The founder and manager of the AT&T Williams Formula One team faces our inquisition
Q. What would your other career be?
A. Army officer.
Q. Who is your greatest influence?
A. My business partner of 34 years, Patrick Head — a highly gifted engineer who’s as blunt as they come when necessary.
Q. What is your biggest fear?
A. Going broke as a business.
Q. What is missing in the world?
A. Easy words, but compassion for one’s fellow human beings everywhere.
Q. In a year, the UK economy will be…
A. I’m an optimist, but recession seems to catch up with F1 late in the cycle.
Q. Is business a pleasure?
A. It’s not an agony, but winning in F1’s extraordinarily difficult.
Q. How many assistants do you have?
A. For business, two, and considering my injury, two nurses and two
Q. Who makes your shirts?
A. Turnbull & Asser since 1969.
Q. My business mantra is…
A. To have a business where everyone who joins us is dedicated.
Q. Who do you have on speed-dial?
A. CEO Adam Parr.
Q. Where do you summer?
A. In the past I had no money; now I’ve no time.
Q. Favourite hotel suite?
A. Anywhere with a firm bed, good bathroom and television.
Q. What is your guilty pleasure?
A. Caramelised toffee apple pudding.
Q. Money lets me…
A. I want for nothing other than winning F1 for a change.
Q. My greatest success in business was…
A. Gaining sponsorship from Saudi princes in 1977 which allowed us to win a number of world championships.
Q. My greatest failure in business was…
A. Or the deal that got away? Only Patrick remembers the mistakes!
Q. How are you now?
A. I am very happy — I had my first grandchild nine months ago.
Q. Which restaurant is indispensable?
A. The canteen downstairs.
Q. Where in the world are you happiest?
A. Home in England, near Hungerford.
Q. How did you earn your first pay cheque?
A. An apprenticeship with Nottingham-based engineering company Cripps & Co.
Q. To me, wealth means…
A. Security for home and family.
Q. Spear’s is sharp and to the point. I am…
A. Persistent and nuts about Formula One.
At The Sharp End is sponsored by Citi Private Bank