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Johnny shifts focus to new lane

Ex-F1 driver Johnny Herbert reflects on his backseat role in the sport in a feature written by Michael Catling
In years gone by, the sight of Johnny Herbert walking past in the paddock would have caused such a media frenzy that photographers and journalists would have stumbled over one another; jockeying to get closest.

Nowadays though, such extreme actions are reserved only for the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button; leaving the stars of yesteryear to pass by relatively peacefully, avoiding the unnecessary clamour in the lead up to race days.

But although it has been almost 12 years since the Essex-born driver retired from F1, it still seems strange to see the 1995 British Grand Prix winner wearing clothes other than overalls at a race weekend.

Herbert, though, recognises that times have changed and while he has no plans to race again in F1, he is enjoying his now customary position on the sidelines.

"I would like to have a go in one of the cars but I'm not in a position to say I could make a comeback now like Michael [Schumacher] has done," admits Herbert. "I have got no desire to race or want to race in F1, I'm too old for that for a start. I'm 47 now so that's never going to happen. I've had my window in the sport.

"You are seeing all these young guys coming through like Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo and I'm finding it very interesting. Watching them and seeing how they actually conduct themselves and how they perform, I really enjoy it."

While Herbert's racing career in F1 appears to be all but over, he still remains heavily involved in the sport; albeit in a slightly different capacity as an FIA race steward.

Since 2010, Herbert has been part of the FIA's driver stewarding panel, a recent initiative designed to add extra credibility to decisions being made during race weekends.

The role, which is rotated between a select group of experienced ex-driver's each race, has been fulfilled by the former Benetton and Sauber driver seven-times over the past two years, most recently in Australia and Malaysia last month.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.03.2011- Race, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director and Johnny Herbert (GBR)
27.03.2011- Race, Peter Sauber (SUI), Sauber F1 Team, Team Principal  and Johnny Herbert (GBR)
Jonny Herbert (GBR), former race driver & FIA race steward
Saturday, Johnny Herbert (GBR), Ex F1 driver
Saturday, Hiroshi Yasukawa (JPN), Bridgestone and Johnny Herbert (GBR), Ex F1 driver
Sunday, Johnny Herbert (GBR)
Sunday, Johnny Herbert (GBR
Johnny Herbert - Jaguar-Cosworth R1
Johnny Herbert - Jaguar Racing
Johnny Herbert. Stewart Ford SF3.
Johnny Herbert, Stewart Ford.
Saturday, Johnny Herbert (GBR), Ex F1 driver

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April 07, 2012 8:53 PM
Last Edited 1931 days ago

No Jose, Jackie is a Stewart, Herbert is a STEWARD! clown Agreed Mike, Johnny did really well just to get to F1 after that accident, who knows what he could have gone on to achieve had that not happened to him.

micky mike - Unregistered

April 07, 2012 1:14 PM

Nice to hear news of Johnny,one of my all time favourites.He surely would have been an F1 champ but for that awful smash at Brands. Always hoped to see him in Indycars.How about a crack at the 500 Johnny? Like Jean Alesi (or will that now happen with the Lotus business?)

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