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If you're going to drive just one F1 race in your life...

Jonathan Williams enjoyed just one Grand Prix start in his colorful career, but it was with Grand Prix racing's most prestigious team.

The British driver was contracted to the Scuderia in the 60s, but his outings were limited to F2 and sportscars. An opportunity to race Ferrari's works P4 car in the Can-Am series in 1967 led to a leisurely spell in the US.

Between shifts, Williams was asked to travel to the Mexican Grand Prix, 'just in case'. The Scuderia had two cars on hand, both of which were initially assigned to star driver Chris Amon.

But the Kiwi rejected the spare 312, compelling Ferrari to put a very surprised Williams in the car with just 30 minutes of practice remaining, a decision motivated by the team's ability to collect extra starting money with two cars on the grid rather than by any sort of belief in Williams' talent.

Williams acquitted himself well however, ultimately finishing eighth.

"I stayed on the road to the end, while Chris ran out of petrol," he said in an interview with Motor Sport Magazine.

"So the record shows I beat him! I was getting quicker every lap, I was learning how to do this. It was a lovely car, easy to drive. Given time I would have been quick, it had no vices."

A journeyman but a free spirit, and a delightful individual, Jonathan Williams was born on this day in 1942. He passed away in August, 2014.