Nigel Mansell has sometimes had rocky relations with his teammates in F1, especially with Nelson Piquet, the two men having never found real common ground.
The Briton, however, returns to these stormy relations, with the Brazilian and other pilots, and to the reasons for this. According to him, it was because of his ability to beat them.
« I was privileged when I arrived in Formula 1, there were seven, eight world champions racing together » said Mansell in an interview with Adrian Flux.
« But you had to beat people like Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Michael Schumacher, and this to name a few, there were a lot of amazing great drivers at that time. »
« In 1991 and 1992 I was absolutely the number one driver, that’s why I was competing for the championship, but people forget that when I drove for other teams until then, I was the number one driver. two, and I rode with four different world champions. »
« And it’s amazing, when I look at my career, I understand a lot more now than I did then, because I never understood why they didn’t like me too much. »
« But they were world champions, or multiple world champions, and I was beating them in a number two car. Nelson Piquet at Williams, he wasn’t my best friend. »
A first retirement due to a lack of « support »
Mansell also reversed his decision to retire in the 1990 season, when he raced for Ferrari against Alain Prost. A decision made before a return in 1992 to seek his title of world champion.
« I retired at the end of 1990 at Silverstone, and the reason I retired was because I had seen a lot of people, a lot of friends that I knew very well die , and I never got the support to do the job. »
« I signed as number one at Ferrari in ’89 and ’90 and then Ferrari bought out number one status so Alain could join the team. And the reliability of the cars at the time was very, very crucial.
« If you don’t finish a race, you can’t get the points, you don’t accumulate the points, you don’t become world champion. »
« If you were the number one driver in the 80s and 90s, you had a 30% better chance of finishing a race. If you’re the number two driver, you can be just as fast, but your car isn’t as fast. good as the number one car in terms of reliability. »
« So I decided at Silverstone, actually, enough was enough, that I was never going to get the support I really needed to get over the line. »