mansell 1992-001

Mansell: It feels like yesterday but it’s 30 years ago

mansell 1992-001

In a ‘back-in-my-day’ interview Nigel Mansell – one of Formula 1’s living greats who had an illustrious career at the pinnacle of the sport, winning the drivers’ title 30 years ago – on 16 August 1992 to be precise with five races still remaining in that season.

Crowned in Hungary, Mansell was the 1992 F1 World Champion driving the iconic Renault V10 powered Williams FW14B with the famous Red 5 on its nose, the team run by Sir Frank Williams at the time.

The Englishman won nine times that season, beating his teammate Riccardo Patrese to the title, the Italian winning only once.

Nevertheless behind them in the standings that year were legends of our sport: Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Austria Gerhard Berger, Martin Brundle, Jean Alesi, Mika Häkkinen etc.

In an interview with Adrian Flux, Mansell, now 69, reflects on those years and his time at Williams, also talking about the team in its present shape and touching on what it was like to be a number two driver in F1 at the time.

Presented with a photograph of himseld in action that season, Mansell said: “Looking at this in front of me, it feels like yesterday but of course, it’s 30 years ago which is extraordinary and makes you think ‘where’s those 30 years gone?’

“But then you look in the mirror and frighten yourself and then you realise those 30 years have gone, it’s been an incredible journey.”

Mansell: When Ayrton had some nice things to say on the podium I realised

F1 Senna-BRA-Sieger-und-Berger-AUT-mit-McLaren-MP4-6

As for those glory years with Williams, one of the dominant teams of those years, Mansell remembered: “At the end of 1991 I broke my foot, but I knew that 1992 was going to be the year it was going to happen.

“But it wasn’t until I was standing on the podium with Ayrton in August in Hungary that I realised it had him saying some very nice words to me.

“People forget that when I was driving for the teams up until ’91, ’92, I was the number two driver, driving with four different world champions. When I look back on my career, I understand far more now than I did then, because I never realised why they didn’t like me too much.

“But when you’re a World Champion, and [I’m] beating them in a number two car, like I was with Nelson Piquet with Williams, he wasn’t my best friend, was he?”

Of the young Brits in F1, Nigel impressed with George and Lando

Lando Norris: George Russell I'mpressive says Mansell

As for the current British F1 drivers, including two who were not even born when Mansell conquered the F1 world, Mansell said: “I like both George Rusell and Lando Norris.

“I think the opportunity that George has got is fantastic, and the fact that Lewis Hamilton hasn’t decided to dust off his right foot yet and is taking it easy this year, has helped him and he’s doing a great job.

“I think Lando’s performing and has got some good results. I think what we’re seeing is a jockeying of positions with the constructors and how competitive from one race to another they are,” added Mansell.

The World Champ remains heavily involved in motorsport and often turns up at the biggest events in the racing calendar along with artefacts from his career, such as his 1992 F1 world title-winning car, which is part of the interactive display at The Classic at Silverstone this year, sponsored by Adrian Flux.