What sounded like a promising idea — to give fans a little extra, personal information on the drivers — has turned into a fairly routine and unimaginative feature, sadly enough. But maybe it isn’t F1’s job to promote the drivers; perhaps it is incumbent on the teams and, in the era of Twitter and Facebook, maybe it really is the job of the drivers, themselves, now. (Can you imagine Jimmy Clark, Alain Prost or Niki Lauda having to do that?)
I still think there is a big vacuum that a fan-friendly and interesting driver could fill. Maybe they just aren’t all that interesting at this point? Maybe life focused so intently on making it to F1 narrows their focus so much they don’t have time for enough other interests? I’d say that’s true of plenty of sports — or any top-level endeavor that demands 100% focus. So I’m not calling out F1 drivers, alone.
Anyway, here’s a few highlights, as much as I can bring myself to highlight it. (And keep in mind, this from a Force India and Adrian Sutil fan.)
Q: Are you the kind of guy to have a â€˜Plan-Bâ€™?
Adrian Sutil: Sometimes. I like to do things that are planned and organized properly. But if I want to get a bit more adventurous, I stop following â€˜Plan-Aâ€™ and move on to â€˜Plan-Bâ€™. Overall I prefer everything to be very organized and straightforward, with irritations kept to a minimum.
Well, I don’t know what the stereotype of Germans is in places other than America, but Sutil pretty well meets our right out of the gate.
Q: Who do you most look forward to seeing when you arrive in the paddock on a Thursday?
AS: I always look forward to entering our motor home – especially recently, as the motor home is all new and very chic. We have a laidback atmosphere in there and everyone in the team is like my extended family.
OK, that’s something — a little picture of Force India as a good place to work. Well, unless by extended family Sutil means all those obnoxious cousins you’re forced to see during the holidays.
Q: Who is your dream date?
AS: If it is with a female date, Iâ€™d say it would be with a good-looking, smart, lovely lady. If it was with someone I have always wanted to meet and speak to, then it would be with Sean Connery! I am not sure if it will ever happen, but if it does I will grab the chance. He was the best James Bond ever!
Does this question somehow not translate? It seems like every driver answers somehow in this vein: Well, if it was a woman, blah blah blah, but really I want to hang out with this one dude. Note to future Secret Life victims: Yes, we want to know who you’d go out with where the intent is something a bit naughty. That’s the question. Moving on.
Q: Which film last made you cry?
AS: I am not a cry baby. For a film to get me close to crying then it would be because I was crying with laughter. It hasnâ€™t happened recently.
Q: What are you afraid of?
AS: I am afraid of spiders. I live in an old house and you sometimes come across them. They drive me crazy, especially when they have long legs!
Q: What was the last book you read?
AS: I am not a big reader. I am a movie guy. The last book I had a look at was about sailing.
Whoa, defensive there much, Adrian? Did we accuse you of being a cry baby? Oh, wait, yeah, I guess we — and almost everyone in F1 circles — has. OK, carry on.
Q: What is your favourite way to relax?
AS: To be at home on my own, listen to some music, look out of the window and empty my head. Sometimes I donâ€™t want to see anybody – I just want to be on my own.
Q: Name five things that you hate?
AS: Spiders and insects. Disorganisation and messy places – I cannot live with them. What else? I hate dirty cars. I am a fanatical car cleaner! When I am home alone, and donâ€™t know what to do, I start cleaning my car. Then I donâ€™t want to drive it anymore. Tidiness is very important for me. The shoes at the bottom of the bed have to be positioned perfectly otherwise I cannot sleep. Does that sound a bit mad? Probably. I want everything to be perfect.
Here we have the nice ying/yang of Sutil. The quiet longer, wanting to be contemplative versus the compulsive neat freak who is doomed to have relationship after relationship fail over the positioning of shoes each night.
Q: What do you miss most about home when you are on the road?
AS: I miss the place where I live. It is very quiet there and green.
Answer: I miss home most about home when I’m on the road. *Face palm*
Q: Your ideal non-race Sunday morning?
AS: Sleep in until ten, have brunch, take my car and drive around in the mountains.
Hey, me too! I take back all the snark, Adrian. See you in the Malibu canyons!