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GP Week : Issue 192
5 MINUTES As the F1 circus took its autumnal Asian tour, GPWeeK editor KATe WALKeR sat down with Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde to discuss proposals, determination, and life on the road. GPWeeK: One of the things I’ve always liked about you as a driver is that you’ve actually got a sense of humour. You take the piss a bit on Twitter, you roll with the punches... You’re a three- dimensional human being. Is this because you had a normal family life, or was it a concerted decision to show people that you’re a real person? GIEDO VAN DER GARDE: I am a real person. I like to show myself, what I’m doing, what goes on in my life. I think the most important thing is humour, because the more you laugh the happier you are. This is my philosophy. I’m getting married this year, and I’ve been with my girlfriend for 10 years. She always says ‘you’re really funny, and that’s why I like you’. I say, ‘oh, so it’s not because of my looks, then?’ It’s important to laugh. I have good people around me – my trainer, my friends, my girlfriend. We always have fun. You need to enjoy yourself, because you only live life once. If you can’t laugh when you’re working, you’re probably in the wrong job. That’s the way I see it. I agree. I didn’t realise it was this year you were getting married; for some reason I thought it was next year. Your proposal was so sweet. How far in advance did you decide that that was how you were going to do it? About two weeks. I was sitting in the car with my manager, coming back from a meeting in London, and we drove back. I said ‘I want to ask my girlfriend to marry me’. He said I should do it with my Formula One car, as I had a show the next week, and I thought ‘hey, that’s a good one!’. So we told the organisation [City Racing Rotterdam] and the team that I wanted to something, but only him and I knew what it was. When I went on one knee, my girlfriend was really surprised. The good thing was that I invited all my best friends, her best friends, our families... More or less 50 percent of the people were crying. It was good fun – a special day. she’ll never forget that moment, will she? so what was scarier – trying not to make any mistakes on the run, or getting down on one knee in front of all those people? Both, I think! Normally when you get in the car you just do your thing and that’s it. You’re not scared, or excited. But that was just a different feeling. I still had to come back to the end, because there was a tent with all of our family and friends. But I think I did a good job – I did some donuts, stopped the car, and then got on one knee. I was quite nervous. I’m not surprised! I think all men, at that moment, feel pretty nervous. You never know what’s going to happen – if she says no, you get embarrassed. so do you get to spend much time with her on the road? I know it’s hard in this life, with all of the work commitments. In Europe it was quite nice. I live in Holland – in Amsterdam – and travelling from Amsterdam is quite easy, so after the race I could spend a couple of days at home, and then travel to England to go in the simulator, to work with the team. Of course, now it’s busy. She came to Singapore, but that was her last race. At the beginning of the year it was tough, but she’s known me for 10 years, so she knows that I have to do the job and she’s fully behind me. The problem is, if you’re involved in motorsport, you might have been together for 10 years, but you’ve probably only been together together for six, because you’re on the road the rest of the time! But that makes it exciting, you know? After two or three weeks away, you really look for ward to going home. 5 MINuTEs WITH gIEDO VAN DER gARDE 18 GPWEEK.com // 18 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: