RACING IS...MY PASSION
During the 2013 Canadian F1 Grand Prix you spent some time visiting the country. Could you imagine living in such a huge country or would you miss the cozy and familiar atmosphere of Monaco?
The one negative with Monaco is that you live in apartments. You know, it would be nice to have a little bit of land, but to be fair with all the traveling I do, it’s nice to just lock the front door and know when I get back everything is going to be fine. So, at this stage of my life Monaco is perfect and I see me staying in Monaco for the foreseeable future. For me it is a great base and a fantastic place to live.
In spite of your long career, do you still get thrills before the start?
Always. The adrenaline is always pumping before a race. Every single race is just as exciting as the previous or the next one. It’s a massive buzz and that has not changed throughout my career. I have gained a lot of experience over the years but the excitement is still there and while it is still there I will be racing in Formula 1.
What was more exciting, first drive or first date?
Well, I actually can’t remember my first date, but I’ll always remember my first drive. So I guess that was more important. I can remember every second, when I was driving a Formula 1 car for the first time. Driving around the national circuit at Silverstone in Mika Hakkinen’s car, a McLaren from 1999, was such a special experience - you know, feeling the speed of the car, but more important the braking power of a Formula 1 car.
As a racer you enjoy driving on wide and spacious streets. Which circuit would you describe as the most beautiful one to drive a car on in Europe and worldwide?
SPA is one of the most beautiful ones. It is in the Ardenne forest, but also the layout of the circuit is very special. It is fast, it is flying, it is what a Formula 1 car is made for. And that goes for Suzuka in Japan as well. The Formula 1 car is at it’s best when there are fast changes of direction and you definitely have that in Suzuka. Again it is in the countryside of Japan, 2.5 hours on the Shinkansen from Tokyo. A very special circuit that I am really looking forward to a lap on this year.
And if you had a favorite road to drive road cars on which would it be?
Monaco to Monza is car fun. I always drive to Monaco after the Monza GP.
If you are not driving yourself but sitting in the passenger seat, do you get nervous or are you able to relax?
I get driven a lot. Personally I find it very comfortable, I can relax and send some e-mail and text messages. But I would definitely rather drive than be driven.
In many of the photos that are found on the Internet you are shown in a racing suit. Is it difficult for you to change the racing suit for a jacket and a tie, for example from the BOSS collection?
Definitely not. My racing suit is something that I am living in during GP weekends, but once you take it out of that environment, it looks pretty unusual. So slipping into a well-fitting BOSS suit definitely flows naturally to me. Most of my spare time I am dressed pretty casually. But I love putting on a nice suit for special occasions. A bad fitting suit can make you nervous and embarrassed while a well-fitting suit can give you a lot of confidence.
What does your mother think about your job? Does she cheer you on or is she anxious when you are racing?
My mum is very supportive. She visits a few GPs throughout the year or watches my races from home, even though I am sure she gets very nervous when I am racing.
Once a racer – always a racer. Is it hard for you to obey the speed limit on normal roads?
No, motor racing is so different to driving on the road. Driving on the road is actually more dangerous because a lot of people are not aware of their surroundings. No, I save my fun for the circuit.
Jenson, thank you for the interview!