10 Things you probably didn't know about Formula E Driver 'Quick NICK'
Posted on: 21 December, 2017
So, you think you know all about Heidfeld, huh?
We’ve compiled a list of pretty cool trivia that stumped even us.
Starting his career on two wheels, Nick raced his brother in Motorcross even before he turned five! At 11, he was racing karts. At 17, he had tasted success at Formula Ford. He slowly climbed the racing rungs of Formula 3, Formula 1 and Formula E.
Nick has made a considerable mark on the Formula E circuits and even claimed a piece of history at the Monaco E-Prix. In fact, this master record maker (and breaker) is the only driver in the world to take home a Monaco podium in both Formula E and Formula 1. Way to go, maestro!
But there’s more to him than meets the eye. Here are some lesser-known things about the German that will catch your fancy:
1. His best bud christened him ‘Quick Nick’
Wondering how Nick got his ‘Nick’name? It happened back in the day (circa 1997) at a Formula 3 race. One of his best friends painted the words ‘Quick Nick’ on a cheer poster. As it turns out, it just caught on ever since.
2. Apart from an electric racecar, he drives an electric hatchback
This man walks the talk; his passion for the environment goes beyond the circuit. On the track, Nick drives the all-electric M4Electro. On the road, his choice of wheels is a fully electric Nissan Leaf. He also owns a VW T6 California (perfect for his family of five) and a Mini Countryman as well.
3. He adores vintage cars
Nick owns a few old timers – his favourite being a Beetle convertible from the late 60s. His mother used to drive one when he was younger, and still does! “It has one of the best sounds,” Nick says. “And driving it with the top down is just fantastic.” We don’t disagree.
A 1965 Ford Mustang fastback
Nick's Beetle, from the late 1960s
“[The Beetle] has one of the best sounds.
But probably the most special car from his collection is a Porsche 959s. There were only 27 made in the world, and Nick was lucky enough to get his hands on one of them.
4. He practises driving on a home simulator as well.
For every one hour on the track, typically, drivers put in 100 hours on the simulator. Nick is no exception. In fact, he even practices back at home in Switzerland. Apart from a small gym, Nick has a simulator to help build those driver muscles. Unlike conventional sims with a screen, this sim helps simulate the forces on the neck and the steering. No wonder he’s become a reliable and strong driver on the track.
5. Michael Jordan is his all-time sports hero.
Nick admires a lot of successful people in motorsport, such as Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. But a sports giant that he really looks up to is ‘Air Jordan’. Nick also chose Jordon’s jersey number as his own driver number – 23.
6. A fan once gifted him an origami of stars.
Nick has received plenty of fan gifts in his career, including some touching ones. But the most unique gift came from China. “The Asian fans are quite special,” Nick says. “A girl once gave me an origami of thousand stars.” Say what? 1000 stars – woah! That must have taken a while to make.
The Asian fans are quite special.
7. He’s an enormous prankster and party animal.
Although Nick may look like a serious, reserved guy, he has a reputation of being a party animal – saving his best moves for the dance floor. That’s not all. Back in school, he was known to do a lot of “funny, stupid things”. Looks like that’s something he’s carried right into adulthood as well.
8. He watches the telly to unwind.
What does Nick do after a long and hectic day? He basically becomes a couch potato. No kidding. “I like to relax by watching TV. But not a two-hour intense movie, where you have to pay a lot of attention. Sometimes I’m just flipping through the channels. I find that relaxing too.”
Sometimes I’m just flipping through the channels. I find that relaxing too.
9. He has a pre-race ritual.
Some sportspersons are known to have bizarre pre-race rituals. Nick likes to keep it simple. While in the car, he shuts his eyes and brings himself into ‘the perfect zone’.
“It’s different in Formula E because there’s less time, compared to Formula 1. Everything happens so quickly on a Saturday with practice, qualifying and the race. If I had more time, then I would try to be by myself, ideally laying down, eyes shut. I feel into my body, feel the rhythm of my heart beating; feel how nervous or how active I am. I try to think about what I have to do at the race start. When I’m seated in the car before the race starts, I have my eyes closed and this is when I go through these things. I just concentrate on the things that matter in this moment.”
I just concentrate on the things that matter in the moment.
10. He once ripped at 327 kph on the Autobahn.
Quick Nick has set the highways ablaze, too. He once touched 327 kph on the Autobahn in a Porsche 911 GT2 – another beauty he bought when he was in Formula 1. He should probably be rechristened “SupersoNick”.
With the next race scheduled to take place in Marrakesh on January 13, we hope his race ritual and his ability to push the limits will do him good in the ongoing season. Viel Glück, Nick!