The ATS team
The ATS team.

So I thought I need to become an eccentric millionaire myself instead of working for one.

1981 Leaving Formula 1

Formula 1 moves in to a period seen as the one of the brightest spots in its history as safety for drivers improves.

I left Brabham because I fell out with Bernie, which was inevitable. He ran the team by fear and everybody in the team had to be frightened of him; I was the only person that wasn’t frightened and he didn’t like that. In 1981, I very briefly went to work with a team called ATS. A guy called Slim Borgudd drove the car and Abba was the sponsor. ATS was not an English firm, it was a German firm that made wheels. The guy made a fortune and he used to own his own race team. When I left Brabham I went off to work for him for a season. I didn’t enjoy it so I decided to stop motor racing and start my own firm.

I was becoming disillusioned with Formula 1 racing. I was sick of staying in hotels and flying all the time. Everybody thinks it’s terribly glamorous, well it isn’t; it’s the opposite, it’s the pits. Ask anybody who travels for a living: even the best is bad enough.

I was still working for eccentric millionaires and I’d worked for them all my life. I worked for Mayer who was an eccentric millionaire and then I worked for Bernie who was a strange millionaire. And by then I was working for ATS and another odd millionaire. So I thought I need to become an eccentric millionaire myself instead of working for one.

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