Because posting something about the official Formula 1 site’s “The Inside Line” feature never gets me in trouble, let’s dive into the latest — on Force India’s Paul di Resta.
And yes, I think you can argue that he makes sure to upset all his English fans. Read on…
Q: What’s been your most valuable ‘life’ lesson?
PdR: To stay positive and always keep a positive mind and thinking. You live a long life and to fill it with bad vibes is not getting you anywhere.
Q: If you could give your younger self some advice what would it be?
PdR: To be more confident in situations, not to be too outspoken, but to approach people in different ways. It probably takes too much to make me speak to people.
OK, if you already feel like this isn’t going to be as good as Vitaly Petrov’s, you’re absolutely, positively correct.
OK, so a quick digression: The general consensus seems to be that for good and ill, Petrov has one of the looser mouths in F1. It may have contributed to his being booted from Renault / Lotus.
Do you suppose that — and I’m not an expert on his younger career — not coming up through the carting ranks based in the U.K. kept him from learning, early on, the “expected ways” to talk and act? In other words: Has he not been trained not to shoot from the hip?
Just wondering… maybe I’m missing something about his background. I know he eventually got into the climbing the ladder series, but… is this training something that happens when you’re 12 or younger?
OK, back to di Resta, who I would argue got the training I’m talking about:
Q: If your racing career ended after this season what would you do with the rest of your life?
PdR: I’ve never considered that situation. I have always been focused on being a race driver. But should racing be over, I would always consider doing something with motor racing, based upon the experiences that I’ve had. With hindsight I would say that if I had I the chance to live my life again I would definitely put more effort into school. At that time I was so full of racing that my attention span was not so good. (laughs) I was not thinking of maths or English – it didn’t add up in my head. I was just thinking about cars and tyres – that was my foreign language.
Q: If you had to stay in one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?
PdR: There is no place like home, Scotland – full of fresh water and fresh air! That’s the natural place for me.
That, by the way, is my joking — emphasis on joking — reference to where Paul upset his English fans, apparently not realizing that Scotland is fixing to vote on pulling out of the U.K. Anyhoo…
Q: What animal best reflects your personality?
PdR: Maybe a cheetah? It is a moving animal – in fact, the fastest animal on land…
Smartly, Paul didn’t want to be a lion or a tiger or a bear, because then he might end up living with Petrov.
I do think Paul has one truly solid answer:
Q: What is your greatest weakness?
PdR: Shouldn’t that be for somebody else to say? On a trivial level, it’s that I sometimes don’t know when to stop eating. When you put food in front of me I find it pretty hard to stop. And that runs against my diet, as I always have to look that I don’t get too heavy, as I am quite tall already.
I think that suggests a certain maturity — akin to Socrates thinking himself the least wise man in Greece — but it also might suggest a certain lack of maturity. I’m pretty sure Todd and Paul and I all could point to our greatest weaknesses, and if we can’t, well, Grace can.
At this point, Paul goes off on an interesting angle: all about smells.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a race?
PdR: Sit on the sofa and enjoy the smell of your own home.
Q: What’s your favourite smell?
Am I the only one who finds that a bit weird? Of course, these pieces are supposed to be a bit weird, a bit of an unusual look at the drivers, so I guess that works.
Does Paul say anything that strikes you as revealing?