Lot of people ask me if I am afraid of racing cars so powerful and dangerous. Fortunately, almost never when Iím driving. The day that I am surprised at the wheel, is the day I quit racing. Nothing is more dangerous than fear at the wheel. A split-second of indecision can mean running off the track or an accident. The most that can occur me while Iím driving is to worry about mechanical failure at high speed, and in that case, thereís God (at Le Mans, I always made the sign of the cross as I entered the long straightaway called Des HunadiŤres). Of course, I would be a liar if I said I never thought about the risk of having an accident; above all, I have a great fear of fire and being physically handicapped. But, risk is part of the game, and you must learn to deal with fear and overcome it. Fortunately, it only happens in certain circumstances. For example, when I watch others racing (I think that professional race drivers are crazy, forgetting that when Iím in the driverís seat, Iím at least so crazy) when I see or am involved in an accident, sometimes when I run off the track, I am in danger, and almost always before the start (but probably in this case, it is nervousness). One question I am often asked, is one that is very personal since it has to do with my feelings as a driver - and that is what I feel in particular circumstances during my driving career. The most difficult thing is to explain what it feels like to drive a racing car. Basically, itís challenging yourself that is fascinating. Racing is a constant quest to push yourself to the maximum, to dominate the machine. In other words, to surpass oneís own limits. In the process of discovering oneís own limits is a sweet sense of solitude. Just like a mountain climber, a navigator sailing alone, or a hang glider pilot, and as with everyone at some stage of your life. But the real pleasure of racing can and should be, just one aspect of the thrill in the life of a driver. If you donít get dried by the system, and the human side prevails over the opportunism and the selfish side of our business, the world of automobile racing can offer big thrills and it becomes a life gym.
A strong embrace, Yours: