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GP Week : Issue 34
Every one of those guys out there in their 20s today has exactly the same thing. You just cannot imagine the end of your career or what you’re going to do in the future, and neither should they. They should be concentrating absolutely on what they’re doing. But, inevitably, life is a journey and it’s a one way track and you’ve got to make a decision on how you want to use that journey. If you’re lucky you get an average number of years out of your life and if you’re extremely lucky you get a bit more. And I’m hoping that by looking after myself in the first 37 years, I might be able to extend my life expectancy a bit further. We’ll never sum it up in one sitting, but over the last 15 years are there any particular moments that really stand out for you? Moments you’ll tell your kids about? 24 Meeting their Mum … that was one of the nicer moments. I’ll only be interested in telling them what it was like to win Monaco or race against Schumi and things like that if they want to know about it. There’s nothing worse than people talking about their past because life is for living and for today and tomorrow. We can all look back with fond memories, but that’s all they are. They’re just memories. I do believe that the best is yet to come. Looking back on those memories, then, which would you class as your favourite year? I think maybe 1995 was my favourite year because I was young, in my first full season and everything was new and exciting and I didn’t have the pressures of expectation or any of those sorts of things. I liked the cars at that time; slick tyres, wide track. It would be easy to say that my most competitive year was 2001 when I came second to Michael … but I’ve enjoyed all my years in Formula 1. They’ve all had highs and they’ve all had lows and I’ve been fortunate enough to drive for either very quick teams or, in the case of Red Bull, that are new and exciting and coming up. It’s been a pretty good journey. How about the best car? In terms of out-and-out pace the 1998 McLaren was a very fast car relative to the opposition and the situation in Melbourne in 1998 was born of the fact that we were fast but unreliable so we couldn’t drive it at 100 percent during the race or it would break. So we agreed not to race each other, which was a bit uncomfortable but led to the agreement before the start of the Grand Prix. In pure pleasure terms the slick tyre, wide track cars were pleasurable because they just felt like racing cars.