RJ: Jan, you made one of the most amazing comebacks when you returned to Formula 1 in 1992. Do you think the career you’ve had subsequently was down to the higher profile that gave you or do you think your career would’ve progressed anyway, without that F1 return?
JL: (with a broad smile as I mention that comeback in 1992) – I think that really.. you know I definitely wanted that drive, and many other drivers could have had it, if they wanted it. But they weren’t keen and I was. So, it became possible to do it, I was so interested and I took the opportunity to do that and give myself a bit more ‘status’ if you like. The other thing was the other cars I was driving at the time, you know, sportscars, at some places, they were even quicker than Formula 1, so I didn’t really see the big change. It was a great opportunity, but I don’t think it would’ve changed much as to what I did later.
RJ: Since then, you’ve had a long, varied, very successful career. What are your favourite memories or chief highlights from this time?
JL: Well, I.. (exhales out) I feel that my whole career is a highlight , you know, it’s the whole spread of it all, including this weekend, it’s been wonderful, and I’m delighted to have a career like this, to be in Formula 1 etc. You know, I remember when I set out in racing and I’m.. I’m still here! You know, when you look at Senna and all the guys that we’ve lost, and you look around here, and there’s old friends everywhere.. I’m, I feel blessed.
RJ: Bringing it back to the modern day. As well as GPM, you’ve got the A1 GP coming up – obviously Verstappen has already signed up – are you hopeful of winning that championship this year?
JL: Yes, it’s great news. Yeah, we’ve got a good group of people – of course the driver is the most important man in the team, but he does a good job of inspiring the team.. everything’s good, so to have Jos full-time is the icing on the cake, and it should make up for those who perhaps lack a bit of experience with this, and with all the other people on board.. yeah, yeah, we should be, or hope to be, quite competitive.
After a dispute between Lammers, Verstappen and Huub Rothengatter, Verstappen’s manager, Verstappen did not end up driving for the Dutch A1 GP team.
RJ: Finally, your driving career. How long do you see yourself going?
JL: Er.. well, I’m happy to continue as I’m enjoying myself in GPM and sportscars. It’s not like I’ve not got a lack of ability and I’m not letting the team down, so as long as that is the case, I will continue.
Interview conducted by Richard Jenkins on the 12th August 2006 at the GPM event at Silverstone. Thanks to Jan for his time.