It is the mid-eighties, and we are chatting outside the Meridien Hotel in Montreal. A cab draws up, and out steps Jacques Laffite. He sees us, waves hello, then goes to the boot, from which he extracts his suitcase and - of course - the fishing gear that goes everywhere with him. Then he pays the driver, who starts to move off.
Suddenly Laffite's expression changes. "Merde!", he shouts, slapping his forehead with the palm of his hand, gesticulating for the cab to stop. Up goes the boot again, and Jacques gratefully retrieves the overlooked item. It is his helmet bag.
Whenever the name of Jacques Laffite is mentioned, it is invariably this vignette that comes first to my mind. If he adored motor racing, he was far too well-balanced to be consumed by it.