Funny thing happened to me yesterday.
I walked into the BA airport lounge at Gatwick, and I noticed that among the complimentary magazines there was a copy of Motorsport. Just one, the last one. That's a bit of good fortune, I thought! Great magazine, and this month's main feature is an interview with Patrick Head. The cover shows "Red 5", the FW14B in which Nigel Mansell became F1 world champion in 1992.
Some ladies were sitting opposite my table and I had some breakfast and read the newspaper. Then I take up the magazine and start reading the editorial. It starts with discussing Nigel Mansell. I notice in my peripheral vision that someone is looking at me. I didn't notice that he sat down where the ladies were sitting. To get a better look, I drop the magazine slightly and....
I stare straight into the moustached face of Nigel Mansell himself! He was clearly checking out the cover of the magazine to see why his car was on there.
I was so shocked by the reality of it all, I couldn't manage more than a polite nod. As I know he hates being famous, I didn't bother him any further and chuckled to myself at the odds. Later I shared a plane with him to Jersey - he lives here, and perhaps I will run into him again. It would be nice to tell him I appreciated his commitment and gritty racing style back in the day, for Ferrari as well as Williams. FWIW, Patrick Head, in his interview in the magazine, put him at the same level as Prost.
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