Educated at the private Pangbourne College in England, Lane-Nott joined the Royal Navy in 1963, attending the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. Three years later he qualified as a submarine officer and for the next seven years served on a variety of submarines before being appointed commanding officer of HMS Walrus in 1974. Two years later he was transferred to command HMS Swiftsure and in 1979 HMS Splendid. During his command he was involved in action in the South Atlantic during the Falklands War in 1982 for which he was mentioned in dispatches.In 1983 he was posted to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, to study management techniques before returning to Britain to take command of the Third Submarine Squadron. Three years later he moved into the Ministry of Defence as assistant director of Defence Concepts. After a staff course at the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1989 he spent a year at sea as commander of the frigate HMS Coventry.He was then senior naval officer in the Middle East for a year before he began a series of top jobs with his appointment as chief of staff to the Flag Officer (submarines). He was then promoted to that role himself, subsequently taking command of all NATO submarines in the Eastern Atlantic and as chief of staff to the Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet.He ended his career in the armed forces at the end of 1995 with the rank of Rear Admiral.A longtime motor racing fanatic, he was asked if he would like to take on the role of being FIA Race Director and Safety Delegate for Grand Prix racing. He lasted only one season in the role before departing after a season of battling with other 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 for having brought new ideas into the sport.Lane-Nott went on to become the Secretary of the British Racing Drivers' Club.