EB: With regards to friends, do you experience a lot of pressure from them, family and other individuals to drive and emulate the success of your father? Obviously he’s a large racing icon to many, so surely there must be some pressure for you?
FH: No pressure from my friends, likewise family and I don’t think I’ve felt pressure from other people really. The only time I feel pressure is pressure that I put on myself. That’s my own fault. But no one really gives me direct pressure.
EB: Would you say that your driving style is similar in any way to that of your father, or at all different?
FH: I myself, I can’t really comment on that from my experience, because I wasn’t around to see Dad driving and there’s not really much on board footage or data so that I can analyse his driving myself. From what I’ve been told by people, yes my driving style is similar. People that were around in Dad’s days and watched Dad drive say that mine is very similar.
EB: Obviously you touched on the fact that you weren’t alive when your father was racing and nor were some of my audience, including myself. Do you feel that Chris Hemsworth gave a positive portrayal of your father in the film, Rush?
FH: Ah yes, generally. He did give a positive portrayal. I mean, I’m going to be picky now, it wasn’t an absolutely perfect performance. The main thing he missed out or failed to capture was Dad’s innocent and charm. In that way, he came across a little bit arrogant and borderline cocky, which was the opposite of Dad. It was a very good performance indeed. Compared to Daniel Bruhl who was playing Niki, who did a masterpiece. I know a lot of people share that opinion, but he had a major advantage of getting to know Niki and really get to learn his mannerisms and get to know his character. Chris didn’t have that luxury. So on the whole, he did a good job and portrayed him well.
EB: Now moving on to some more general questions, that I know some of my audience would be particularly interested in.
What do you like doing when you’re not racing?
FH: What do I like to do when I’m not racing? Mostly country sports. Horse riding, playing polo. I enjoy squash. Wildlife. Well wildlife conservation is actually my main life goal after racing. One can only race for so long, so I do have other ambitions apart from racing. So that’s what I really want to do, full time wildlife conservation in the long run. So that’s what probably takes up most of my time when I’m not thinking about driving or working on driving, whether it be training in the gym or trying to get sponsors or doing interviews, or whatever. Work wise, its conservation. Like I said, for pleasure its country sports, riding, fishing, stuff like that?
EB: What road car do you drive? Surely you must have quite a collection?
FH: What gives you that idea?
EB: Because you’re a motoring enthusiast and so surely you must have some nice cars?
FH: No, no, unfortunately cars cost quite a lot of money and that’s one thing I don’t have a lot of at the moment. No I don’t have a collection of cars. My brother has a collection, which he loves, and that’s really cool. No, not myself and I’m not actually driving a road car at the moment, I’m sticking to the bicycle for two reasons:
1.I don’t really want to be driving an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) on the road, so I’m looking to get my hands on an electric car.
2.The bicycle saves me money and keeps me fit
EB: Regarding the electric car, is that inspired by your work with Formula E?
FH: Yes. My involvement with Formula E is that I am a Sustainability Spokesman for them and I’m there to promote sustainability. The fact of the matter is and I’m pretty sure I’m right, I bet my life on it, if we don’t get all the engines off the road, and I’m not talking about the race track, our planet will suffocate. Not in our lifetime but pretty soon. By the time I’m old, it’s going to look pretty grim. So we really need everyone to somehow get the engines off the road, I’m not talking all engines. We need to find a way where people can still have cars for pleasure, just not every day. Perhaps there could be a licence with a limited amount of miles or fuel per year, so we could still have the cars and the lovely engines but just without burning all this fuel and gallons per day I suppose. There’s got to be a better way to get from A to B, and that seems to be the trick. So that’s why I’m promoting it.