Formula One star drives into Motherwell

Johnny Herbert
Johnny Herbert

MOTOR racing legend Johnny Herbert looks back on his career at Motherwell Concert Hall on Sunday.

Now working as a pundit on Sky, Herbert spent 11 years in Formula One winning three races, including the 1995 British Grand Prix.

He also won Le Mans 24 Hours in 1991 and after leaving F1 competed in British Touring Cars.

Herbert said: “I have done the odd event, but this is the first time of actually going out on tour to discuss my career and I’m really looking forward to it.

“F1 being the type of sport it is makes if difficult for fans to meet the drivers, even the retired ones, so this gives people that chance.

“I have been a driver, a steward and now work in the media so I have seen the sport from all sides.

“When I was young I wanted to compete in F1, Le Mans, and the Indy 500, and having managed two of those three I think I was reasonably successful and have plenty of stories to share.”

In 1995 Herbert drove alongside seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher at Benetton as says he suspected his team mate was destined to achieve greatness.

He said: “You could tell by the way Michael went about things that he was driven to succeed in the way he did.

“Formula One has always been a sport of details in order to get the absolute maximum out of the car, and that’s what Michael was all about, the only driver nowadays that reminds me of him is Sebastian Vettel.

“That’s not to say there isn’t other great drivers on the grid, Fernando Alonso for example, but they go about things in a different way, looking at Vettel I see Schumacher.”

Vettel has become a three-time world champion by the age of 25 and unfortunately for fans of other teams Herbert doesn’t see Red Bull’s dominance ending any time soon, but says it will end.

He said: “Formula One has always been cyclical for who has been the dominant team, the difference is back in the day it might be for two or three years, but now the top team is on top for much, much longer.

“Back in the 1990s Williams were the team to beat, then Ferrari had their years of dominance, then we McLaren and now it’s Red Bull.

“All those other teams eventually slipped back, and the same will be true of Red Bull, but it may be another few years yet before that happens.

“I don’t know how you make the sport more competitive, as even if you gave everyone the same car the best team would win, and at the moment that’s Red Bull so nothing would change.”

Herbert says that winning the British Grand Prix was the highlight of his career, and has backed Scottish driver Paul DiResta to start reaching the podium with regularity.

He said: “Paul had a tough start to the season with all the focus on Adrian Sutil making a good comeback, but at the last race in Bahrain Paul finished in a very decent fourth place and showed what he is capable of.

“Despite my success at Le Mans, winning at Silverstone in 1995 was the absolute highlight for me, and I reckon Paul is now showing he is more than capable of winning races and who knows maybe even be a world champion one day.

“It was a bit unfortunate that he didn’t get the move to a top team he was looking for, but these things happen and Force India have really come on in the last few years so it’s up to him to just get his head down, prove what talent he has, and the move will come.”

An Evening with Johnny Herbert will be hosted by Alan Keegan and they will be joined by a real Jordan F1 car with fans given the opportunity to sit inside.

The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets costing £20 (£18 concession) are available by calling 01698 403 120 or visit NLC entertainment.