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Our favourite TopGear.com interviews of 2012

  1. This year, we learned that Sir Stirling Moss reckons Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the next three years is very good. We were also made aware that Michael Schumacher’s penchant for becoming a motorbikist was kindled after a drive through France on a Harley Davidson. And, along with finding out Kimi Raikkonen’s anti-dandruff shampoo ‘seemed to be working’, we also found out the Iceman regularly whups Sebastian Vettel at badminton.

    We were also taken for a hotride in former GM chief Bob Lutz’s fighter plane, and learned that Sir Chris Hoy - or “just Chris” - used to watch motorsport way back when Colin McRae was a regular feature on Channel 4’s rally coverage. We’ve even had Derek Bell radioing in our ear to boot his old 962 down the Dunsfold runway.

    It’s safe to say therefore, that we’ve been in with some pretty decent company this year. So because it’s Christmas and the time of giving and all that, we’ve decided to round up our favourite interviews of the year; from the stuff you saw on TG telly right through to an innocuous little chat in the motorhome of a Nissan GT Academy graduate…

    Click forth for more essential nuggets of information.

  2. Slash

    “My first car that I paid for with my money was a Honda CRX, but then I got a 1966 427 Corvette Coupe. I did a couple of 360s on Sunset with that car, it was so powerful and I didn’t know what I was doing with it…”

    Watch the full interview here

  3. Kimi Raikkonen

    On playing badminton against Vettel: “2009 was the last time I think”.

    On whether he beat Vettel at Badminton: “Always”.

    Go behind the scenes with Kimi here

  4. Matt LeBlanc

    “I bought it as a used car lot, I was driving by, and I thought that looks like a good waste of money right there…”

    Watch the full interview here

  5. Michael Fassbender

    “The conditions on track are pretty good. It’s just my conditioning…”

    Go behind the scenes with Michael here

  6. Matt Smith (Dr Who)

    “It was with Eva Green; the first scene of the first day, we’re in Germany and it’s Baltic cold and I’ve got to get in the sea. So I get there, get in the sea, freeze my [censored] off, come out, then do this scene with Eva Green. What can you do but apologise and say ‘normally it’s much more majestic’…”

    Watch the full interview here

  7. Michael Schumacher

    “What I did learn from [my bike accident] was what my limits were and what I was going to do in the future,” he tells us. “It happened. It was a lesson to me and I guess it’s part of the natural learning that you go through in life.”

    Read the full interview here

  8. Sir Stirling Moss

    “I would think [Lewis] and Ross are going to work out incredibly well - Ross is an incredible engineer, and Lewis is smart enough to know that he is a very special person to be with. Emotionally too, I think it will be much better for him. Plus, Lewis has got the necessary force of will to help push Mercedes forward.”

    Read the full interview here

  9. Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish

    “I don’t get scared. You’re always alert. And you’re always having moments where its ‘oomph’ or ‘oomph’ [makes oversteery gestures]. Afterwards you can say ‘phew that was close’, but while you’re racing and you’re going around? It’s a fast place that takes all your energy and focus.”

    Read the full interview here

  10. Jenson Button

    “One day if the situation was right, I could see myself racing in DTM. If it’s still around when I retire from F1, I’m only young. The cars look great and it’s such a competitive category, as you can see by the guys who come to it from F1. If you do choose to go down this route, you’ve got to really want it. F1 drivers come to DTM because they still enjoy racing, but it’s not a job to them so much, it’s more relaxing. And the younger guys are trying to further their careers…”

    Read the full interview here

  11. Felipe Massa

    “I had motion sickness at the beginning and it felt strange. Even now in the first corners I don’t push so hard because it feels a bit strange, but then I get used to it.”

    Read the full interview here

  12. Jake Humphrey

    “We were pretty certain about it a long time before we went public. It was one of those stories that just came together from all of us, but we knew it was huge. Nothing like it since Senna left McLaren for Williams. McLaren didn’t want us to run it. So we made a plan on how to get it out there and decided EJ should break it on the basis that you take it or leave it when Eddie says something. But we got the major cold shoulder from Lewis at Monza. You can see how grumpy he was with us.”

    Read the full interview here

  13. Martin Brundle

    “I love Monaco as a race to commentate on. And the British Grand Prix. I’ve been to more than half the Grand Prix races in history, I was working out the other day. I enjoy them all, but particularly Monaco, Silverstone and Spa. I could leave Korea, I could leave China…”

    Read the full interview here

  14. Chris Hoy

    “Tell you where I did spot some similarities. I was up in a Typhoon fighter jet two weeks ago, and it was amazing how similar it was; it was just like being at the apex of the bend, the compression you feel - except you don’t have a g suit on when you’re on the bike - but it’s that feeling, that thrill of speed that hooks you in when you start riding on the track, and if you’re into speed…”

    Read the full interview here

  15. Eddie Jordan/Damon Hill

    “Look, I made a statement that in my opinion there are conversations going on between Lewis and Mercedes, that previously had gone on at Ferrari and indeed Red Bull, but these discussions at Mercedes seemed to be materializing in a reasonable way. I never said he was leaving. I just said that they were in discussions. And still nobody to this day has been able to deny that. And who knows what’s going to happen…”

    Read the full interview here

  16. Bob Lutz

    “Don’t worry about the altitude - these seats operate from ground level. It’ll spit you right up into the sky, and you’ll come sailing down on the ‘chute. And if the ‘chute doesn’t open, then here’s the rip cord I told you about… ok?”

    Read the full interview here

  17. Jann Mardenborough

    “When I was 17 or 18 and I was in the house with my parents, if there was someone ringing on the house phone and I didn’t know who it was I wouldn’t answer it. I was afraid. If I had an injury for a Sunday football match, I was afraid to ring up my coach. I’d even avoid answering the front door if I didn’t know who it was. I’ve come a long way, mentally I feel much more rounded.”

    Read the full interview here

  18. Derek Bell

    “Now remember. You’re on slicks and they’re stone cold. No heat or grip whatsoever. The boost also comes on really suddenly so watch out for that, especially with the lack of grip you’ve got at the moment.”

    Read our drive in Derek’s Porsche 962 here

  19. Stig Blomqvist

    “When you start running up and down to learn the road a bit, you very soon find places where you are not allowed to go. Places you realise will hurt if you go there.”

    Read the full interview here

  20. Nico Rosberg

    “I was happy when I heard Michael was my partner because it’s a good challenge to have a strong teammate. But at the same time I was a little bit concerned, because of Ross and Michael’s relationship and I didn’t really know what to expect…”

    Read the full interview here

  21. Ken Block

    “I kind of screwed myself because I think we made Gymkhana 5 a bit too good, and we’re going to have a hard time beating that one. Luckily I don’t have to do anything until the middle of next year, so I have some time to think about it.”

    Read the full interview here

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