Christian Danner (Onyx, Formula Two, 1982)

“It was my second year in single-seater racing, so I was still very inexperienced. Mike Earle was running the March F2 team, and Robin Herd decided that my engineer was going to be Adrian. He ran my car at the first race, the Silverstone International Trophy, and he was absolutely hopeless. Terrible! These were the days when we had no radios, and you had to plug the headphones into the car in the pits and Adrian forgot to unplug them and fell over them. He had absolutely no idea. I liked the guy, he was really sweet, but the problem was that I needed someone to tell me what to do, and he needed someone to tell him what to do. I went to see Robin and ended up with Ralph Bellamy engineering my car.

“I remember Adrian had some kind of Ducati racing ‘bike, and he rode it all the way down to Pau, which is at the end of the world. And he had his girlfriend on the back. The fact that they got there in one piece was a miracle.

“I’m sure I’m the only racing driver who’s refused to work with Adrian Newey. He laughs about it now because there was a bit of truth about it, I guess. At the time it was the right thing to do; I don’t regret what I did. And it’s given me a kind of a lifetime laugh.”