Behind The Helmet: Paul Di Resta – Part 2
Paul, when did you meet your wife, Laura?
Paul Di Resta: Just before I turned 18. We were both still quite young and lived in the same area. She was just starting out at university, while I was working my way up through the junior classes. So, she’s been with me from the very start and has accompanied me every step of the way in everything I’ve achieved. She’s been an extremely important part of it. She wasn’t a big fan of motor sport in the early days but has become one with time. She supported me from the beginning and has never questioned what I do. She never worries and knows I do my best to make everything as safe as possible.
How important is it, the fact that she knew you before you achieved success?
Paul Di Resta: People always say: “Happy wife, happy life.” My life is grounded with her and we can enjoy it both together. How often do you get to travel around the world and do your job at the same time? We had three wonderful years during my time in Formula 1 when we were able to get to know different cultures. I missed that very much once I’d finished in Formula 1, but being able to share the journey with someone very special is something that many people never get to experience, especially not after meeting at such an early age. We’ve been through thick and thin together.
In what ways has your life changed since becoming a father?
Paul Di Resta: Becoming a dad is the best feeling in the world. Motor sport obviously still plays a big part in my life. It’s my hobby, the passion that I’ve devoted myself to, but to see my child smile in the morning or to be kissed or hugged by them is something very special. It has changed me as a human being. I now appreciate things much more. People always say, “Once you have children, you change for the better.” It’s amazing to see their different personalities developing. They accept our good and bad qualities. It’s just incredible and I hope that my children will remain as close to me as I am to my parents. It doesn’t affect my pursuit of goals, because I know that Laura and the children support me in all my endeavours. Actually, she is the star in the family, who keeps everything running smoothly when I’m away. She looks after the children while I live the dream and race cars. But I do it to be able to take care of them – and she knows that.
What would you say if your children wanted to become racing drivers?
Paul Di Resta: To be honest, it would make my life easier, because it would then give my dad something to do. I’ve grown up with the idea that you can do whatever you want. You’ll always find a way. If I knew that they were 100% certain that they wanted to race, I would be right behind them. It’s part of being an adult to help your children and keeps the family together.
Speaking of family, your brother designs your helmets. How important is that to you?
Paul Di Resta: I’m very close to my brother. He’s my best friend. He is quite arty and it’s nice when your brother can design and paint your helmet and do what he most enjoys. He likes it and it’s important to him. I always tell him roughly the way I want it and then leave the rest to him. And it’s free – I don’t have to pay him! (laughs) I am a Scotsman after all. You’ve got to take little things like that into account...