At Ascot last year Hannes Arch's season fell apart when there was a miscommunication between him and race control. He wasn't sure whether to turn his smoke on or pull out of the track for safety reasons. Exactly 12 months on, he's determined not to make any costly mistakes.
"It's frustrating as an athlete when things don't go to plan because you lose confidence," explained Arch. "I've learned a lot this season about mental and physical preparation," he added.
It's no secret that Arch is a fitness fanatic and he believes that, as an athlete, mental and physical preparation are as important as each other. One of his team members, Joachim 'Jojo' Pölzl, is a keen triathlete and works with Arch on his fitness and focus. "In the evening, before Race Day, I will relax, go for a run with Jojo and listen to my music to be ready for tomorrow," said Arch.
The Austrian pilot also believes he has pinpointed why his 2014 season wasn't successful. "I became a little bit lazy and felt tired," he said. "And one goes with the other. If you're tired you feel lazy and do less, whereas if you're in shape, you're full of energy and feel better," Arch added.
In the run up to this year's race at Ascot Arch says he's "Doing lots of sport to keep in shape and busy flying, but not doing anything new in my preparation – you have to be in shape".
Before Ascot last year Arch had finished every race in the top two. After the mix up at the British round he failed to get on the podium again and he puts that down to a loss of focus, but feels he knows how to focus and stay on track. "If you make a mistake, what counts is how you react," he said. "You have to find your confidence to fly. If you don't do that, you wouldn't go back out there," he added.
Arch now has a routine that has helped so far and he's hoping will continue to be successful for him. "After I get back, I'll relax for around 20 minutes. Then I'll go through the track again in my mind and focus on flying the track," he said "You have to go out there and prove to yourself that you can fly fast and fly safe. That's what I do and I'm now on track," concluded Arch.
You can be at Ascot to see Hannes Arch and his rivals racing in the fifth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Get your tickets HERE.