53: SPECIAL EPISODE: Jo Ramirez on being in the middle of Senna and Prost at McLaren
He may not be a household name, but Jo Ramirez is one of those people who has seen it all and worked with them all. He broke into F1 in the 1960s, working with emerging superstar Ricardo Rodriguez. His Mexican countryman sadly perished before his star had truly emerged, but by then Ramirez was set on a path that would eventually see him work with Jackie Stewart at Tyrrell, Emerson Fittipaldi at Copersucar, and - most famously - with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost at McLaren in the midst of their bitter rivalry.
This week on Beyond The Grid, Ramirez - a former mechanic, team manager and co-ordinator - lifts the lid of his four decades in motor racing’s premier category, from his early years working alongside a young Ron Dennis and Dan Gurney, to his latter years alongside Mika Hakkinen.
52: Jacky Ickx: "I lived through an incredible era. I'm a survivor"
He may never have claimed the world championship his supreme talents probably deserved, but Jacky Ickx remains one of the most revered drivers of the 60s and 70s. An eight-time Grand Prix winner, and twice runner up for the title, the lightning quick Belgian also won the famed Le Mans 24 Hours six times in arguably its most brutal era - not bad for someone who never wanted to be a racing driver...
On this week's Beyond The Grid, Ickx reflects on a career in motorsport: Those who nurtured him, like Ken Tyrrell; those who he raced against, like Jackie Stewart and Jack Brabham; and those who shaped his career, like the great Enzo Ferrari. A legendary chat with a legend of the sport - you don't want to miss it!
51: Alex Wurz: “On the morning of the day I scored my first podium, I was fired…”
He’s one of the most interesting characters in the F1 paddock: a podium-scoring driver who remains just as busy today as he was when he was racing. Then again, Alex Wurz was never your average racer; from his unconventional introduction to speed as a BMX world champion to airbrushing his own helmets to ensure they looked correct. On this week’s episode, the affable Austrian talks about both of those things, as well as the stand-out moments from a fascinating career which included 69 Grand Prix starts, surviving the fastest crash in F1 history, clocking over 100,000 test kilometers and winning Le Mans twice before moving into the world of race track design, heading up the Grand Prix Drivers Association and more.
50: Jean Todt: “I’ve been blessed to enjoy success in an world that has always fascinated me. But now I want to give back…”
Among F1 fans, Jean Todt is perhaps most famous for leading Ferrari out of their early 90s slump and into a period of unprecedented domination in the 2000s. As mighty as that period was - and don’t forget that Schumacher’s drivers’ title in 2000 was Ferrari’s first since 1979 - that success was to some extent only the tip of the iceberg for a man with one of the most impressive CVs in world motorsport. He’s currently President of motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, but in a previous life was a successful rally co-driver, before taking the reins of Peugeot Sport and dominating all forms of rallying and the world sportscar championship, not to mention Le Mans.
In a revealing and open interview, the Frenchman tells Tom Clarkson about all of the above and more, as well as revealing a remarkable mathematical ability...
49: Derek Warwick: "The bravest thing I ever did was get back in the car the day after my team mate was nearly killed"
From the rock ‘em, sock ‘em world of stock car racing to the pinnacle of motorsport, Derek Warwick’s career was one hell of a rollercoaster ride. In an F1 career spanning 146 Grand Prix starts, the tough Brit raced for the likes of Renault and Lotus, and stood on the podium four times, albeit always missing out on the top spot. But he’s perhaps best remembered for the bravery he exhibited: not just behind the wheel of some of the most ferocious F1 cars of all time, but for the way he kept going, especially after his beloved younger brother was killed while racing.
So get ready for a thrilling and at times deeply moving look back through the career of one of motor racing’s good guys, from the time Senna stepped in to stop him becoming his team mate to negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone; surviving that big crash at Monza to nearly punching Michael Schumacher…