Latest News / Interview

The First Time - with Sauber's Adrian Sutil

27 Jun 2014

Having left his long-term home of Force India over the winter, Adrian Sutil was hoping to make the most of a fresh start with Sauber, but after eight races the German driver is yet to score his first points for the Swiss team.

In the meantime, we asked Sutil to remember some of the other 'firsts' in his life, from the first trophy he won to the first car he drove, and from the first meal he cooked to his first romantic kiss...

Who was your first hero when you were a child?

Adrian Sutil: Probably Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger - action heroes from Hollywood and not F1 drivers.

What was the first Grand Prix you can remember watching?

AS: It was probably in 1993 as my brother used to watch F1 races and I was always bored when he was glued to the TV. What I can remember very clearly was that sad race at Imola in 1994.

How old were you when you first decided you wanted to be an F1 driver?

AS: I was 15 or 16 when the racing bug bit me. I started go-karting when I was 15 and by 16 I had my own kart and had started to think about what my target could be if I followed the racing road. I'd developed a deep fondness for racing. And as I always aim for the highest target, F1 was the logical goal. Believe me, it was a rocky road to the F1 cockpit!

When was your first big accident in a race car?

AS: With the go-kart I had a flip, which is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to you in karting. But nothing really serious - I always stood up again after a shunt. I am a survivor. (laughs)

What colour was your first helmet?

AS: Plain white.

When did you win your first trophy and what did it look like?

AS: I didn't win it in karting. I participated in a speed eating contest without cutlery! Honestly. It was in school and I was around 11. It was a spaghetti speed eating contest in a restaurant and I came third. I still have the trophy at home.

What was the first road car you drove?

AS: It was my dad's car, and I drove it somewhere on holiday in Spain - in Formentera or Ibiza - when I was around 13.

Where was the first house you lived in?

AS: In Herrsching on Ammersee in Bavaria, Germany.

How nervous were you on your first day of school?

AS: I was a bit nervous as it was a mixed class.

What was the first meal you ever cooked?

AS: Very likely spaghetti - something idiot-proof! (laughs) A bachelor's meal.

What was the first thing you did this morning?

AS: I switched off my alarm clock. I always have my alarm clock on - no matter where I am.

What was the first thing you did after getting your first F1 seat?

AS: I called my family. It was a quick phone call: ‘I'm in'. It was two days before Christmas - the perfect gift!

What was the first record you bought?

AS: I cannot remember - honestly!

What was the first sport you participated in as a kid?

AS: It was athletics at school - running, long jump. I was pretty good at that.

When was your first romantic kiss?

AS: My first kiss ever was not so romantic - but then a few romantic ones followed. So the situation improved. (laughs) But it took a bit of time: I was probably 18 or 19.

When was the first time you were asked to sign an autograph for a fan?

AS: Probably during my time in Formula BMW (2003).

When did you first taste champagne?

AS: It must have been on a podium - in Formula Ford. Oh no, it was in karting. They even give you champagne in karting! But I sprayed it more than I drunk it.

Which would you eat first - a piece of fruit or a piece of chocolate?

AS: A piece of chocolate. Swiss chocolate.

What was the first word you said as a baby?

AS: It was the name of the girl who was babysitting me. It was the neighbour's daughter's name - Dini - much to the embarrassment to my parents! (laughs)