Sam Bird had his electric cut off and cried himself to sleep after his F1 dream spectacularly crashed.
Bird was on the cusp of earning a seat on the most exclusive grid on the planet after finishing second in the GP2 feeder series in 2013, while also working with the Mercedes team.
But as no F1 seats became available, Bird was cut by Merc and left without a job – which soon left him penniless, unable to pay his bills.
Seven years on, Bird, 33, is a Formula E legend and the only driver to win a race in all six seasons in the series’ history.
On Thursday night, he said his emotional goodbye to the Envision Virgin team after the season finale in Berlin.
They were the team who picked him up from his lowest moment and gave him a second chance in motorsport.
Next year, he joins Jaguar to form one of the strongest partnerships on the grid alongside Kiwi star Mitch Evans.
For Bird, saying goodbye to Virgin will prove to be especially emotional after they picked him up from his lowest point.
“I was going to have every young racing driver’s dream come true. It would have been amazing,” he said.
“However, it didn’t work out – and it didn’t work out quite spectacularly.
“I went from being so close to so far away from that dream so very quickly, which was so very disappointing.
“I didn’t work for Mercedes anymore from the following year and I had nothing else.
“Because of that, I had no income. I couldn’t afford my bills, I couldn’t afford my council tax and my electricity got cut off.
“I was sitting there one day in the cold in my flat – I could see my breath it was that cold – and I literally cried myself to sleep.
“I called my mum and dad and told them this is over; I’m going to become a personal trainer in the gym. I’m going to go back to school and do something, because I cannot live like this. This is not fun.”
But as Bird began planning a new craft, an unexpected phone call came from an up-and-coming series.
“I got a phone call from Virgin Racing, saying they were starting this new championship called Formula E and they would like to interview me about filling one of the roles as one of their race drivers.
“That phone call kept me in racing, pretty much, because I had nothing else.”
Bird’s call up was immediately repaid with a third place finish in the inaugural race in Beijing – but even then there was a reminder of how lucky he was to have his career turned on its head.
Get the latest transfer news straight into your inbox!
Sign up for the brilliant new Daily Star Sport email newsletter!
From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.
Put your email in the box at the top of this article or you can follow instructions on this link here.
He recalled: “I have got a podium, got a trophy and I couldn’t afford a taxi from Heathrow to my flat!
“It was a very bizarre situation but thankfully things have improved. That is down to my success in Formula E, but mainly the success of Formula E in itself.
“Honestly, I think I would be mad to want to leave Formula E. Where would you go?
“There are more manufacturers in Formula E than there are in Formula One.
“The driver line-up is in my opinion the strongest on the planet.
“Formula E is the place to be in my eyes and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”