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The underrated Nigel Mansell

10 months ago

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Writer:

Karun Chandhok | Racing driver

Date:

17 August 2023

I find it hard to believe it’s been 31 years since Nigel Mansell won the Formula 1 World Championship. As an eight-year-old boy and a huge Alain Prost fan, I remember being delighted that in a year where my hero was taking a sabbatical, someone other than Ayrton Senna had won the title!

Formula 1 wasn’t broadcast live in India until the fifth round of the 1993 season, but I had various VHS tapes of races that family and friends in the UK had recorded and sent to me, as well as the season review videos of most of the F1 seasons from the early 1980s. Even as a child, I remember feeling sorry for Nigel, as he was a contender in 1986, 1987 and 1991, but ended up the bridesmaid on all three occasions. Sure, he sauntered to the 1992 title in the brilliant Williams FW14B, but you felt the title was the least he deserved after all that heartache.

Incredibly brave, immensely committed, tenacious and naturally gifted, I do feel Nigel never quite got the credit for how good he actually was. He formed a key pillar in the ‘gang of four’ alongside Prost, Senna and Nelson Piquet. However, when you consider that at the start of 1992 when he had yet to win a title and they had each won three, you could see why he was seen by many as the fourth man in that quartet.

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