Alessandro Nannini

RJ: Sandro, you’ve been away from racing for a while now.

AN: It’s great to be here, see all the drivers, back like in the old days, and be with Riccardo (Patrese). I have been round with him and others this weekend as a guest. I’m enjoying myself. Seeing the guys I used to race with – and beat (broad grin), it’s very nice – I haven’t had the chance to do this kind of thing lately. I’ve got a lot of work, and in Italy, as well, so work has been busy, but now, not so much, so maybe I will be able to go to these things more.

RJ: Can I ask you about your touring car career and your career after Formula 1?

AN: Yeah, sure, I was with Alfa Romeo and then I stopped in 1997. That was the last year I did racing. I liked it very much, and after that, I looked at other things. After the helicopter (crash in 1990, when Nannini’s arm was severed), I was out for a long time and forgot about racing, and in any case, I had a lot of problems with how I could race. But the right people came along, they put me in a car, with a gearbox – a special gearbox, I mean, for the hand controls, for steering, and I found I was still as competitive as before, so I returned to racing. But then, I have family, I have children and now work, so I decided not to continue in racing from there on.

RJ: Finally, going on to your business interests now – your cafes and vineyards are doing fantastically well – you’ve broken into the Far Eastern market – any plans for further expansion and how did you get involved in this industry?

AN: Yes, yes. Well, (re. expansion), I don’t know. Maybe we could be ready in a year for that, but not now. At the moment, I have time for it (the business), but we’ll see how it goes, it’s going well though. It… the family have always been interested in this and so have I. After 1990, I had time to think about things and I have a passion for it and some money, so I decided to make it work!

Interview conducted by Richard Jenkins at the GPM event at Silverstone on the 13th August 2006. Thanks to Alessandro Nannini for his time and fluency in English.