Ever wanted to get to know your favourite Formula One driver a little better? Ever wanted a glimpse inside their lives outside the cockpit and see what really makes them tick – away from the race track? Now you can with the help of our new series, The Secret Life. First up is Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who admits to being a far from model pupil at school, to having a loathing of squeaky shoes, and to sporting a distinctly gothic hair style in his youth…
Q: Are you the kind of guy to have a ‘Plan-B’?
Sebastian Vettel: No, not at all.
Q: What is your favourite high?
SV: Red Bull. What else?
Q: Who is your dream date?
SV: My girlfriend.
Q: Which film makes you cry?
SV: ‘La Vita e Bella’ (Life is Beautiful). If you know the film you understand.
Q: What are you afraid of?
SV: Mice! I don’t like them. Don’t ask me why.
Q: What was the last book you read?
SV: I can’t remember. I don’t really read books. I like movies more.
Q: What was your biggest (non-Formula One) speeding fine?
SV: It was in Switzerland, and was something around 250 Swiss Francs. I guess it was 21 km/h over the speed limit. That’s a lot in Switzerland as you don’t have much margin there.
Q: Name five things that you hate?
SV: Squeaky shoes, traffic jams, rotten food, smoking areas at airports and you know those clubs where the air is so full of smoke that you could cut it with a knife, and having to wake up super early.
Q: Have you ever dyed your hair?
SV: Yes, I have done it already. It was when I was younger, around 14 years-old. I went to a drugstore, bought a ‘does it yourself’ hair color in black, went home and did it. It was an experiment, and oh boy, it didn’t look too good!
Q: What was the first CD you bought?
SV: I remember it very well. It was ‘Informer’ by Reggae artist Snow. I must still have it somewhere.
Q: Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
SV: Not that I know of!
Q: What did teachers say about you in your school report?
SV: Probably that I wasn’t behaving, fussing all the time, and stirring things up. It would be in that range I assume.
Q: Who were your childhood heroes?
SV: The three Michaels – Michael Schumacher, Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson. I wanted to become Michael Jackson when I was young. It was painful to realize that I didn’t have the voice…
Q: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
SV: Not really. I like deserts but I don’t have any problems with that.
Q: Do you collect anything?
SV: No, not really.
Q: What would you die for?
SV: Homemade food. My mum’s kitchen.
Q: What was your worst buy?
SV: It was in grammar school and I was in love with a girl. There were these chewing gum vending machines from which you could buy all sorts of stuff. I wanted a ring and wasted money on five chewing gums to finally get it out, but I never found the right moment to use it. It was a real waste of my pocket money.
Q: How do you take your coffee?
SV: I don’t drink coffee. I think am too young to understand coffee. I mainly drink water.
Q: What is your ideal non-race Sunday morning?
SV: To sleep in, have a big breakfast, and hopefully if it is a sunny day, do some sport in the outside air. Badminton or whatever. Mostly to be relaxed.
Q: What was your first car?
SV: It was a moped. A Kreidler Flory that ran at about 25 km/h. Naturally, I didn’t tamper with it to make it go faster! We all know that this is not allowed…
Q: What’s the most embarrassing mistake you’ve ever made?
SV: One day I was hiding in the closet in the classroom and the teacher found out after half an hour – I had to come out and looked like an idiot.
Q: What is the best thing that you can cook?
SV: Pasta and tomato sauce.
Q: When was the last time you were really furious?
SV: In winter testing but I cannot tell you why. And on a lesser scale, I lost against my trainer in badminton last week. It was very close: he won 16:14. That rankled.