The F1 perfectionist who pushed too soon

The F1 perfectionist who pushed too soon

Formula 1's carbonfibre pioneer was a legendarily tough cookie, known as the 'Prince of Darkness' (at McLaren) and the 'Godalming Scud' (at Benetton). Has time mellowed the father of some of F1's most beautiful cars? Asks STUART CODLING

The 72-year-old frame might be more venerable, but the grey-blue eyes possess the same intense stare you'll recognise from countless photographs.

As John Barnard strides purposefully into the Segrave Room in the Royal Automobile Club's cloistered Pall Mall clubhouse and encloses your hand in a firm grip, you notice he has deviated somewhat from the dress code... and briefly wonder if the doorman braced to apprehend him for arriving without a tie was silenced by a look.

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