The secret life of... Brendon Hartley
You may have seen his wedding photos on social media recently, but Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley generally steers clear of the public eye - at least by F1 driver standards. We decided to learn a little more about the New Zealander...
Q: Apart from driving a Formula 1 car, what is your favourite buzz? Brendon Hartley: Riding my mountain bike. When I am home in New Zealand I spend most of my days riding my bike in the forest. I get a sense of adrenaline and achievement when you get to the top of the hill and then enjoy going down - the rush when riding over rough and smooth.
Q: Which film last made you cry? BH: You see so many movies on the planes to the next race destinations. The last movie that I saw coming here was Baby Driver. I liked it, but no big emotions. It is also the last movie that I remember by name.
Q: What are you afraid of? BH: Spiders. And not using all your potential – but I guess that goes for everyone…
Q: What was the last book you read? BH: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Once in a while I read this book - every time when I want a good laugh.
Q: What did your teachers say about you in your school report? BH: That I was very inquisitive. I always wanted to get to the core of things. That probably annoyed the teachers. I was very good at science, I enjoyed mathematics – I understood it and was passionate about it – but I was never really good at history or languages.
Q: Do you have any guilty pleasures? BH: I have a few pleasures, but I wouldn’t say that I feel guilty about any of them.
Q: Do you collect anything? BH: I collect the race passes. I have all of them since I have raced in Europe - all the paddock passes that I ever got. One day I will do something cool with them. Now I have a permanent one – which is a shame! (Laughs)
Q: What do you miss most about home when you’re travelling? BH: The shade of blue of the sky. Being outside in nature. Being in the forest. Ah, and the starry nights – you don’t really have them any more in most of the places around the world.
Q: What was your worst buy? BH: Nothing really. I don’t own so many things.
Q: What’s the most embarrassing mistake you’ve ever made? BH: I can’t think of one. Actually this feels good. I know it is boring, but I don’t take myself too seriously to get embarrassed.
Q: When was the last time you were really angry? BH: I am sure there must be something. Maybe someone cut in front of me in the check-in line…
Q: Which superpower would you prefer: being able to fly or being able to become invisible? BH: Invisible. Or actually I would take both: birds always fascinated me as a child. I could watch them for hours, imagining taking off with them.
Q: Do you sing in the shower? BH: Thank God, no! (Laughs)
Q: Do you believe in love at first sight? BH: No. Lust at first sight, yes. Love, no.
Q: What’s the worst thing about being famous? BH: I am not famous – and I don’t want to be famous. I feel sorry for people that have so much fame that they can’t sit with friends in a restaurant or do other normal things. If you can’t be normal in a public place then that must be really sad.
Q: You can invite three people to dinner, living or dead. Who do you invite? BH: Someone from one hundred years ago, someone from one hundred years in the future, someone from now – and me.
Q: What was the best thing about being a child? BH: Having no fears about the future. Experiencing things for the first time.
Q: What should everyone try once in their lifetime? BH: Having little challenges in nature. Climbing a mountain, riding a bike in the woods. Things that everybody can do.