There is a little corner of Oxford inhabited by Formula 1 royalty. The area north of the city, known as Summertown, is where Mercedes chief Toto Wolff resides. McLaren's racing director Gil de Ferran recently lived in the house once owned by Eddie Jordan. And our very own technical consultant Pat Symonds is five doors down from today's interviewee, Otmar Szafnauer.
The Racing Point team principal suggests we meet at his local. The converted boathouse is now a beautiful restaurant on the river, offering punting, fine wine and delicious cuisine. Szafnauer regularly brings friends visiting from the States here, for a taste of unspoiled England.
He shows us the area where a live band performed for his 50th birthday party, a few summers ago. As Otmar casts his eye over the menu and selects a vintage red wine, the owner of the Cherwell Boat House pops into the cellar for us. He returns brandishing a fine Spanish Vega Sicilia red with a sticker around the cork, which reads: 'For Otmar'.