakedown with Norbert Michelisz
- Winner of the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup title Norbert Michelisz joins Hyundai Motorsport’s Home Shakedown series to reveal his new-look daily routine
- Having spent the second half of 2019 focussing his energies on the fight for the WTCR crown, the Hungarian is now spending quality time at home with his family
- “Norbi” has turned his hand to teaching with his young daughters, while also keeping race-fit with WTCR’s Esports championship.
Hyundai Motorsport’s Home Shakedown series turns focus to the FIA World Touring Car Cup, with 2019 drivers’ title winner Norbert Michelisz sharing his new-look daily routine.
Speaking from his home in Hungary, where he has been spending quality time with his family, “Norbi” has been experiencing a significant change of pace. During the final months of 2019, most of his energy was focused on the WTCR title fight, which went down to the wire at Race of Malaysia in December. Norbi is using the current situation as an opportunity to catch-up on missed activities, while also trying to keep up with his two young daughters, Mira (3 years old) and Emma (23 months).
In addition to turning his hand to teaching, he is also keeping himself race-ready with a return to his Esports roots. Though he has been without a simulator for some time, Norbi was quick to acquire a new set-up following the launch of WTCR’s pre-season Esports championship, enabling him to compete against the 20 fastest fans.
Home Shakedown with Norbert Michelisz
Norbi, where are you currently and who are you with?
“I’m at home in Hungary at the moment, we’re speaking at 1:30pm and this is the time of day where my wife and I can relax a bit because our girls are sleeping. Usually for me it’s the time to go jogging.”
So, you’re still able to go outside and keep fit during these times? You’re not restricted?
“We cannot go to a grocery store in the morning, as it is the time for older people. In the afternoon we can go outside, and we are really lucky because we live close to the city edge. Within 100m of us you reach the forest, so almost every day the plan is to have a walk, play around and get a bit of fresh air. The good thing is now we have nice weather in Hungary so it’s not the best to sit inside, but even when we go outside, we keep our distance from other people.”
Have you had to improvise with gym equipment?
“I have some weights at home, but I’m not enjoying that too much. For me the best thing is to go outside, to have a run because sitting at home I’ve realised I eat more than usual. So, to lose weight or to compensate the gain in weight, I think it’s better if you do some jogging! At least once a week I do weightlifting and then three or four times I go for a 35-40 minutes run.”
You have two young daughters at home, are they keeping you busy?
“More or less! Even if I wouldn’t do anything, running after them would be more than enough in terms of physically preparing for the season. For me it’s about catching up, because the second part of last year was very busy. Even when I was at home between races, my mindset was no different in terms of the championship fight. So now it’s time to read the books and to play the games we couldn’t do last year. The challenge we have now with our daughter Mira is to learn the letters of the alphabet. I have to say in 10 days and at the age of three, she already is 90% accurate with her letter reading skills. I’m quite proud of that.”
So, you’re a teacher now?
“Yes, I never imagined myself to be a good teacher but with the kids and this relaxed atmosphere it’s nice because I can teach for five minutes before they start to run around and then 30 minutes pass, and we start all over again. We’ve had some very good learning.”
What are you doing to keep race-fit?
“I’m doing Esports; WTCR has launched a pre-season championship and we’ve had our first race already. I had very good equipment up until two years ago, but then my wife got pregnant with Emma, so we needed the space and I had to get rid of my equipment. It was worth around €12-15,000 and I played it a lot, and when I heard the news about WTCR’s Esports series I bought myself a steering wheel again. It’s not top-end like I used to have; I had a proper simulator with hydraulic pedals, whereas this is my laptop in front of me and steering wheel attached to the table. But as soon as we move to a bigger apartment, my plan is to go back to my old hardware.”
You’re obviously taking the Esports championship seriously?
“Yes, I had a phone call with my new race engineer to ask if he can read Esports data in the same way as reality! It’s a nice competition and I miss racing, driving a car, the pressure of a race weekend. Some of that you can get online, and it’s about doing what you can to keep the rhythm and to get some competition for yourself.”
Have you tried to improve your skills or challenged yourself outside of your comfort zone – maybe cooking?
“Not really to be honest, but it’s interesting you ask about cooking. Today I was preparing the second course of lunch while my wife made a soup, but my daughters didn’t eat very much of it so I’m not sure if it was a success. I ate it all though!”
What message do you have for fans around the world?
“The most important thing is not to lose focus, and everyone can be sure about the fact that we will go back to normal. We don’t know when, which for me is the trickiest part, but this time is all about learning to be patient again. I’ve realised as a society we were a bit lacking in this skill, but by being at home and getting bored, you realise what is good for yourself. I’m missing the racing a lot, but it’s also about adapting to different times we experience, and it will only make us stronger for the future.”
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