We were excited about interviewing the men who sit in the cockpit of the two Sahara Force India Formula One Team cars. After all, it is not every day that you get to meet the two men who are known for their impeccable driving styles and are the face of one of the fastest growing F1 teams in the world. The duo is now in India prepping for the Indian Grand Prix on 27th October and managed to take some time out of their busy schedule for a rather enjoyable chat.
Adrian and Paul, you are known to the world as talented young Sahara Force India Formula One Team drivers. Could you tell us, who each of you are as a person?
Adrian: (smiles) Who Am I? (sighs). Everyone out there has his own picture of me. I just try to be authentic. Don’t try to be someone different. I am what I am. I have my good side and bad side. I believe I have a good heart and good person. I like to smile, and I like to have fun in life – which is probably the most important in order to have a happy life. I can tell you more and more, but I think, everyone will find out individually how I am and hopefully more people will like me, than dislike me. Hopefully, I can show that I am a good person.
Paul: It’s a difficult question to answer about yourself. I think, you live life to how you feel the journey should go and what makes you happy and what makes you stick. And to stay dedicated to the goals in your life and to your beliefs will drive you. And if you‘re a happy person, you will make people around you happy. That probably is the motto, I live my life by.
Every race driver has good and bad moments during his career. What is your best moment- the most satisfying race of your career irrespective of the final result?
Paul: I think, you have to go probably with your best result, given the hard work with the team. For me, it has to be Singapore. I posted my best Formula 1 finish in the World Championship so far.
Adrian: Yes probably! Best results with best feelings. So, I have had good feelings, sometimes sad feelings as well. My best result was at finishing fourth back at Monza, Italy in the year 2009. The team is working on “Chase the Podium”, and I feel it would be one of the next great moments that we will cherish.
Formula 1 is one among the many sports that demands a high level fitness for those who participate. As you travel across different time zones and geographies, it must be a challenge with multiple cuisines. How do you manage to stay fit?
Paul: I think it’s important to have a balanced healthy diet. Fortunately, we are treated well when we travel at the hotels we stay in. We get treated to multiple cuisines, like here in India; we have tasted Oriental, Chinese, French, and Indian etc. It’s all about adjusting to the change in time zone, eat at the right time and not to divert too much from what you’re used to back at home.
Adrian: I think, you have to listen to your body and to understand what it needs. Of course, it’s a challenge with different food, but it’s always easier to know- what all you can get. Here in India, its different food altogether and it’s always nice to experience, but in a balanced form. And as I believe, ‘In life, if everything is balanced, you live well’.
Behind every race, there is a team working around the clock. How do you manage to maintain a healthy relation with each of them, while working as a team?
Adrian: Formula 1 is a team sport. Every success is a team's success. Nevertheless, every driver is also striving for his own career. However, with every win it’s only the drivers that share the limelight and commotion, the team is never rewarded. The relation with the team is what works for every sport. With a united team, you achieve more; each one pushes you to your better limits and that fetches more points to the team, eventually.
Paul: Team is a small family network, and that makes our team do what it does. We may not have the endless resources or big budgets unlike a few other teams, yet we support each other and help each one to be part of the journey together. The team together takes the negatives as well as the positives in a stride, and eventually we are efficient and healthy together and that makes us a success.
Which driver(s) do you like to face and race on the track in terms of healthy rivalry?
Adrian and Paul (in unison): They all are the same. All of them. They are all the opposition.
How excited and optimistic are you towards Sahara Force India Formula One Team, F1 and India?
Adrian: It’s getting bigger, right from 2008 to where we are now. Sometimes a bit better, sometimes a dull phase. Last year we reached a level that marks us in the Top 10. But, we can be proud of what we have achieved at the moment and over the year. We may be a small team but we are very efficient.
Paul: The journey has been growing every year. We went through difficult stages, but we have a team that is growing and expanding. New generations coming next year would be young surprises that we can take advantage of in the season coming ahead. It’s the team, the family that stays together and I feel very proud of being a part of it. Success will come eventually, and it’s just about dedication of the workforce that surely has been re-enforced and the technical group, which has stabilized and promises great times ahead.
And finally, any message for your fan and followers?
Adrian: I think it’s always great to have followers, especially during a bad time; that’s when you need the push. I am not active on twitter, but I see how emotional fans are in India and how they push the team and make them work. With fans supporting us, the long journey would get better and better.
Paul: Without fans, there would be no interest of media, without media interest; there would be no hope for a brand to be involved. It’s all about exposure. It’s all about getting awareness to what we do. It gives us the opportunity to drive professionally and it gives the team the motivation to excel.
Image credits: Prateek Verma
Article by: Bhavna Negi and Prateek Varma aka SnowLeopard
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