F1: 5 Most memorable races of Nigel Mansell

Nigel Mansell
Nigel Mansell became the F1 world champion in 1992

Often regarded as one of the greatest British Formula 1 drivers alongside Lewis Hamilton, Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark; Nigel Mansell has etched his name in the minds of every racing enthusiast.

The Briton won his only F1 world championship in 1992 while driving for Williams. Mansell moved to CART Indycar Championships next season and took the championship in his debut year, making him the only driver to hold the F1 and the Indycar championship at the same.

Magic Mansell's Formula 1 career spanned over two decades, during which he managed to grab 31 wins and 59 podiums. Mansell was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005 for his immense contributions to the sport.

Let us take a trip down the memory lane and look closer at the Briton's best races in his long Formula 1 career.

#5 1985 European Grand Prix

Grand Prix of Europe
Nigel Mansell's first F1 win came in his home country

Nigel Mansell moved to Williams in 1985 after struggling for four years with the Lotus. In his first year with the team, the Briton showed decent pace and matched his teammate Keke Rosberg. Mansell's results improved in the latter half of the season and he took a well-deserved second place in the Belgian Grand Prix.

His moment of glory came in the very next race at Brands Hatch. Mansell started the race from the third spot, qualifying 0.8 seconds behind the race-favourite Ayrton Senna.

The Briton started the race well and was in the mix of things at the top of the field during the initial stages of the race. He took the lead and created a huge gap between him and Senna, who was held up by Keke Rosberg, whose own chances of winning were extinguished due to an early crash.

The Briton paced the raced beautifully and cruised past the checkered flag to pick up the first Formula 1 win of his career.

#4 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix

Nigel Mansell
Nigel Mansell won on his debut race with Ferrari

Nigel Mansell moved to Ferrari in 1989, who was personally selected by Enzo Ferrari. The Brazilian Grand Prix was the first race of the season, and no one believed that the Briton would secure a win.

Both Mansell and his teammate Berger were slower than the race favourite and local driver, Ayrton Senna. The Austrian started the race from the third place while the Briton started in the sixth place.

Il Leone was very good off the line and challenged the race leaders early on in the race. A brilliant overtaking manoeuvre handed him the lead, and after that, the Briton showed no signs of slowing down. He held his ground and picked up a victory in his debut race for the Prancing Horse.

#3 1986 Spanish Grand Prix

Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell
Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell battled for the lead throughout the race

The statistics show that Nigel Mansell was the second best driver at Jerez as he finished the race in the second place, behind his rival Ayrton Senna. However, the race was a completely different picture as the Brazilian only managed to better the Briton by a margin of 0.014 seconds, making it one of the closest finishes in Formula 1 history.

The first half of the race witnessed an intense battle between Senna, Prost and Mansell. However, the field opened up in the latter stages, and the Brazilian built a comfortable lead.

In the final stages of the race, right after a pit stop, Mansell portrayed an inspired performance and charged ahead to challenge Senna. Nevertheless, the Briton had run out of time and was forced to concede defeat to the Brazilian.

The 1986 Spanish Grand Prix did not feature Nigel Mansell on the top step, but displayed glimpses of the Briton's class and talent at the pinnacle of the open-wheel motorsport racing.

#2 1987 British Grand Prix

Nigel Mansell
Nigel Mansell won the British Grand Prix against all odds

Nigel Mansell's win at his home Grand Prix showed his determination and passion towards the sport as he beat the odds to claim a famous victory, much to the delight of the crowd.

Williams had a reliable car that year, and Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell took full advantage of it and locked the front grid with an excellent one-two.

The Briton deviated from the initial strategy of zero pit stops and decided to opt for a change of tyres mid-race on lap 35, which allowed his teammate Piquet to build a huge lead of thirty seconds.

However, unfazed by the odds, Mansell closed the gap in the final 20 laps of the race while also setting multiple fastest laps. With two laps to go, Nigel Mansell overtook his teammate and zoomed past the checkered flag to bring to an end to one of the greatest drives in Formula 1 history.

#1 1989 Hungarian Grand Prix

Nigel Mansell
Nigel Mansell's closest race win

Nigel Mansell's win from the 12th place at the Hungaroring is often classified as one of the best moments of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Driving the Ferrari, the Briton failed to recreate the magic of the 1989 Brazilian Qualifying session and only managed to secure the twelfth place on the grid.

However, Mansell was in a completely different form on the race day and moved up several places on the very first lap. His relentless charge towards the top continued and set up a brilliant fight with Ayrton Senna.

Magic Mansell wrestled the lead away from the Brazilian with a brilliant overtaking move on the inside of the track when the latter hesitated to accelerate past a lapped car. The Briton held his ground and went on to claim his second victory of the season.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee


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