The iconic Usain Bolt took out the record-breaking Formula E car, GENBETA, for a spin ahead of the Mexico E Prix. The GENBETA last year broke the indoor land-speed world record with a top speed of 218.71 kmph, setting a new mark in the Guinness World Records title.
The eight-time Olympic champion, Usain Bolt, who stands at 6 feet 5 inches tall, confessed that he initially felt claustrophobic while squeezing his tall frame into the car.
“There was no space, it was just really, really tight and close. First time in my life that I’ve been claustrophobic but the moment I got going, I was just enjoying,” said the fastest man on earth.
But once he was comfortable, he accelerated from the start line on the track at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, achieving 0-60mph in 2.89 seconds and powering through 100m in 4.36 seconds.
The 37-year-old retired Jamaican sprinter, who holds the world records in the 100 metres and 200 metres, experienced the 400kW power of the GENBETA from the start line and along the straight.
“It’s different, it’s a rocket ship on wheels. The power I got; the surprise that I got when launching and everything… it gave me a different feeling I can’t describe it; the adrenaline you get is on a different level, easily,” he said.
“I said this earlier to the cameraman, I promised I wouldn’t say it again, here we go I’m saying it a second time: ‘This is the first time I’ve ever said this in my life, the GENBETA car is actually faster than me — it was mind-blowing. I’ve never said anything is faster than me’.”
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) January 13, 2024
Bolt had the assistance of current Formula E World Champion driver Jake Dennis (Andretti Formula E Team), who also gifted him a signed helmet, and former F1 driver David Coulthard.
“I just want to say this was an experience of a lifetime — I did not expect this, and I will be telling people, ‘you should be experiencing this.’ A really wonderful experience.
“I was told — As soon as you drive, you don’t want to stop or get out, and they were right. The speed is indescribable; that was a lot of power,” Bolt added.
“This is the only time I’ll say something is faster than me” 😅
— Formula E (@FIAFormulaE) January 13, 2024
Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds said “GENBETA is a development car — born out of the GEN 3. We have the ability to test our technology and improve it. We’ve already broken an indoor world record last year with this car.
“We thought what better than to take the record-breaking car and pair it with the fastest man on planet earth; it was quite a marriage what we saw today.” “What you know of him (Bolt) is that he’s got cool and swagger, but behind that exterior lies the most competitive man you will ever meet. He personifies Formula E.
“He is about bettering, pushing yourself, reaching new heights, he is inclusive, and just a lovely fella… seeking to deliver ultimate levels of performance. That personifies what we’re all about,” he added.