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Your classic grand prix - race 10

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Andrew Benson | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The 1986 British Grand Prix is the chosen race for the latest edition of our classic grand prix series.

The race was one of the defining moments in the relationship between Nigel Mansell and the British public that made him one of the nation's biggest sportsmen through the late 1980s and into the early 1990s.

The full 'Grand Prix' highlights programme from the time is embedded in this blog, with links below it to shorter highlights from that race and our other four choices - the 1982, 1988, 1991 and 2009 British Grands Prix.

All of them are well worth watching to whet your appetites for what promises to be a superb British Grand Prix this weekend.

The highlights will be available on the red button in the UK on satellite and cable from 1900 BST on Wednesday 7 July until 1000 BST on Friday 9 July. They will be available on Freeview from 2300 BST on Thursday 8 July until 0600 on Friday 9 July.

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Mansell's victory for Williams-Honda at Brands Hatch in July 1986 was the second of three consecutive wins for the Englishman at home that cemented his role as a hero to the home fans.

The first came in the 1985 European Grand Prix the previous autumn, when Mansell took his maiden F1 victory. And the third was the 1987 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, when he famously made up a 30-second deficit on Williams-Honda team-mate Nelson Piquet after a stop for fresh tyres and passed the Brazilian to win the race.

That is the race that has come to define what became a poisonous relationship between Mansell and Piquet, but the one that really began the process that put Piquet's nose out of joint was Brands in '86 - which was an almost equally good battle.

Piquet had joined Williams at the beginning of that season as a double world champion, and he expected to be the team's number one, in reality if not in name.

But he had underestimated Mansell, whose career took a long time to take off but who went into 1986 on the back of two wins in the final three races of 1985.

Right from the beginning Mansell was the faster driver at Williams and Piquet did not take kindly to being beaten by his supposed junior back-up man.

The two men arrived at Brands Hatch with Mansell already 15 points clear of Piquet in the championship (and one point behind leader Alain Prost of McLaren), having just won the French Grand Prix the previous weekend.

That was Mansell's third win out of the previous four races, while Piquet had not won since the season opener at his home grand prix in Brazil.

The momentum was definitely with Mansell and Piquet was determined to halt him in his tracks by defeating him on home ground.

Piquet's plan seemed to be working out when he set pole position and again when Mansell's car failed at the start, seemingly putting him out of the race.

But a huge accident at the first corner, which ended the career of veteran Ligier driver Jacques Laffite, meant the race had to be restarted, and Mansell was able to switch to the spare car.

Piquet made a bit of a break in the early laps, but Mansell closed him down and eventually pressured his team-mate into making a mistake. Piquet missed a gear and Mansell was able to pass him going into Surtees bend - sending the crowd into raptures. And although Mansell never pulled far away, he held on to win the race.


  • Comment number 1.

    I do miss Brands Hatch.
    Such a picturesque circuit and holds so many special memories.

  • Comment number 2.

    I see the inspiration for Eddy's pink shirts

  • Comment number 3.

    what bout hamiltons 2008 win

  • Comment number 4.

    This was the second Grand Prix I attended , Nigel Roebuck wrote after the first race since the banning of Turbo's in 1989.. 'Formula One has come out of Its coma',Inreferance to his displeasure of them,but for me the power,the noise and the smell of these turbo cars Is very much missed and in retrospective,was a fantastic era.Even if turbos make a comeback in F1 they surely will be muted and no where near as raw as the ones we watch in this Grand Prix.Standing at the top of Pilgrims drop before Hawthorns was an awesome spectator viewpoint for these wonderful machines.A good race and really the start of The British fans love affair with 'our Nige'.

  • Comment number 5.

    This was the second Grand Prix I attended.Nigel Roebuck wrote after the first race since Turbo's were banned in 1989,'Formula one has come out of its coma',In referance to his displeasure of these engines.For me these cars had so much power,the noise was fantastic and the smell was addictive, and in retrospect these cars with the turbo's were awesome, fondly remembered and greatly missed.If Turbo's make a comeback in F1,It will surely be a disapointment for they will be muted and restricted, and nothing like how we remember them.For the race I was spectating from the top of Pilgrims drop on the outside before Hawthorns.We ran from the car park with our Ice boxes and grabbed our spot at 6.30 am.The anticipation for a Mansell victory was huge and he did'nt let us down,turning in a wonderful performance to undo Nelson Piquet.A good race,and a brilliant day with fantastic turbo machines at great circuit ....good times .

