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Nigel Roebuck

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From the archive: How Williams's last F1 title challenge unravelled

For all the optimism surrounding Williams ahead of its first season under new ownership, it still has some way to go before it can reach the heights of its last title push, when tyre politics and unreliability proved crucial in its defeat to Ferrari. Patrick Head explained all to NIGEL ROEBUCK in the 20 November 2003 issue

Autosport 70: How Mansell bested Senna in the greatest F1 Hungarian GP ever

The 1989 Hungarian Grand Prix is remembered as one of the epic Formula 1 races, with Ferrari star Nigel Mansell taking a dramatic and unlikely win. It also topped our recent list of the top 10 Hungarian GPs. Here's our report, which first appeared in the 17 August 1989 issue of Autosport magazine

Autosport70: Senna, tragedy and the battle for Coulthard

Williams has been through tough times recently, but the team has come through hardship before. At the end of a traumatic season, Frank Williams spoke to Autosport's NIGEL ROEBUCK in the 22/29 December 1994 issue of the magazine

Autosport 70: The rise and fall of Ferrari's first great champion

It's 65 years since double world champion Alberto Ascari was killed in an unexplained testing accident. NIGEL ROEBUCK told his story, in a feature first published in Autosport magazine on 2 December 1976

Grand Prix Gold: Australian GP 1986 Plus

Grand Prix Gold: Australian GP 1986

There has probably never been a world championship showdown as dramatic as this - that a British driver didn't win the title in. Here in all its glory is the full story of the 1986 Formula 1 World Championship finale in Adelaide - a race no one who saw it will ever forget...

The pre-Christmas pressure on Bottas and Vettel Plus

The pre-Christmas pressure on Bottas and Vettel

With Formula 1 firmly in its off-season, the drivers will have turned their attention to the new year and a new campaign. In his final Fifth Column, Nigel Roebuck explains why two racers in particular may be unnerved by the end of the season just gone

The steps that have led to F1's 'very silly cars' Plus

The steps that have led to F1's 'very silly cars'

Although Formula 1's regulations will change considerably for 2019, Nigel Roebuck argues the championship has lost out compared to the days of lightweight machines powered by monster engines

The value of F1’s last 'old school' circuit Plus

The value of F1’s last 'old school' circuit

Two recent races at Sochi and Suzuka again exposed the problems with identikit modern circuit design, but also highlighted the unaltered gifts found at circuits built in a previous era

The frustrating shortcomings of F1's misunderstood man Plus

The frustrating shortcomings of F1's misunderstood man

Kimi Raikkonen's flashes of brilliance and enigmatic character make him a valuable addition to the grid - but, as one former team boss explains, Formula 1's elder statesman's failure to realise his full potential will always be deeply frustrating

Alonso shows his Gilles Villeneuve spirit Plus

Alonso shows his Gilles Villeneuve spirit

After spending three and a half years in uncompetitive Formula 1 machinery, Fernando Alonso will exit the grand prix stage at the end of 2018. But in that time he has echoed the attitude shown by one of the championship's legends

Even F1's 'Class A' is uneven Plus

Even F1's 'Class A' is uneven

Recent Formula 1 races have demonstrated the might of Mercedes and Ferrari at the front of the field. Splitting the grid into a 'Class A' and 'Class B' is tricky given those two teams have a power advantage over Red Bull

Has F1 sanitised its soul? Plus

Has F1 sanitised its soul?

The argument about what Formula 1 should be seems to divide people these days, particularly when it comes to safety devices such as the halo and the track limits debate. But one world champion is unequivocal about just what has gone wrong

Roebuck: Why abandoning Monaco is so rewarding Plus

Roebuck: Why abandoning Monaco is so rewarding

As revered a challenge as the Monaco Grand Prix is, Formula 1's most famous race has "never been a race as such". The benefits of abandoning the event in favour of another grand spectacle are all too tempting

Would a safety car every race help F1? Plus

Would a safety car every race help F1?

The Chinese Grand Prix was turned on its head by the appearance of a late-race safety car. With aerodynamics stifling close racing, perhaps extreme measures are called for

What F1 can learn from IndyCar for 2021 Plus

What F1 can learn from IndyCar for 2021

In a state-of-the-nation discussion with David Coulthard about F1 2018, some useful hints for how the crucial subject of the 2021 rules package emerged from across the Atlantic

When nothing stopped for snow Plus

When nothing stopped for snow

As Formula 1 teams are forced to play catch up after last week's snow, the first Barcelona pre-season test proves just how much times have changed

New F1 cars' appearance validate halo rage Plus

New F1 cars' appearance validate halo rage

A full crop of cars on display, and one eye-catching detail on them all. Our veteran journalist is not a happy camper

Why Mercedes and Ferrari are holding F1 back Plus

Why Mercedes and Ferrari are holding F1 back

Too much power, and not just from their engines - Mercedes and Ferrari risk putting Formula 1 on the ropes for no good reason

