Q&A with Fabienne Wohlwend

Fabienne Wohlwend might be tucked away in the Liechtenstein countryside, but she too is feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The 22-year-old is looking forward to returning to the car… and the hair salon.

How is life in Liechtenstein now?

I’m in Schellenberg, a quiet village of about 1,000 people, with my parents and older brother. We’ve been in lockdown for a month but we’re coping well. My dad’s company makes bread and cakes so he’s still working, my brother is doing his university studies so he’s stuck in his room, and mum is keeping the house going plus shopping for my great aunt who lives nearby but can’t go out. The atmosphere is OK here. You’re allowed out to exercise and buy food with people you live with, and we live near the mountains so it’s not difficult to find space and calm. Less than 100 people out of 39,000 in Liechtenstein have been infected with coronavirus and most of them are better, so the plan is to reopen some things soon, like garden centres and hair salons. I’ll be glad because my hair is so long – I haven’t cut it since last September. I was planning to have it cut before the season started but then everything shut so I’ll look like Rapunzel after this!

How has your daily routine changed?

I used to work in a bank but quit in October to become a full-time racing driver. I quit because I was so busy with racing, but now I’m not so I might have to go back to work. I’m not thinking about that yet and hopefully I won’t have to. I usually train at the gym with my coach in the morning, then do some simulator driving and endurance training in the afternoon. So, the only big difference is that I can’t go to the gym as it’s just across the border in Austria and they’ve closed the border for all non-essential travel. 

Have you had to adapt your training? 

Not too much. My coach sets me a different plan every morning and we have a FaceTime call to make sure I’m doing the training correctly. I have quite a lot of gym gear at home – weights, a bench, a gymnastic ball and resistance bands – so the training is probably not as heavy as when I’m with my coach because he can’t supervise me, but otherwise it’s the same. I’m still running most days and doing lots of work on the simulator so I’m keeping busy. There’s not been much time for anything else, but we’re lucky that the weather has been good and we have a big garden with a pool so sometimes in the afternoon it’s nice to relax outside.

How much are you missing racing?

So, so much. I haven’t competed in a race since last October and haven’t been in a car since a test in Valencia a few weeks before the lockdown. It’s frustrating, but other things are more important right now and I just hope we all get through this soon. I’m training hard and will be ready to go when I get the call.