“My World Cup a shock. And Senna told me … “

The former British driver remembers some passages of the season that consecrated him F1 world champion in 1992: “I am proud not to have looked for the accident in Monte Carlo with Ayrton. The World Championship made me feel completely empty and Senna made me a confession “

Federico Mariani

For Nigel Mansell, the F1 world title seemed bewitched. Three times vice world champion, he suffered losses as surprising as they were unfortunate, as in the case of the rubber that broke out in Australia in 1986, which apparently denied him a World Cup. The curse ended in 1992, dominating far and wide with Williams-Renault. That season, embellished with some challenges with Ayrton Senna, was the subject of surprising confessions in the podcast Beyond the Grid.

the duel in f1

Mansell’s 1992 was practically perfect: nine wins in 16 races. Epic the sprint of Monte Carlo with Senna, won by a whisker by the Brazilian with a strenuous defense. Nigel recalls: “With the rules now in place, Ayrton could not have defended himself as he did at the time. He was like a bus, every time I tried to overtake him he blocked me ”. Then a revelation: “In all honesty, I should have given him a pretty hard push from behind in a couple of corners, maybe getting him a puncture or something. Even if I had broken the front wing, I could have gone on and maybe won ”. But in the end fair play prevailed: “I was very proud because we have shown that we can duel closely without causing accidents in Monte Carlo”.

mansell shock

However, Senna’s resistance was in vain from a world championship standpoint because Mansell’s march continued smoothly towards the title. A World Cup, which left him incredulous: “I was wondering if it was all true. It is the flash of adrenaline in which everything stops, a shock “. The emotion of a dream he fulfills: “When something means so much to you, and you think you’ve actually achieved it, the brain ends up merging. I felt drained ”.

the confession of senna

The triumph was celebrated in Hungary, with the spoils divided in a Solomonic way: the race to Ayrton, the World Championship to Nigel. And on the podium the Brazilian told him something: “He turned to me and said: ‘You realize how beautiful this feeling is now, don’t you? Now you know why I behave like this’ “. A special confession, even if their paths diverged at the end of the season. Senna and Mansell would meet on the podium only one more time, in Portugal. Then the Englishman tried his luck in the United States, while the Brazilian remained in F1 until his death in 1994.

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