‘WAlTIE’ SCORES THE FIRST GRAND PRIX WIN for a British driver in four years affer a race of high attrition. The McLaren driver passes Rene Arnoux’s ailing Renault with less than 10 laps to go to secure victory.
“My family was there that day Bernie had given them grandstand seats at Copse and a pass for our motorhome in the hospitality paddock so it was great for them to see their son/brother winning the British GP Like many things in life, the expectation was perhaps greater than the actual result. When I went round on the truck for the lap of honour, I felt rather bemused. The crowd came down to the track, cheering and waving, and I said to Jacques Laffite, What are all these people doing here?’ And he said, ‘They’ve come to celebrate your victory John, that’s what they’re doing.’
When I passed Arnoux I’d heard them cheering me on around the circuit and I put the blinkers on to focus on what I had to do I knew what it felt like to lose a Grand Prix on the last lap. Then there was Ron Dennis, leaning over the pitwall, urging me to slow down, slow down, so I was short-shifting to the finish. It was a relief to win another Grand Prix (five years after his first victory in Austria) and the first for a carbon-fibre Fl car, too.”