As a lifelong follower of Mario Andretti, I was disappointed to have to miss his book-signing in London. In the hope that Mario still might sign a particular piece of memorabilia, I contacted the excellent staff at Sports Pages bookshop.

To my amazement, within the hour, David Bull (the book’s publisher) called and said Mario was happy to meet me on Saturday evening at his hotel.

So it was I travelled to London and enjoyed a surreal few minutes waiting in the lobby of a hotel as my all-time sporting hero came down to to see me. Having gone around the world and endured huge crowds clamouring to get a glimpse of their favourite driver, this was an amazing turnaround.

I was as star-struck as I expected to be and forgot most of the questions I had planned. No matter.

I wonder how many other sportsmen, let alone the current batch of F1 stars, would be so gracious as to put themselves out in such a manner?

I am Yours, etc, Mark Francis, Salisbury, Wilts