Nigel Mansell

 
Mansell was the last driver to be personally chosen by the late Enzo Ferrari to race for the Prancing Horse before his death in August 1988 |  The Brit won his first race at Brazilian Grand Prix on his debut with Ferrari. The only other driver to do is Kimi Raikkonen at the Australian Grand Prix in 2007 |  He stands fourth after Schumacher, Prost and Raikkonen to have clocked the maximum number of fastest laps. |  Similarly, he is the fifth F1 driver to have maximum number of pole positions behind, Schumacher, Prost, Jim Clark and Senna |  Mansell is the ONLY driver in history to hold both the Formula One and CART championships at the same time |  He was awarded the title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year in both 1986 and 1992 |  Mansell was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005

FACTFILE

Name: Nigel Mansell
Nickname: The Lion
DOB: Aug 8 1953
Place Of Birth: Upton-on-Severn
Nationality: British
Most Races For: Williams - 95
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  • PROFILE
  • MILESTONES
PROFILE
Nigel Mansell

1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell has had one of the most magnetic connections with the sport of F1 dotted with horrific accidents, sour turns of kismet and principally his remarkable and gritty victories.

With 31 F1 victories, Mansell is the only fourth driver to have maximum number of wins after Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

Born on August 8, 1953 in the county of Worcestershire, Mansell was an aerospace engineer for a brief phase in his life until he gave up the profession to pursue racing as a career. Conventionally, he started with karting and soon moved on to Formula Ford series.

Gumption made Mansell the 1977 British Formula Ford winner. To do so, he had to finance himself, put in enormous efforts to win around 33 races out of 42 and fight off a terrible broken neck he acquired during a qualifying session at Brands Hatch. Graduation to Formula Three soon followed.

The Brit’s F3 career was highlighted by machines that were below par which consequently sidelined his potential for victories and broken vertebrae that he earned in a life-threatening collision.

Fatefully for the Englishman, the owner of the Lotus team, Colin Chapman showed keen interest in his driving skills and offered him a place as a test driver in the Norfolk-based outfit and thus began Mansell’s first rendezvous with F1.

By now, mishaps were not alien to Mansell. During his Formula One debut at the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix, a fuel leak in the cockpit gave him raw first and second degree burns. In all, the season was not fruitful. At the end of the year team leader Mario Andretti left for Alfa-Romeo and Chapman declared that Mansell would fill in his spot further nurturing their well-known friendship. At Lotus too the cars were not highly competitive and consequently he finished only five times at the podium that too at third place on all the occasions.
Mansell’s mettle started to show from 1984 though; he finished ninth in the Drivers’ Championship and earned his first pole position. He will always be recalled for his incredulous spirit when he collapsed while pushing his car towards the finish line to salvage his championship points at the Dallas Grand Prix in the same season. The next season, he was teamed with Keke Rosberg at Williams outfit and showed considerable progress with first two victories after 72 starts.

The seasons of 1986 and 1987 were sufficient to substantiate Mansell’s uncanny knack for driving.

In 1986 he earned five victories; especially notable was his second finish to Ayrton Senna in the Spanish Grand Prix by just 0.014 seconds. Moreover, a rivalry between him and his new Williams-Honda teammate Nelson Piquet ensued. In the last race of the season Mansell went out of the title contention due to a tyre explosion. Nonetheless, he rightfully earned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

With six victories in the next season Mansell’s driving got superior with a poignant victory at Silverstone surmounting 20 seconds log jam to defeat Piquet. Another accident at a qualifying session in Suzuka got him a spinal concussion and he had to miss the last races and eventually the title too to end up as a runner-up again.

His following season was marred by Willams’ new acquired Judd engine, a horrible active suspension system and chicken pox because of which he finished only two races out of 14 both at the second place.

For 1989-1990 seasons Mansell donned the colours of the Prancing Horse. Here he earned the moniker 'Il Leone' (The Lion) from the Italian tifosi. His debut with Ferrari was somewhat notable with two wins and a fourth place in the drivers’ standings. 1990 was not at all bright as it nurtured a rivalry between him and his Ferrari teammate Alain Prost and him besides forcing seven retirements. However, he finished fifth in overall standings with one win.
At the end of the season Mansell declared his retirement. But Frank Williams prodded him on to return by agreeing to give him preferences of his choice. And once more the ascent and ascent of Mansell began.

The 1991 season saw one of most engrossing wheel-to-wheel encounters just centimeters apart starring Mansell and Senna at the Spanish Grand Prix which the former won. He ended the year as the second best driver again due to retirements. But the best was yet to come.

Nine unparalleled triumphs out of which five were straight wins (a record later equaled by Michael Schumacher) made Mansell the undisputed victor of 1992 at the Hungrarian Grand Prix with five more races remaining. Afresh, he was conferred the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Regardless of his status as the world champion, Mansell had a major rift with Williams and he soon retired from F1 too.
In 1993, Mansell joined the Newman/Haas CART team and earned five victories and an injured back and became the only driver in history to hold both the Formula One and CART titles at the same time.

The next year he returned to F1 with Williams and earned his last win at the Australian GP ahead of favourites Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher. 1995 turned out to be the final bidding for Mansell after two unremarkable race attempts with McLarens.

In a career that spanned for 15 years ‘The Lion’ overpowered the test of time by his sheer ardour and fervent determination to engrave his name in the highest echelons of F1 as one of the best.

-Samyukta Somvanshi


  • YEARS
  • TEAMS
  • ENGINES
  • GPs
  • CIRCUITS
STATISTICS
YEARS
YearTeamClaGPs WinsPolesPods FLsPts
1980Lotus-200000
1981Lotus14th1300108
1982Lotus14th1300107
1983Lotus13th15001110
1984Lotus10th16012013
1985Williams6th15213131
1986Williams2nd16529472
1987Williams2nd14687361
1988Williams9th14002112
1989Ferrari4th15206338
1990Ferrari5th16135337
1991Williams2nd16529672
1992Williams1st16914128108
1994Williams9th4111013
1995McLaren-200000
Total 18731325930482

Nigel Mansell - HEAD TO HEAD (TEAM-MATES)

Nigel Mansell - Season Performance

According to stats...

  • Mansell was the last driver to be personally chosen by the late Enzo Ferrari to race for the Prancing Horse before his death in August 1988
  • The Brit won his first race at Brazilian Grand Prix on his debut with Ferrari. The only other driver to do is Kimi Raikkonen at the Australian Grand Prix in 2007
  • He stands fourth after Schumacher, Prost and Raikkonen to have clocked the maximum number of fastest laps.
  • Similarly, he is the fifth F1 driver to have maximum number of pole positions behind, Schumacher, Prost, Jim Clark and Senna
  • Mansell is the ONLY driver in history to hold both the Formula One and CART championships at the same time
  • He was awarded the title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year in both 1986 and 1992
  • Mansell was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005



OTHER DRIVERS

Most successful drivers to have raced with Nigel Mansell