Behind the Helmet: Edoardo Mortara – Part 2
Edo, can you remember the first time a fan asked you for your autograph?
Edoardo Mortara: No, not really. Such things happen at quite an early stage in kart racing.
Do you find it strange that there are people who want to cheer you on and follow your career?
Edoardo Mortara: You don't really notice such things when you're young. It becomes normal when you've grown up with it.
Do you get the feeling that there are people around you who do not want the best for you but for themselves?
Edoardo Mortara: Always! But that's normal. You find that out at a very early stage.
Is it hard when the realisation hits you?
Edoardo Mortara: It's part of the game. Everyone looks after their own interests. There are few people who consider both - their own interests and yours. You have to find the right people, but of course, you have to get to know the wrong people first before you learn.
What do you worry about the most?
Edoardo Mortara: Nothing special. I'm now a dad, so I worry about things like not being able to take care of my wife and children. That's what I'm most afraid of.
In what ways has your life changed since the birth of your daughter, Sophia?
Edoardo Mortara: It's been a big change. You have to be a lot more careful. The focus has shifted much more in her direction. Having a baby is tough, especially for my wife. She has to take care of her most of the time. Unfortunately, I'm often not at home.
How do you help when you are at home? Is changing nappies also in your repertoire?
Edoardo Mortara: Not often enough to be honest. She does a lot. When I'm home, I also have plenty to do. I have to go to the restaurants, to factories to see what's going on. And on race weekends, the focus is completely on the motor racing. I'm often not at home. I leave the house at eight or nine o'clock in the morning and return at ten at night. I try to make time to see them, because it's important to build a connection between you and your child. But it's not easy.
Can you remember a day when you took a decision that changed the rest of your life?
Edoardo Mortara: I'm not the kind of guy who looks to the past. Of course, I've made some decisions that have impacted on my life, but so far, I've been very satisfied with the decisions I've made. The big decisions are whether to get married, whether to go to university. I'm glad I had parents who were very strict where such things are concerned. I also made the choice between football and motor racing, although it was a decision that was forced on me to some extent. I had to stop. I injured my knee, then my shoulder, putting me out of action for a good 18 months.
Was that the toughest time of all when you were injured and knew that your football career was more or less over?
Edoardo Mortara: It wasn't over quite over, but it was tough. My knee was a mess, and you know that your chances of making it are much smaller when you've got such injuries. If you want to turn professional, you really do have to stay fit and healthy. There are many excellent footballers who got injured early on and never succeeded. I realised that even from my circle of friends. Some were incredible, but then they got injured and couldn't do anything anymore.