Motorsport is in Hernan Bradas’s blood. His earliest memories are of his father promising to make him into a driver. His father wasted no time in strapping three-year-old Hernan into a racing kart he’d made himself. And that’s where it all started. Hernan hasn’t taken his hands off the wheel since.
He made his track debut at just four years old and before long he was obsessed. His first vehicle was the kart (albeit with an iron safety cage insisted on by his mother) but he quickly graduated to racing cars and ended up driving for 20 years in a series of very successful teams. As Hernan got older, he became increasingly aware of the challenges facing the environment, so he began looking for a way to make his deep love of racing more sustainable.
Inspired by his childhood hero, the godfather of Formula 1 and fellow Argentinian, Juan Manuel Fangio, Hernan has built a “baquet” (a car with a body shaped like a bathtub) in the style of a car Fangio raced in the 1940s. Of course, the difference here is that this “eBaquet” is fully electric. To Hernan, Fangio wasn’t defined by his racing success, but by the integrity he represented outside the track. In the same way, the eBaquet is more than a car – it’s a medium for a message. “It has the power to communicate how life was at that time, in the feeling it creates - that bit of madness they experienced driving these cars at those speeds on dangerous, inhospitable roads.” Just like Fangio and his “baquet” all those years ago, Hernan is driving motorsport into a new era of racing. Being able to do this in the eBaquet means everything to him.
He’s nicknamed it “Conciencia” – a Spanish word that means both “consciousness” (awareness) and “conscience” in the moral sense. It’s a reference to Hernan’s growing awareness of the world and his strong feeling that something needs to be done to help. “We chose Conciencia because we believe that, together with the drive to use electric cars generally, the industry will react and develop more renewable energies.” That’s the purpose of Hernan’s team.
In converting Conciencia, Hernan has found himself converted to new ways of thinking too. Before, he admits he never questioned where the fuel that filled his tank came from, caring only that it could take him where he was going. Now he reflects on his own part in driving the planet where it is today. “The car changes us in that sense. It makes us efficient. ‘Efficient’ means consuming only what we need. Nothing else. Energy is not to be wasted. That deprives someone else of it. That’s the message.” Hernan has been careful to live this philosophy on and off the track, particularly focusing on his day-to-day life choices. He’s more conscious of his water use and of the clothes he wears.
Hernan believes there’s a wealth of transferable wisdom when it comes to race cars and sustainability: “The life of a driver is in the hands of the team. Trust in your team is what gets you on the track. Caring for our planet is like that — we are all part of the team.” However, there is one fundamental difference: the life of a racing driver is about competition, the drive to go fastest and win the most. For Hernan, it used to be no different: