Munich. Next weekend, the long-awaited moment will arrive: BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) will be guesting in Misano (ITA), taking part in his first DTM race. The 51-year-old driver is a legend, successful both in motorsport and in paracycling. Under cross-examination, Zanardi reveals his private side in ten questions and answers.
At Misano, you will race with the number 12 – why that number?
Alessandro Zanardi: “The number 12 is a metaphorical gift to my friend Jimmy Vasser.”
You like to cook – do you have a favourite receipt?
Zanardi: “Yes, Pizza.”
What is the perfect evening for you?
Zanardi: “Spending it with my friends – and having a beer would make it even better.”
What’s your favourite book?
Zanardi: “Actually it would be cool to write a book. I like to write a lot. If it would be a book I read it would be adventure books, like Clive Cussler.”
You have an ocean going boat licence – what do you like about the ocean?
Zanardi: “I fear the ocean, but I love it. I like to live on water, and to sink under water, and to just watch it around me. I enjoy that. But I do respect the ocean a lot.”
What’s your favourite music?
Zanardi: “I don’t have a special favourite song or artist, I can go from Celine Dion to Eminem. I like them both – and everything that is in between.”
What did you want to become when you were a kid?
Zanardi: “A race car driver! Well, before that it was more to become an astronaut, but a race car driver came reasonably fast to my mind.”
With your “Bimbingamba” foundation, you support children with amputations and provide them with prostheses. Why is it so important for you to help them?
Zanardi: “I think to share in life is what keeps us alive. I like to be happy, but I am much happier if I live surrounded by people who are happier. So serenity comes also from being surrounded by people who suffer less, and I try to do what I can from my side to make a better world.”
What’s your favourite country to spend your holiday?
Zanardi: “Italy. In Italy, we don’t appreciate as much as we should what we have. If you see Italy, you’ve seen the world.”
What advice for life would you give your son?
Zanardi: “I can only try to set examples for him, but have to say: stay curious. When you are curious, you search for inspiration from others, and you don’t have to necessarily watch somebody famous to get the right one. You may be a mother getting up in the morning who, although she feels sick, prepares breakfast for her kids and goes to work because there is a family to feed.”
Is there any new adventure you dream of?
Zanardi: “Any new adventure? I don’t know? To be the first man on Mars? Something simple, you know (laughs).”