As co-founder and Technical Director of Williams F1 Patrick Head was responsible for nine World Championship-winning cars.
In the process he has worked with some of the world’s most talented drivers including Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Keke Rosberg to name but a few. Patrick is also an intrepid traveller using all forms of transport from motorbike to sailing yacht.
Here Dom Reilly talks to Patrick about his adventures in F1.
Q What’s the one luxury you always travel with?
My Macbook Air.
Q When you used to travel to places like Melbourne and Shanghai, how did you deal with jet lag? After all it’s a long way to go for a weekend!
I tried to ignore the time change and adjust immediately to the local time. Sometimes it worked, but not always.
Q Outside F1 venues, which is your favourite destination and why?
I normally keep my sailing boat in Calgiari, Sardinia, where my wife’s family live. My sailboat is my greatest relaxation. It’s usually very warm, which helps.
Q What is your preferred mode of transport?
Motorbike, but only if it’s warm. Helicopters I enjoy but they are a bit on the pricey side.
Q What would your top tip be for international travel?
Plan in advance and find out what is available locally before you travel.
Q What would you have been if not an F1 engineer?
Q Although there are now 20 races a year, things are comparatively easy in F1 these days. I remember you telling me once about how (in 1986) you did every race, every test session and travelled to Japan several times in one year to manage relations with Honda. That must have been very tough. What sticks in your mind particularly about that year?
Q Who’s been the most interesting person you’ve met during your career?
Placido Domingo, a big F1 fan.
Q If you could go to one place on holiday… where would it be?
Tanganyika, I would like to see wild Africa, or as close as is still there….
Honestly Patrick. What were you thinking, associating yourself with such PR drivel.