“Mus­ing about life and where it takes you, as you do, I re­alised I’ve seen ev­ery one of F1’s 32 world cham­pi­ons”

F1 Racing - - CHEQUERED FLAG -

I’ve also had the priv­i­lege of in­ter­view­ing 24 of them and even hav­ing some of them along­side me in the com­men­tary box – no­tably Gra­ham Hill, Jackie Ste­wart, James Hunt, Jody Scheck­ter and Alan Jones. So, a host of mem­o­ries then? You could say that… but where to start?

How about with Juan Manuel Fan­gio, ar­guably the great­est of them all – five world cham­pi­onships with four dif­fer­ent con­struc­tors? Three times I in­ter­viewed him, one of them for a whole morn­ing in his Lon­don ho­tel suite about his iconic victory in the 1957 Ger­man GP. I found him to be charm­ing, mod­est, qui­etly spo­ken and riv­et­ingly in­ter­est­ing. He re­called ev­ery yard, ev­ery gear change and ev­ery rev of his Maserati 250F dur­ing his stir­ring drive at the Nür­bur­gring; where he caught and passed Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins for what turned out to be his last victory. “Come and see me when you’re next in Bal­carce [fat chance!] and I’ll show you round my mu­seum,” he said. Sadly that never hap­pened, although I later got to drive his Mille Miglia Mercedes-Benz 300SLR at the Buenos Aires cir­cuit.

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