Why Alonso's not McLaren's only driver problem Plus

Why Alonso's not McLaren's only driver problem

Lando Norris, McLaren's reserve driver, shared a car with the F1 great at Daytona - and his career hinges on what Fernando Alonso does next

What US racing gives Alonso that F1 can't Plus

What US racing gives Alonso that F1 can't

The Daytona 24 Hours wasn't especially successful for Fernando Alonso, but that didn't seem to matter much. American motorsport is giving him something Formula 1 cannot

Why F1's safety priorities are misplaced Plus

Why F1's safety priorities are misplaced

The irreversible march towards a haloed Formula 1 continues. The series' flawed approach to safety, while built on good intentions, is to blame

Remembering the greatest American in racing history Plus

Remembering the greatest American in racing history

Half a century on from Jim Clark's death, our columnist mourns the loss of the "only one Jim ever worried about" - Dan Gurney

The 'utter stupidity' that leaves F1 flawed Plus

The 'utter stupidity' that leaves F1 flawed

F1 cars were made much faster for 2017, but overtaking numbers plummeted. With the help of an opinionated ex-F1 driver, the current rules and car specifications are picked apart with a view to 2021's changes on the horizon

Why F1 should call Ferrari's quit-threat bluff Plus

Why F1 should call Ferrari's quit-threat bluff

Ferrari ended 2017 with some negative messaging, handing Kimi Raikkonen's form a final warning and reiterating its recent quit threat. Is it really serious? Time to find out

The greatest Formula 1 races Plus

The greatest Formula 1 races

Amid the 547 grands prix our weekly 'Fifth columnist' has witnessed, many magic moments stand out. Here are the best

Is Mercedes risking a new civil war? Plus

Is Mercedes risking a new civil war?

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff wants 'disruption' and 'tension' to get the most out of his Formula 1 team. He should be careful what he wishes for

Nigel Roebuck's verdict on F1 2017 Plus

Nigel Roebuck's verdict on F1 2017

The world of Formula 1 is changing, but is it all for the better? F1's task to improve is daunting on more than one front

How a supporting act exposed F1's biggest flaw Plus

How a supporting act exposed F1's biggest flaw

An Abu Dhabi Grand Prix lacking in action led Lewis Hamilton to suggest the circuit was not suited to Formula 1 cars. But the symptoms of a boring race have been visible elsewhere in 2017, and stem from a fundamental fault in the philosophy of the rules

How F1's misleading engine rules created a disaster Plus

How F1's misleading engine rules created a disaster

Formula 1's series of decisions over engine specs and engine rules have led to a bad situation - and that will only get worse next year

Prost-like Massa deserved to retire an F1 world champion Plus

Prost-like Massa deserved to retire an F1 world champion

A tedious grand prix was won by Sebastian Vettel but the real victory was six places further back, a man revelling in his final race at a venue that holds as many painful memories as joyous one

How Ferrari has always abused its power Plus

How Ferrari has always abused its power

Another decade, another person in charge, another Ferrari quit threat. Ferrari's a special entity, but with that has come a history of trying to manipulate Formula 1

The unexpected side effect of F1's safety push Plus

The unexpected side effect of F1's safety push

When even Jackie Stewart believes part of F1's constant push for safety has taken something too far, it's surely time to take notice and try to do something about it

F1's American dream is compromised – but working Plus

F1's American dream is compromised – but working

Formula 1 is entering its own 'age of the Super Bowl', and that has merits and drawbacks - although if it's really pursuing the American dream, it needs a suitable driver from the United States

Why F1 drivers should race in F2 Plus

Why F1 drivers should race in F2

There's no better recipe for close racing than top-class drivers and equal cars. F1 bosses need to work out how to replicate other series' spectacles if not their rulebook

When F1 forced an incredible last-minute rule change Plus

When F1 forced an incredible last-minute rule change

Modern Formula 1's complexities mean you can't even change a spark plug quickly these days. So imagine how teams would manage if they suddenly had to remove all wings - like they had to almost 50 years ago...

How Malaysia showed the best, and worst, of Vettel Plus

How Malaysia showed the best, and worst, of Vettel

The final Malaysian Grand Prix wasn't the kindest to Sebastian Vettel, but it did serve to highlight the four-time Formula 1 world champion's ruthless credentials, both on and off the track

Why F1's 2018 silly season will be one to savour Plus

Why F1's 2018 silly season will be one to savour

Sainz to Renault (via Toro Rosso, McLaren and Honda) was the highlight of F1's 2017 silly season. Next year's will be much more interesting

Singapore debacle was no racing incident Plus

Singapore debacle was no racing incident

The Singapore Grand Prix was a peculiar race, but strangest of all was the stewards' decision not to apportion blame to one driver in particular

The fresh hell facing Alonso's future Plus

The fresh hell facing Alonso's future

With McLaren taking Renault engines and Honda heading elsewhere, Woking looks a better short-term prospect for Fernando Alonso after all. But his choice is not that simple

The farce F1 desperately needs to address Plus

The farce F1 desperately needs to address

Only one driver started the Italian Grand Prix from the position he qualified. Formula 1 must act now to address the farce that is the current grid penalties system

