Exclusive quiz: Peter Windsor
Green light, engines on:
– Your best memory of the 70s?
PW: I’m not very good, as it happens, at nominating “the best” of something or even “the best ten” of something. I just try to enjoy life as it unfolds. I guess some sort of answer would have to involve the friends I made at that time – Carlos Reutemann, Rafael Grajales-Robles, Nigel Mansell, Ray Hutton, Frank Williams, Neil Oatley, Patrick Depailler, Mario Andretti, Jackie Stewart, Leo Mehl, Paul Lauritzen, David Phipps, Nigel Roebuck, Alan Henry…the list, I’m very fortunate to say, goes on and on… If I had to choose a favourite race, it would be my first as a journalist – the 1972 South African Grand Prix. Carlos Reutemann’s win in Brazil in 1978 runs a close second, however.
– Your best memory of the 80s?
PW: Again, very difficult to say. I guess it would have to be Nigel Mansell’s first win. I’d been helping and supporting Nigel since 1978, when very few people had even heard of him. I then facilitated his Lotus and Williams drives. When he won at Brands in 1985 I was very, very happy for him.
– The security measures taken after Senna’s accident are sufficient for the current Formula 1?
PW: Definitely. Not only after that accident. F1 has done a good job of learning from most of the serious accidents.
– Technology, social networks, influence your life … your work, how?
PW: They make it a lot easier to multi-task. Before word processors or the internet, writing a report and then seeing it through to the finished article was a four-day process.
– About drivers who are no longer with us, which name remember most and why?
PW: Jim Clark because he was the best of them all. Tom Pryce because he was such a nice guy and such a talented driver. Francois Cevert because he was so cool. Bruce McLaren because he was a class act in every dimension. Peter Revson. Gilles Villeneuve, of course. Ronnie Peterson because he was so skillful. Again, I could go on and on…
– Your three best interviews?
PW: I’ve never really been satisfied with anything I’ve ever written, as such, so let me just say that some of the most enjoyable people to interview in my experience have been Jackie Stewart (because he’s so intelligent), Carlos Reutemann (likewise), Gilles Villeneuve, because he was so infectious, and Mario Andretti (because he’s the racer’s racer). It’s also fun to chat to Lewis Hamilton (away from microphones and media executives!) and Patrick Depailler always made you laugh.
– Circuits no longer on calendar and would like to re-introduce?
PW: Clermont-Ferrand. Watkins Glen. Long Beach. Detroit. Le Castellet. Jarama. Imola. Estoril. Magny Cours. Buenos Aires. Ste Jovite. Adelaide. Kyalami. Anderstorp. Zandvoort. Brands Hatch.
– Before the accident with Sir Frank Williams, certainly, you had some concepts and values of life and the haste/ hurry we live, changed after that time?
PW: Not really. I’ve always believed in a unique God and I’ve always tried to see life as a classroom rather than as a means to an end. More than anything, Frank’s accident indirectly gave me a new and very dear friend – Ginny Williams.
– Your friendship with Carlos Reutemann endures through the years? Would you like to interview him on your show : “The Racer’s Edge”?
PW: I haven’t spoken to Carlos for a while but that’s not unusual. He’s a busy man. He has one of the best racing brains of anyone I’ve ever met. I’m not sure he would enjoy being interviewed on my show but we’d certainly have fun in a restaurant afterwards!
– If I mention “Almirante Brown Tribune” what comes to your mind?
PW: A hot, sunny morning. The smell of gum leaves. “El Clarin”. A Fiat 132. Fila tennis shirts. Dazzling light. The occasional breeze. The aroma of hot brakes and the sound of a Cosworth DFV on over-run.
– An anecdote you want to share.
PW: Hmm. Again, not very good at these one-off cameos. I always like to remember the day my Dad drove me out to Sydney airport so that I could see Jim Clark boarding his flight to America in early March, 1968. Jim saw us in the terminal and invited us for a coffee. He was polite and charming. He was a double World Champion and an Indy 500 winner. I was but a kid. He died about six weeks later.
– Words that define Argentina, a country that you like very much and where you have lived great moments of your life.
PW: Argentina has produced some of the greatest F1 drivers of all time – and for several years ran one of the best F1 races on the calendar. It’s a scandal that F1 has not done more – and does not do more today – to accommodate a country with such great heritage. Some of the happiest days of my life were spent in Santa Fe, by the Parana River, laughing and talking racing with Carlos Alberto Reutemann.
Checkered Flag, you win , Peter!
Lot of good memories of Formula 1 golden years…
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Cristina trabajó en Argentina con Marlboro McLa
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