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Mansell: Current drivers will never know a proper F1 car

  • Published on 23 Jul 2019 16:43
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

1992 Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell believes that the F1 drivers of today will never experience a "proper" Grand Prix car.

Although the current cars are displaying some of the highest cornering speeds in the sport's history, drivers say that physically, the cars are not as demanding as they could be.

“Formula 1 will never get back to that,” Mansell told the FIA's Auto magazine, talking about the cars of the 80s.

“Driving those turbo cars was the most exhilarating, frightening thing that you could do in your life. 

"The Williams FW11B, nothing comes close to that car, nothing in the world. And Formula 1 will never get back to that. Really, today’s drivers will never know what a proper F1 car feels like.

"In qualifying you literally had up to 1,500 horsepower.  it’s reputed that BMW had more. And to have wheelspin in sixth gear down the straight, at 175 or 180, you cannot put that into words as a driver. At every single corner you came to, the car was literally trying to kill you.”

Mansell added that the circuits that were used in his racing days were much more terrifying than the ones that are currently raced at. 

“You know, at that time, if we were racing at the old Silverstone, for example, you’re going down Hangar Straight with qualifying boost, well in excess of 200mph.

"You’re turning into Stowe corner flat, without a lift,  and this is on the old circuit with six-inch-wide poles and wire across them on the outside of the corner as catch-fencing, and you’re running wide and almost hitting these poles.

"Then you’re into Club corner flat again and you don’t lift. You’d come out of the corner and literally breathe a sigh of relief: one, because you could breathe after the extraordinary the G-forces pulling you around; and secondly, and most importantly, because when you came out of the corner, you’d think ‘I made it’.”

Replies (7)

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  • grumpy old man

    • + 0
    • Jul 23 2019 - 18:48
    • Absolutely agree. These things are no doubt "proper" F1 cars. They ain't as raw as the old stuff, yes, but it's a whole new skillset required, chiefly multitasking. Way back when, they only had to race, now they have to race and handle multiple other factors at once. In a sense, I think a new F1 driver could tackle the old school drivers, but the old schoolers couldn't hold a candle against the new lot.

      • + 0
      • Jul 23 2019 - 23:21
  • He has a point - today it's not just about the driver in the car - there a k'billion people looking at laptops and half the racing is done remote from the car - in this respect F1 is not pure anymore. No-one had the heart of Nigel Mansell - anyone who knows F1 will say the same. Of course things move on and I doubt Nigel could compete against the new kids, as always - you can never compare across the ages - Federer of Laver? Enough said. Vettel's problems of late - he's done absolutely th right thing and complained about the nanny state rules in F1 - it's so far removed from F1 that it has become anodyne, predictable and the safety police have lowered everything to the lowest common denominator - it's still fund for us F1 fans but lets be honest - it's no where near as fun as in the 90s.

    • + 1
    • Jul 24 2019 - 00:02
  • emprisedll

    Posts: 22

    Back in my days... bs is really annoying.

    These current drivers have the opportunity to drive the older cars in promo events and such. They know how the older cars feel but obviously we don't race in old cars.
    2019 F1 cars are not that easy to drive as Kimi stated they have no nanny systems really and the Pirelli tires are tricky. Take a look at Seb in the SF90 for example the guy is having a very difficult time adapting to the car and he's a 4 times WDC.

    • + 0
    • Jul 24 2019 - 03:56
  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 312

    Fangio and his friends would laugh a lot. They were driving without seatbelts, each mistake would change into crash which would in 90% end with death. They were losing a driver/friend almost each race.

    Gerhard Berger said same thing as Mansell but using different words sth like
    80s cars were rockets, to handle them yoy had to be a MAN.
    Same stuff but different way.

    About Nigel? Just watch these two moments from same video, the reactions are hilarious :D

    youtu.be/leWJBiZaCf4?t=496

    youtu.be/leWJBiZaCf4?t=522

    why are you laughing? :D

    • + 0
    • Jul 24 2019 - 09:20
    • Really easy to pick a couple of moments like this - now go and ask his competitors what they felt about his skills and determination - I rest my case.

      • + 0
      • Jul 24 2019 - 22:19
    • JuJuHound

      Posts: 312

      His determination in 1995 was really great.

      Come on, these moments shows a great driver who was sometimes overreacting to show more to the public.

      • + 0
      • Jul 26 2019 - 08:20

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