Lirim Zendeli stands out for his inventive Iron man inspired helmet design, but there is a whole lot more to the MP Motorsport man.
We spoke with the German-born driver to get an insight into the man behind the visor. He picked out his favourite marvel films, discussed his relationship with his favourite music artist and revealed the person who inspires him the most.
WHERE DO YOU CONSIDER HOME?
“I grew up in the city centre of Bochum, which is a nice big city in Germany. I call it beautiful Bochum. It is a big city and we have around 350,000 people there, although it’s still very green. You have got everything you could need there.”
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
“In terms of doing things in life, my dad. I have never seen him take any free time. He has been working his whole life, 24/7, Monday to Sunday, even on holidays. I think he is doing that for me, otherwise, he wouldn't be working that hard. I find it so inspiring.”
HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM THE TRACK?
“I like to chill with my friends. I am not the guy who likes to stay at home. I don't mean partying, but I like to be outside, meeting friends. Going to a park, being on a boat, going for food and drinks, doing something.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE VIDEO GAME?
“I own a PlayStation and the only game I play is Call of Duty, so that would have to be my favourite game.”
WHO IS YOUR BEST FRIEND ON THE F2 GRID?
“That depends on how you define friends. The type of friends I have at home are like brothers. For me, a friend is someone who you can tell the worst things to, things you would never even tell your dad or your actual brother.
“In terms of in the Formula 2 paddock, I get along very well with David Beckmann and my teammate Richard Verschoor. Roy Nissany is a cool guy too.”
WHERE WOULD YOU VISIT IF YOU COULD TRAVEL ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD?
“Albania is a very beautiful place, on the coastline. I have been to New Zealand and that was beautiful. I didn't like the food if I am honest, but the country was beautiful. I would like to go to America, I have never been to that part of this world.”
WHAT MEAL WOULD YOU COOK TO IMPRESS SOMEONE?
“I would cook something Albanian. Well, firstly, I would try and not cook anything because I don’t know if it would make you sick... But if I did have to cook something, then it would be something Albanian, so that I can show people the type of food that we eat. Although I would suggest that you do not eat my cooking…”
IF YOU WEREN’T A DRIVER, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
“The easiest answer is a footballer, but I do not know. I was very good at football, but I knew very early on that I would not go in this direction. If I didn't do any sports, then I would be a very chilled person, probably working in my dad’s company.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT BEING A RACING DRIVER?
“I think we all love cars, and we all love driving the quickest cars that we can. That is something that makes us happy. Travelling around, seeing all of these different cities, that is cool.
“Tracks are kind of beautiful, you have nice tracks and then you have not so nice tracks, and when you arrive at the nice tracks, you just want to drive and you want to feel every corner. I think this is the most enjoyable part of being a driver.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE?
“I guess it has to be one of the Marvel films... Even though I have an iron man helmet, I like the Doctor Strange movies a lot. The black panther too. Marvel has a lot of good movies, Iron Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, they are all amazing.”
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE MUSICAL ARTIST?
“I would go with Noizy, who is an Albanian rapper. I know him personally and he has supported me a lot in my career. I started listening to his music when I was 12, even though I maybe wasn't supposed to, but I feel it.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE RACING MEMORY?
“My win in Spa and the pole position in Mugello. In Spa, I took pole position, but I was a bit lucky with the track and the rain, so in my mind, I was questioning whether I would have gotten pole if everyone had done a proper lap. Everyone had done a lap, but I don't think everyone had done a proper lap.
“Whereas the weekend after, I got pole position when everyone had their chance and that was one of the greatest feelings.”