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The Secret Life of Pedro de la Rosa 21 Jun 2010

Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) BMW Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 11 June 2010 Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) BMW Sauber C29 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 12 June 2010 Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) BMW Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 28 May 2010 Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) BMW Sauber C29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 28 March 2010 Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) BMW Sauber C29 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 13 May 2010

He may have been a paddock fixture for 13 years, notched up 78 Grand Prix starts and 29 world championship points, but we bet there’s an awful lot you don’t know about BMW Sauber’s Pedro de la Rosa, including his fear of flying, his youthful Smurf collection, and a worrying addiction to an Italian dessert. Find out more about Spaniard De la Rosa in the latest instalment of our Secret Life series…

Q: Are you the kind of guy to have a ‘Plan-B’?
Pedro de la Rosa:
No. I am not a lateral thinker. I am a straight-line thinker - if there is a rock in front of me I’ll try to go through it. I am like a bull in that respect. I am not that smart.

Q: Apart from driving a Formula One car, what is your favourite buzz?
Being with the right people. I could be in a cave with no light, but if I am with my kids and my wife I am a happy man.

Q: Who is your dream date?
There are so many people I would love to meet. One would have been Ayrton Senna, the other one would be Lance Armstrong. He is someone I admire massively because I cycle a lot and I know how tough cycling is. It is ten times tougher than racing a Formula One car from the physical side. I would like to get into his brain to see how he thinks and how much he can suffer.

Q: Which film last made you cry?
I haven’t cried at a movie lately, as far as I can remember. I cried reading a book - The Bridges of Madison County - but that was some time ago, when I was younger and more sensitive. Now I am tough! (laughs).

Q: What are you afraid of?
I am quite scared of planes because I sometimes dream that I die in a plane crash.

Q: What was the last book you read?
I read Perfume, by Patrick Suskind. That was by far my favourite book lately.

Q: Name five things that you hate?
Dishonest people, hypocrisy, lies, unpunctual people (like my wife!) and smelly people.

Q: Have you ever dyed your hair?
Yes, I have done it in the past. It was a little bit darker than my original colour. It was a mess and I am sure I will never do it again because sometimes you learn from bad experiences.

Q: What was the first CD you bought?
It wasn’t a CD, that came later. The first tape was Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA. It is still my favourite album. It was the first one, and the best.

Q: Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
No, I’d hate one on myself. But I like to see them on other people.

Q: What did your teachers say about you in your school report?
That he is very committed and he works very hard. He’s not that clever but he always gives his best.

Q: Who were your childhood heroes?
Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, and of course my father - he has always been my top hero.

Q: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I like tiramisu. I would eat a tiramisu every night if I could, so I have to control myself and not get too carried away.

Q: Do you collect anything?
Not any more. When I was younger I collected Smurfs. That was a long time ago. It was my first and last collection. Now I am not interested in collecting anything. But wait a minute… I’m lying. I have a collection of all my helmets. From every year I’ve raced I have at least one helmet. It must be around 30 helmets.

Q: What do you miss most about home when you’re travelling?
I miss my family. Still, after all those years of travelling, I feel very weak when I am not with them. And I miss the Spanish news. When I go to a hotel room, the first thing I do is look for a Spanish channel! I leave it on all the time and then I feel like I’m home.

Q: What was your worst buy?
I haven’t had any bad buys yet. Actually I’m very proud of that. I think before buying.

Q: How do you take your coffee?
I always have an espresso macchiato.

Q: Your ideal non-race Sunday morning?
Waking up in Majorca and going cycling.

Q: What was your first car or vehicle?
I had a Montesa 50cc, when I was five or six years-old. I started with that little motorbike before starting with a kart.

Q: What’s the most embarrassing mistake you’ve ever made?
It was in 1996 in Aida, Japan. Toyota had brought out a new supercar, completely white. It had just come out of the oven and I was told to do an installation lap, but the car never came back. I destroyed the car on the back straight. There was some snow on the track and I destroyed the car. I came back to the pits and told them that there was no more car and the mechanics thought I was joking. I really did not have the balls to take my helmet off! I could not look them in the eyes.

Q: What is the best thing you can cook?
I can only cook Spaghetti. It’s very good though.

Q: When was the last time you were really angry?
Very recently. That was after the Spanish Grand Prix. When I got back to my hotel room I banged every wall in there.