  • Comment number 6.

    David (#3) 2008 was in last years selection.

  • Comment number 7.

    On Freeview! Wow, get in!

    I'll echo those comments about Brands Hatch. It has all the elements i love in a GP circuit - plenty of Trees and greenery, blind corners, big differences in gradient and a passionate crowd. You can apply the same criteria to Spa and Monza (excluding the gradient for Monza obviously).

    Looking forward to this weekend on another 'rare' traditional Classic F1 Track.

    I do love the way the F1 community can't speak out too much about the current crop of 'Tilked' F1 Tracks for fear of offending Bernie and the hosting Country they are in. I remember when the new Herman Tilke designed Hockenheim was opened, which is an absolute embarassment when compared to the old one, all Drivers were asked about the new Track. Only Vilneuve and Heidfeld came out and said basically, this is rubbish when compared to the old one, whilst everyone else gave politically correct answers. (True, Tilke has to (does he?) design new circuits in countries that don't have one, but what was he thinking in Hockenheim and why did the authorities let him do it)

    So for that reason Andrew, thanks for letting us see a few GP's on some decent and challenging Classic tracks. Brands Hatch, what a beauty!

  • Comment number 8.

    @ Swerve1- I agree with your comments about Hockenheim, the redesign completely ruined the nature of it. A flat out charge through the forest is what made Hockenheim a stand out circuit, now it's just another stadium circuit.

    Great drive by Mansell, great to see another brilliant fight between two legends. I'd like to see Brands come back the calendar as the British GP, I personally prefer it to Silverstone. I have to say the new Silverstone configuration doesn't look too promising in terms of promoting overtaking, the Moto GP guys struggled to make many moves stick so I can't imagine the F1 guys will fare any better.

  • Comment number 9.

    Better quality videos

    Thanks BBC

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi all,
    Great stuff! Looking forward to some classic F1 action from Brands tonight, the next statement may be a little controversial but I reckon the GP configuartion has more character than Silverstone thanks to the undulation and blast through the forest section. Oh, and I was wrong saying that it's no longer a host to international racing - the WTCCs are there soon, but with respect, its hardly the same as F1. Finally, Nige was on Monday or Tuesdays Simon Mayo drivetime, previewing the British GP, so its time to hit the iPlayer if you missed it.

    Hamilton for the win!


  • Comment number 11.

    David...2008 for LH was last years win & not a choice this year...can the mod's not just remove post's like this...being that they cram them full every week with comments that make no impact except making the page and thread 2 inches longer...

    great choice & can't wait to watch on freeview!

  • Comment number 12.

    Great stuff, thanks for the video's!

  • Comment number 13.

    I don't like the postion of the Lap number on the 1988 and 1991 races. For the previous events and the 1982 highlights it is in the bottom left corner. Who decided to place it in the middle for 88 and 91 ?

  • Comment number 14.

    Andrew Benson, I know you are probably a child of the 60s, but man, what's with the anti-90s bias in ALL your classic GPs? None of the decent 90s races are EVER selected. Poor form man. We're not all dinosaurs! Some of the greatest F1 races ever took place in the 90s, especially the first half of the deceade. Enough of the 80s. Boring sounding turbos. What a yawn fest!

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Andrew,

    Great races, but got to agree about the huge lap numbers right in the middle of the screen. Far too big and in the wrong place. Back to captions bottom left next time please.

  • Comment number 16.

    Where is the Formula One on the red button/channel 301!
    It's golf on at the moment.
    Come on BBC - sort it out!!

  • Comment number 17.

    Half hour late but great to see these races on the red button,
    Mansell, Go Go Go !!!

  • Comment number 18.

    Britain '86: Very good race and interesting given that Piquet had underestimated Mansell, still getting used to big names turning up looking younger than I'm used to though!

  • Comment number 19.

    As always, thanks for this feature, and thanks for getting the highlights on Freeview. I like the fact you've given us the highlights for last year's race as well as full highlights of older races again. I hope you can continue to do this in the future - whether or not they are "classic" in the sense they will be remembered in ten or twenty years, it's nice to revisit last year's race as a preview of this year's.


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