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F1 Legends: Nigel Mansell

Submitted by on July 28, 2015

Nigel Mansell Brands Hatch 1985

Nigel Mansell at Brands Hatch in 1985 on the way to his first Grand Prix victory – the 1985 European Grand Prix. Image thanks to the Cahier Archive

We return to F1 Legends to answer the must ask questions with the man with the moustache – Nigel Mansell.

Like many in Formula 1, Mansell’s career kicked off in karts. He moved to Formula Ford in ’76 and secured the 1977 British Formula Ford championship despite breaking his neck in the process. From there it was Formula Three, where he broke a vertebrae!

“The turning point was at the British Grand Prix. I came out with 20-something laps to go 24 seconds behind.. I broke the track record eleven times. Not once – eleven times. I hunted him down and hunted him down and the fans were just electrifying. It was just a sensation, every corner it was like a Mexican wave every time I came around.”

His efforts piqued the interest of Colin Chapman and after a trial he become a test driver for the Lotus Formula 1 team, beginning a 15-year career in the sport.

In that time he claimed 31 Grand Prix victories and one World Drivers’ Championship, and set the record for most pole positions in a single season, which he held for some two decades. While he still held the Formula 1 title he went to race in the CART Indy Car World Series, where he won the title in his debut, becoming the first person to do so and the only person to hold both CART and Formula 1 titles simultaneously.

This chat with Steve Rider is relaxed and conversational, but isn’t afraid to shy away from the heavy stuff. It’s a fascinating insight into Nigel’s career and the sport at the time – a brilliant watch.

F1 Legends – Nigel Mansell by Pure-Racing

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