Murray's Memories: Nigel Mansell
'Murray's Memories' are Murray Walker's personal recollections of some of the most dramatic moments in the history of F1. This time, he focuses on Nigel Mansell...
I'm afraid I don't have many memories of spectacular races at Korea, host to this weekend's grand prix, so I'm going to ignore it altogether and concentrate on someone for whom the word spectacular might have been invented.
Nigel Mansell career highlights
- Spent 15 years as a driver with Lotus, Williams, Ferrari and McLaren
- Contested 191 races
- Won the 1992 Championship with 108 points
- Won 31 races
- Made the podium 59 times
- Took 32 pole positions and 30 fastest laps
Who's the most daring racer of them all? Everyone will have their opinion, but my vote goes to 'Our Nige' - Nigel Mansell.
When he moved to Ferrari in 1989, the famous Italian fans, the tifosi, called him 'Il Leone' - The Lion - and it's not hard to see why.
Throughout his career, drama was never very far away when Mansell was around, and he was at the centre of some of the most dramatic moments of his or any other era.
There was the tyre blow-out in Australia that lost Nigel the 1986 world championship and then, a few months later, his legendary passing move on Williams team-mate Nelson Piquet to win the 1987 British Grand Prix.
Two years later, now with Ferrari, after starting 12th in Hungary Mansell breathtakingly took the lead from Ayrton Senna when the great Brazilian stumbled over a backmarker.
And as if that wasn't proof enough of his determination, how about his iconic overtaking move on Senna at the very first grand prix at Spain's Circuit de Catalunya in 1991, sparks flying from his front wing, wheels almost touching as they sped down towards the first corner at more than 180mph?
None of Mansell's 31 wins were at Monaco but in 1992 it wasn't for lack of trying - again against Senna. A problem late in the race forced Mansell to pit from a commanding lead, and he came out behind Senna.
Driving not only a faster car but also on fresh tyres, Mansell was miles faster than the McLaren, but Senna used all his guile to keep his rival behind.
And they were just some of the great drives from a truly great driver who should have won far more than just one world championship.