Honda website
Honda website

NOVEMBER 18, 1996

The admiral departs

REAR ADMIRAL ROGER LANE-NOTT, who has been Formula 1's race director and safety delegate since February, has quit the World Championship after just one season. According to an FIA press release he is planning "to pursue other interests".

This seems strange as the 51-year-old retired early from the Royal Navy and was expected to make a second career with the FIA in F1.

The departure follows season-long battles with other FIA officials over how the sport should be run. Lane-Nott's idea of discipline and organization was clearly rather different from some of the F1 establishment.

FIA President Max Mosley credited Lane-Nott of having set up new systems and procedures and brought in new thinking to the sport.

Finding a replacement will not be easy. Lane-Nott was assisted this year by Herbie Blash. Blash is a logical replacement but he is still employed by Yamaha and as long as that continues he cannot take over the job full-time. After trying an outsider it is unlikely that F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone will want to try another. In all likelihood, therefore, F1 will fall back on one of Ecclestone's regular collaborators - although there is no obvious candidate.