Tell me about your sneaker collection. I understand it’s pretty expansive. When did you start collecting, and how many pairs do you have now?
It’s difficult to count how many pairs I have [laughs]. I try to see what I really like with the new drops. I’m typically not the first one to get new drops, but I still like to collect. As a Formula 1 driver, there’s a lot of brands you can’t wear, but sometimes I may still collect them. You just feel so happy when you see the sneakers. [They’re] cool stuff.
I know you’re a big Kobe fan, so do you have any of his?
Yeah, I do. Actually, I want to collect some more when I go home to China, but in general, I have the Kobe 4s and Kobe 5s. When he was playing with the Lakers, I was collecting [them]. My trainers I was wearing at school—at my school in China, we didn’t have to wear a suit and tie and blazer, we wore a sports kit or casual wear, so you can wear your trainers. So I used Kobes even in PE lessons while we were running. I have a lot of them.
Is there a particular pair on your wishlist?
I really want to get the “Big Stage” Kobe 5s. It’s gold with a bit of white. That’s something I really want to get. That’s on my list.
What’s your approach to constructing a series of looks throughout a race weekend?
Most of the time, it’s a feeling. I pick the stuff I like to wear, sometimes matching with my special helmets like I did in Austin. Everything is done by me; I don’t have a stylist. So it’s just my idea. The walk to the paddock is a good way to [imagine an outfit]. Sometimes, of course, you wear some sponsor clothing, like the Prada stuff.
Have you ever found a piece last minute that you decided to incorporate into a fit on race weekend?
It really depends. The first three races, I actually planned it quite early. I picked it out at a store and was ready for all three. After that, it was more last minute. I don’t really think about it much, I just try to decide the moment I start packing my bag, which like two or three days before we leave, maybe even one day before.
We’re down to the last few races of the year. What are your goals for the rest of the season?
The goal really is to finish in the points. The biggest goal for me right now is trying to make sure we get sixth in the Constructor’s Championship, the team championship, because Aston Martin is closing the gap. They had three amazing races in a row, so we really have to be keeping up position. I feel like we’re capable of doing that. For my season, all the goals I set, I achieved or overachieved. Now I just want to continue to have a bit more consistency and try to get some more points.