Formula One Fantasy - Toro Rossos Sebastien Buemi 04 Oct 2011
Believe the stereotype and the average Swiss is a quiet, unassuming character, more impressed with the qualities of precision and punctuality than with those of flare or imagination. But then, in a country where motorsport was banned while he was growing up, Sebastien Buemi is not your typical Swiss. Asked to go Formula One daydreaming, Buemi conjures up arguably the ultimate F1 dinner party, a grid full of fan cars, and a new-and-improved version of Eau Rouge (if such a thing is possible)
Q: You must choose a city for a new Formula One street circuit - which city, anywhere in the world, do you choose, and why?
Sebastian Buemi: Of course I would pick a city in Switzerland - Bern, Lausanne, Zurich, whatever - even though I know it is not possible to race in Switzerland. But isnt that a Formula One Fantasy? So I can wish for anything...
Q: If you could choose one former world champion as your team mate, who would you choose and why?
SB: I would take Ayrton Senna. He was so special.
Q: Formula One innovations of the past - ground effect, active suspension, turbocharging, six wheels, the list goes on. If you could bring back one past innovation, what would it be and why?
SB: I would go for that intake device on the so called fan car that Niki Lauda had on his Brabham in Sweden in 1978. That must have been a hell of a thing! (laughs)
Q: What innovations would you like to see in the future?
SB: Maybe going in the hybrid direction: to push something forward that could also be used in normal road cars, to yet again make Formula One a frontrunner in technical innovation.
Q: You can only drive at one circuit for the rest of your life - which circuit, past or present from anywhere in the world, do you choose?
SB: I would pick Spa because the track is simply fantastic - and maybe if we did a whole year there we could also have a dry race once in a while! (laughs)
Q: Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Tyrrell, March are just some of the teams that have departed the sport. Which former team would you most liked to have raced with and why?
SB: The old Colin Chapman Lotus team. He was so innovative and such a colourful personality.
Q: You have to design a new F1 circuit, combining all your favourite corners from other tracks around the world. Which three corners are top of your list and why?
SB: Firstly Eau Rouge, but I would change it a bit to make it more difficult. Or just bring the old Eau Rouge back - what we have now is a bit too easy. Second on my list would be the Monaco tunnel and third the fast S from Suzuka. It would be a track of high-speed corners that would make a drivers heart beat faster.
Q: You can travel back in time and compete in any decade of Formula One racing, from the 1950s to the 1990s. Which decade would you choose and why?
SB: The late 1980s. There was so much innovation on the car and the fights were incredible - and the sound was deafening (laughs)
Q: What current Formula One regulation would you most like to change and why?
SB: I would change the rules on tyres - to get more tyres for a race weekend. We are spending millions on the cars and then sometimes not being able to drive because we have to save tyres. I think rookies and young drivers in particular would benefit from a more generous tyre allocation.
Q: If you could pick two Formula One greats of the past (from different eras) to watch race against each other, who would you pick?
SB: It actually really happened: Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. They made something very special out of their fight.
Q: If you were a team boss, which current driver would you pick first for your team (excluding yourself and your current team mate)?
SB: Sebastian Vettel. He comes from the same breeding ground that I do.
Q: Just 19 of the worlds motor racing circuits feature on the current F1 calendar. You can add one more. Which circuit do you pick and why?
SB: The Red Bull Ring in Austria. It is a beautiful landscape and has a very long Formula One history.
Q: You are having a dinner party and can invite four people from the world of motorsport, past or present. Who do you invite?
SB: Bernie Ecclestone, Dietrich Mateschitz, Enzo Ferrari and Ayrton Senna.
Q: You are given the chance to drive any legendary Formula One car of the past (excluding those made by your own team). Which car would you choose?
SB: Its not a legendary car in the true sense, even though it will be a legend in the future: the Red Bull RB7. It has won nine races so far - and still counting.
Q: Rooftop swimming pool, bowling alley, revolving sushi bar - just some of the features most F1 motorhomes dont possess. If you could add one thing to your teams motorhome, what would it be?
SB: Probably a swimming pool. After a hot track session I can imagine jumping into a pool would be extremely nice.
Q: Imagine you have just won the world title. Where would you go for your celebratory meal and what would choose from the menu?
SB: Of course it would be in my home country with family and friends and good traditional Swiss food - the drinks would be decided on the spot! (laughs)
For tickets and travel to 2011 Formula One races, click here.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.