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The Inside Line - on Force India's Nico Hulkenberg 24 Apr 2012

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 4 March 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, 21 February 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 4 March 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 2 March 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05.
Formula One World Championship, Australian Grand Prix, Rd1, Practice Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 16 March 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 16 March 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 signs autographs.
Formula One World Championship, Australian Grand Prix, Rd1, Qualifying Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 17 March 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 22 March 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday, 13 April 2012

You’ll know Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg as the driver who stole the limelight during qualifying for the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix by scoring his maiden pole position for Williams, before moving to Force India, first as 2011 reserve and then a full-time racer again in 2012. You may not know that Hulkenberg is plagued by a sweet tooth, could happily spend the rest of his life in Sydney, and is a self-confessed post-race couch potato. Find out more about the young German here…

Q: What keeps you awake at night?
Nico Hulkenberg:
I hope nothing keeps me awake at night. Okay, if there are personal issues or things didn’t go quite as planned at the track, then sometimes, because the brain is hard to switch off. But I value a good night’s sleep very highly, so that is what I go for - always!

Q: If you could banish one thing from your life for the rest of your life, what would it be?
NH:
Wow! I have never thought about such a thing. What a tricky question! The one and only thing that springs to mind right now is cleaning up my apartment. I know that sounds a bit trivial, but I do not have any ‘hate objects’ that haunt me…

Q: What’s been your most valuable ‘life’ lesson?
NH:
It was back in 2010 when I had my rookie season. Of course, as rookie you want to show your true colours to everybody in the paddock and to the rest of the world, which sometimes leaves you with the bit between your teeth. So I had to learn to be more relaxed and let go. 2010 was my ‘life’ lesson.

Q: What do you admire most?
NH:
Loyalty and honesty.

Q: When were you happiest?
NH:
I have a lot happy moments. I have a great job - it’s quite a privilege to be a Formula One driver - I have a supportive family and I have good friends.

Q: If you could give your younger self some advice what would it be?
NH:
Be a bit more patient. Stay calm boy! (laughs)

Q: Q: If your racing career were to end this season, what would you do with the rest of your life?
NH:
Hopefully enjoy my life with all the money I hopefully would have earned. (laughs)

Q: If you had to stay in one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?
NH:
We see so many nice places around the world over the course of a Formula One season, so it’s hard to tell. Maybe Sydney. I like the city and Aussies are laidback people, so I could see myself in Oz.

Q: What animal best reflects your personality?
NH:
Ha, doesn’t my haircut tell you? Leo (a lion) of course! It’s my zodiac sign. In any case, a hunter!

Q: What is more important in life than winning?
NH:
Being healthy and being fit. There is a saying in German: ‘health is not everything, but without health everything is nothing’. Wow, what kind of thoughts are these on a Sunday morning?

Q: What would you spend your last dollar on?
NH:
Probably a Fanta. I have a sweet tooth! Anyway, you don’t get a lot more than a soft drink for a dollar these days

Q: What is your greatest weakness?
NH:
Impatience.

Q: Are you the man you always hoped you would become?
NH:
So far so good. I hope there is more to come. I am working very hard on it. I feel I am on a good path, I think…

Q: What scares you?
NH:
Nothing really. I am not scared of things but I have respect for a lot of things and people.

Q: What event can’t you forget but wish you could?
NH:
I don’t remember the exact year but it was in karting, as a European championship junior cadet. I should have been European champion but I got a penalty in the race because I bumped the leader off the track. With that the title was gone. It hurt for a long time.

Q: What’s your ultimate comfort food?
NH:
I’ve already said that I have a sweet tooth, so everything that tastes, smells and/or looks sweet is for me.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?
NH:
Forest. I like to run in the forest. I like the smell of trees and moss.

Q: What tastes like home?
NH:
A good German breakfast. With proper bread! Not that kind of wishy-washy bread that you get in most of the countries we go to.

Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a race?
NH:
Check the mail, get something to drink, switch on the TV and chill on the couch. ‘Couch potato’, isn’t that the word?

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