Formula 1 Exhibition in Madrid Explained: Sergio’s Chat with Peter Windsor, Part 3


Interview by Sergio Álvarez; photos by Diego Merino & Cyril Nikitenko.

Q: We see a lot of Lotus stuff here, did you feel comfortable with the Lotus F1 branding experiment a decade ago?

A: I didn’t feel comfortable, no. When I think of Lotus, actually, I think of green and yellow, the lovely Lotus badge and maybe the red, white and gold. I wasn’t really comfortable – certainly not comfortable – with the latest rendition thing we had with Lotus hooking up with Renault and all that stuff, Dany Bahar, Caterham – it was all a mess.

I sat on a Lotus F1 Team rug?

It was a great shame to see that. Because the Lotus name is for me it’s Colin Chapman and everything that he achieved and the results after that obviously continued for a while with Peter Warr running the team and JPS colours. But after that, it was kind of time to stop I think.

“The only thing that matters is the race on Sunday.”

Colin Chapman, Enzo Ferrari, Frank Williams, Bernie Ecclestone

Q: And what about Chapman’s peculiar personality and management style?

A: I knew Colin Champan very well because as a journalist I was working with him a lot and I was pretty close to Carlos Reutemann when Carlos drove for Lotus and I did that deal actually. I was in Colin’s office signing the contract on behalf of Carlos back end of ’78 so I got a good feel for the way Colin Chapman works and worked. And he’s no different from any Formula 1 person.

Classic Team Lotus forever

No different from how I imagine Enzo Ferrari was, certainly no different from the way Frank Williams was, who I knew very well. And that was basically “the only thing that matters is the race on Sunday, I haven’t got any money, I want everybody to work for me for free and I want them all to work 7 days a week, 24 hours a day” but there’s nothing new there! That’s what Formula 1 has always been about. Colin wasn’t interested in people taking a holiday or a vacation because he never took holidays or vacations really – they found them boring, just like Frank Williams and probably Enzo Ferrari and Bernie (Ecclestone) so there’ nothing different. They’re racers, they’re all racers. I think today we live in a world where you have to have holiday, you have to have a certain number of hours obviously at the race track. All the teams have a curfew but that’s part of the evolution of society in general. But everybody is still pretty much a racer today as well.

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