When I was dreaming about becoming a Formula 1 reporter in the late 1970s, my goal was to become Nigel Roebuck of Autosport. He was the magazine’s Grand Prix Editor from 1977 onwards, when he replaced the extraordinary Pete Lyons, another great F1 writer. The inspiration of these two men led me to a career in motorsport and, after many adventures, I joined the magazine in 1984 and under editor Quentin Spurring, the greatest Autosport Editor of them all, I learned the ropes and in time Nigel and I shared the role of Grand Prix Editor.
He wasn’t going anywhere and, eventually, I moved on and went off to do my own things. Nige and I became rivals, whilst remaining friends. He would remain at Autosport another 15 years after I moved on. In recent years he has been working with Motor Sport magazine, a publication that I respect hugely.
Sadly, in recent years Nigel has not been around F1 as much as he used to be, attending only a few Grands Prix each season. He’s nearly 70 now and everyone deserves an easier life, but I saw him recently at the Renault launch in Paris and he is the same old Roebuck. I am perturbed to hear that he has had a nasty heart scare in recent days and is currently in hospital recovering. I wish him the very best.