#7: Joao Barbosa – Taking chances
Podcast with Host: Jai Shukla & Guest: Joao Barbosa
Q1 – How did you get started in Racing?
Started at the age of 11 – which was the minimum age. Since then he begged his dad to get him a go-kart. A deal was made to get good grades – for a go-kart which he managed and then got. This was back in 1987.
Q2 – How did you get your initial funding?
‘Costs were much lower in those days and my dad helped me buy my first go-kart.’
Q3 – 1980s-2019 How has your viewpoint changed?
Grew up watching Formula 1 and wanted to be a driver in that race. Without the funding – it was not really possible.
Q4 Do you think it’s harder to get sponsorship?
Gamble in a kid, it’s not like you pick someone at the top when you’re a sponsor.
Q5 – What goes on behind the scenes?
24 hour Daytona coming up. So much work involved especially endurance racers. There is no offseason
Q6 – What is the procedure to prepare?
It’s like lego – everything gets disassembled. Checks being done. All the pieces are analyzed and then with every minute detail it’s tested. There is a lot of what if’s. Be ready to attack what if and that’s what preparation happens. Strategizing.
Q7 – What happens if you don’t get along with a driver or a manager?
Everything is fixed on the inside. The driver is chosen based on being a team player. Needs experience in sharing the car. And Joao has been very fortunate – winning or losing they do it together. Making sure they have good chemistry and share the same goal
Q8 – How do you go about getting that chemistry?
Gym, beach, run, workout – fishing trips – team bonding. After races having fun and relaxing. It’s what happens on the outside that allows them to perform on the job.
Q9 – How did you overcome your obstacles?
There are a lot of obstacles. When racing in the US – he was trying all over the place and managed to get an opportunity. A lot of sacrifices when you’re younger.
Q10 – Give me an example of a sacrifice?
Raced in the US – living with the team, traveling with the crew, driving back and forth, living above the shop of the team, helping them in the shop. Helped develop the cars in the US too. It was a sacrifice. He started traveling when he was really young when your 13, 14 or 16-18 you want to spend time with your friends and be able to go clubbing.
Q11 – 5-10 years where do you see yourself and career?
It’s a tough decision, it’s not going to last forever. Atm – he’s only focused on the team and doing the best by winning as many competitions as possible. By being in the best possible shape. 3 wins so far and get more.
Q12 – How do you stay in shape?
Cadillac speeds are very high, mentally being in the base shape too. It’s a nonstop year long program. Biking, running, coupling with that a personal trainer – working out shoulders and neck to handle the G forces. Stepping up a lot more this winter and getting in shape a lot faster. And as ready as I can be.