Late 2009, and a call came into Cosworth from Frank Williams' PA asking if I could attend a meeting. She added that this would be, "today, at 12pm," before continuing, "and Sir Frank will be coming to your offices. He would like to have a look around the factory and then have a meeting. Lunch won't be required." Gulp.
In the two hours that followed floors were swept, benches cleared and socks pulled up in time for one of Formula 1's greatest team owners to receive a tour. Winner of 113 grands prix (this was pre-Pastor Maldonado of course), seven drivers' and nine constructors' titles, and the man who tackled tetraplegia with a determination which made the challenge of Formula 1 appear utterly inconsequential, was in quiet, polite, slightly terrifying form.
I recall a moment when, Transformers style, his wheelchair elevated him to full standing position. I sat there, looking up. Frank apologised: "I need to do this every 20 minutes or so. For the circulation."