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Gallery: Nigel Mansell – The Ferrari Years

Submitted by on August 27, 2014

Mansell_1989_FranceHe was the last Formula 1 driver to ever be personally selected to race for Enzo Ferrari. He spent two seasons with the team, during which he earned the nickname “il leone” – The Lion. This is the story of Nigel Mansell’s time at Ferrari.

Photos & insights courtesy of The Cahier Archive

Recently we ran a piece talking about Nigel Mansell’s time spent racing for Lotus during the earliest years of his Formula One career. Now, it’s time to fast forward a couple of years and reflect on his days in red; 1989, and 1990.

MORE: Nigel Mansell’s amazing career, Part 1: The Lotus Years

Mansell was forever humbled at his selection to drive for Ferrari by Enzo, who died soon after in August 1988. He attacked the 1989 season with figure, his fearless driving style soon earning him the adoration of Ferrari fans worldwide.

From behind the lens, Paul-Henri Cahier was there to see it all unfold. He sat down and afforded us his insight on Nigel Mansell’s days at Ferrari:

“After a successful spell at Williams from 1985 to 1988 where victories were numerous , but the World Championship still eluded him, Nigel headed to Maranello.

When Mansell switched to Ferrari, a fabulous and totally unexpected victory in the first ever race of the groundbreaking Ferrari 640 (First F1 car with Semi automatic gearbox), masterminded by John Barnard was the reward.

Team manager Cesare “Hollywood” Fiorio jumped in the air “à la Chapman” when the checkered flag fell, and it looked like a new conquering era was opening up for Mansell. Alas, the 640 was fragile…

Then in 1990 Alain Prost joined Ferrari, and totally destroyed Nigel, who finished the Championship in 5th position, while the little Frenchman nearly won the title.

So it was back to Williams for “Our Nige” (loved by the fans and hated by the press), at the wheel of the revolutionary active suspension FW14. He nearly won the 1991 Championship, and was absolutely unbeatable in 1992, when he scored 9 wins and the title.

On track Nigel was always spectacular, a ‘generous’ driver to photograph.”

MORE: Nigel Mansell – Most Memorable F1 Moments

Let’s take a look at Paul-Henri’s 10 personal favorite shots, from the countless he’s took of Nigel Mansell during his time spent at Ferrari:

Mansell_1989_Brazil_01_PHCThe final countdown. Brazil – 1989

Mansell_1989_BrazilRacing. Brazil – 1989

Mansell_1989_Brazil_02_PHCOn his way to victory during his first championship race for Ferrari. Brazil – 1989

Mansell_1990_Canada_02_PHCCanada 1990 – Nigel would place third

Mansell_1990_England_03_PHC England – 1990

Mansell_1990_England_04_PHCEngland – 1990  Podium_1989_Hungary_01_PHCHungary – 1989. Nigel’s second, and final, victory of the year.

Mansell_1989_ImolaImola – 1989.

Prost-Mans_1990_Portugal_01_PHCWith Alain Prost – 1990.

Mansell_1989_FranceAt the 1989 French Grand Prix

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