F1's big 2017 weakness is exposed again Plus

F1's big 2017 weakness is exposed again

Formula 1's flawed move to bigger tyres and more downforce was more exposed than ever at Spa, where its lack of 'edge' compared starkly to MotoGP at Silverstone

Remembering one of F1's ugliest oddities Plus

Remembering one of F1's ugliest oddities

How a clip of the 1972 French Grand Prix evoked memories of one of Formula 1's ugliest monstrosities, and the abnormally brave driver at the wheel of it

F1's problems go beyond just engines Plus

F1's problems go beyond just engines

Formula 1 is pondering its engine future, but there's more for the top brass to consider than how grand prix racing should be powered

When F1 turned a total farce into a thriller Plus

When F1 turned a total farce into a thriller

This week's issue of Autosport celebrates the incredible 1984 season. Amazingly, one of its best races came from events that should never have been allowed to happen

Why Ferrari will keep Raikkonen for Vettel Plus

Why Ferrari will keep Raikkonen for Vettel

Kimi Raikkonen's de facto number two role at Ferrari meant a hobbled Sebastian Vettel was never under real threat in Hungary. That dynamic will surely mean Raikkonen gets another season with the Italian team

Formula 1 is destroying its own DNA Plus

Formula 1 is destroying its own DNA

Mandating the halo for 2018 is a step too far that will remove a large part of Formula 1's fan appeal

Britain's first five-time home grand prix hero Plus

Britain's first five-time home grand prix hero

Jim Clark only set foot in the United Kingdom once in 1967, but he made sure it was worth his while by completing a feat that only now, 50 years on, has finally been matched by Lewis Hamilton

Why Ferrari dropping Raikkonen would help F1 Plus

Why Ferrari dropping Raikkonen would help F1

F1's picking up again in terms of entertainment and popularity. It needs more quality at the front though, and that means it's time for change at Ferrari

The departure of McLaren's strange colossus Plus

The departure of McLaren's strange colossus

After Bernie Ecclestone went Ron Dennis - now two of Formula 1's most familiar faces, and significant characters, are gone. Dennis was not loved, but he made a huge mark on grand prix racing

Vettel should've been disqualified on the spot Plus

Vettel should've been disqualified on the spot

Sebastian Vettel showed his true petulant colours in Baku and a 10-second stop-go penalty was an inadequate message to send to the rest of the motorsport world

The only modern F1 driver at Villeneuve's level Plus

The only modern F1 driver at Villeneuve's level

The recent Canadian Grand Prix dug up old memories of the legendary Gilles Villeneuve. F1's current crop is filled with fine talents, but only one driver really replicates Villeneuve's finest quality

F1 needs Kubica back and Honda gone Plus

F1 needs Kubica back and Honda gone

An underwhelming Canadian Grand Prix on track meant the biggest talking points in Montreal were the once-unthinkable prospect of a Robert Kubica comeback and the now-unthinkable prospect of Fernando Alonso continuing with a Honda-powered McLaren

Why F1 should follow IndyCar's engine path Plus

Why F1 should follow IndyCar's engine path

There was plenty that impressed Fernando Alonso about IndyCar, and there's a major aspect of its technical package that could solve a few problems for Formula 1

Why Alonso's Indy ending doesn't matter Plus

Why Alonso's Indy ending doesn't matter

The fairytale didn't end as it was supposed to, but Fernando Alonso gave it a very good go. His approach to, and performance at, Indy means the only thing his retirement 'blemished' is the record book

Why treacherous Indy is so special Plus

Why treacherous Indy is so special

Those in a Formula 1 bubble may not give the Indianapolis 500 the real interest it deserves, but it's a special race thanks to tradition, danger and - of course - Fernando Alonso

Ferrari has brought out Vettel's best and worst Plus

Ferrari has brought out Vettel's best and worst

Sebastian Vettel is back to his best with a potent Ferrari underneath him so far in 2017, but recent history suggests that a change in mood is never too far away if things take a bad turn

Remembering Monaco's darkest day Plus

Remembering Monaco's darkest day

Half a century since Lorenzo Bandini's fatal accident at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix, Nigel Roebuck reflects on the measures that could have been taken to avoid the Italian's death and its effect on his fellow drivers

Why Bottas may force Alonso to Renault Plus

Why Bottas may force Alonso to Renault

A top-drawer drive from Valtteri Bottas in Russia was the sort of performance that will make Mercedes keen to retain the Finn in 2018. So what might that mean for on-the-market Fernando Alonso?

Why F1 has gone too far on track limits Plus

Why F1 has gone too far on track limits

Nobody wants to see racing drivers risk serious injury - or death - in an accident. But is Formula 1's affection for extended run-off area over-sanitising grand prix racing?

F1's Alonso/Indy reaction shows its ignorance Plus

F1's Alonso/Indy reaction shows its ignorance

Fernando Alonso's shock decision to skip the Monaco Grand Prix for the Indy 500 has left several people stunned, which doesn't reflect very well on those inside the F1 paddock