August 6, 2021

Q&A with Peter Windsor – Clarksport Ltd.

Peter Windsor, Clarksport Ltd

How long have you been at your current organization?

Well, I’ve been working in F1 since 1972, so I guess you can trace my company back to that point.  Clarksport Ltd was actually formed and owned by Jim Clark, the brilliant Scot who won two F1 World Championships.  I met Jim a couple of times before he sadly passed away in 1968 so when it was time to set up my own company, in 1999, I looked around for Clarksport Ltd.  Amazingly, it was sitting there on a shelf, awaiting a new owner.  As it happens, I also own one of Jim’s road cars – a yellow Lotus Elan S3 coupe.

What are your responsibilities within your organization?

I work in F1 media mainly as a racing journalist. I have a YouTube Channel and also a big new F1 project that has to remain a secret right now. I attend F1 races and other events when I can and produce content analyzing the races and the drivers. At present, in the Covid era, obviously I’m spending less time on the road.  Either way, I always ensure that I’m in decent wifi/cell zones and usually have at least two computers and two cell phones with me: one computer for writing, one for video editing, a phone for general use and a phone for quick editing/recording. On top of that, I usually carry a Sony camera with me, plus a sound system. We also manage a couple of drivers and consult various companies in the F1 industry.

Describe a typical day or week in your role.

The school run comes first, followed by a morning work-out because if I leave it for later in the day I can easily devise lots of excuses not to exercise!  The lock-down has actually made me quite fit because I was obliged to use whatever we had at home.  So I’ve been climbing six flights of stairs every day for 40min. Then it’s breakfast and emails followed by writing, filming, video editing, presenting or maybe – depending upon the schedules – a quick run in one of my 1960s Lotus cars.   Zoom meetings have eaten a lot of time over the past 18 months so I’m looking forward to one-on-ones again.  Usually these are at Starbucks or similar. I try to hit a few golf balls with my son in the early evening.  Then it’s usually dinner at home and a relatively early night, preferably watching a live PGA golf event from the US or reading something totally divorced from F1.

What do you love most about your job?

I remember as a kid having to go back to school on a wet Monday morning after watching a motor race meeting near our home in Sydney, Australia.  I felt so empty and lost that I vowed at that moment always to have a job I enjoyed doing on Mondays as well as weekends.  I thought it would take me a million years to achieve that but I was very fortunate.  I was writing professionally about motor sport at the age of 18 and I’ve basically been working at my hobby ever since. 

How would you describe your relationship with Jetcraft?

I feel there’s perfect synergy.  I first got to know Jetcraft through my buddy, Mick Doohan – a multi-world champion MotoGP rider who kind of sums up everything that’s cool about motor sport and flying.  Mick is also an Authorised Jetcraft Representative in Australia and New Zealand. I’ve been lucky enough to fly in lots of private aircraft over the years – usually with F1 team owners, sponsors and drivers – so for me this segment of the aircraft industry gels perfectly with the fast-moving and very technical world of F1.  Mick’s son, Jack, is showing a massive amount of promise as a potential F1 star of the future, so I’m looking forward to creating some video content with him – and also with Mick, if he’s up for it!

Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

Jim Clark was a driver I always respected and admired. I asked him lots of questions when I was a kid and I’ve always remembered what he said to me: “If you want something badly enough, never, ever give up.” That has kept me going through many a bad moment. I was close to Nigel Mansell from his F3 days right through to the F1 World Championship so he was a great influence on me in terms of identifying a focus and staying with it.  He was also a good friend in the darker moments that inevitably colour life; and I was very fond of Carlos Reutemann, who has sadly just passed away.  He taught me a lot about the art of driving well – about braking and loading up the steering simultaneously and doing that at precisely the correct rate. Dan Jenkins, Herman Wouk, James A Michener and PG Wodehouse are amongst my favourite authors, but from these great writers I’ve learned that I still have a long way to go. My favourite grammatical tip: never separate two independent clauses with a comma; and I’m a bit of a David Lean/Alfred Hitchcock junkie when it comes to movies.  Musically, I love Sting, Frank Sinatra, Fonseca, Peter, Paul and Mary and Chet Baker.  And then there’s my Dad.  He flew private aircraft, built model aircraft, painted landscapes, rang the church bells, played trumpet in a WW2 jazz band and was a very good tennis player/golfer.  He was wonderfully kind, too. Finally, I try, but always fail, to live up to this maxim: “Never see anything as bad; never speak ill of anyone or anything; and never look down on any living creature.” 

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Curious. Disciplined. Organised.

What one item would you never travel without on a long haul flight?

A book/kindle.

Finally, what is your hidden talent or hobby?

I can play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on the piano. I think.

About Peter Windsor

Peter Windsor’s YouTube Channel is the world’s largest single-person F1 channel in the world, with 107k subscribers and annual views of 25m.  Peter has enjoyed a stellar career in F1, having won five international awards for his writing plus the F1 World Championship as Team Manager of WilliamsF1.  He was also General Manager at Ferrari and has received the Lorenzo Bandini Gold Medal for his services to motor sport.  In recent years he has contributed as a presenter or consultant to F1 TV, Sky F1 TV, Fox Sports News, LeTV China and Channel Four Australia.  His company, Clarksport Ltd, is currently working on a soon-to-announced high-profile, global F1 project. Watch his channel for news as it happens!


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