|Occupation:||Race Car Driver|
|Height:||180 cm (5' 11'')|
|Birth Day:||August 8, 1953|
|Height:||180 cm (5' 11'')|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
For eleven years he was a Special Constable on the Isle of Man.
Nigel Ernest James Mansell was born on 8 August 1953 in Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, the son of Eric, an engineer, and Joyce Mansell. He grew up in Hall Green, Birmingham.
Mansell had a fairly slow start to his racing career, using his own money to help work his way up the ranks. After considerable success in kart racing, he moved to the Formula Ford series to the disapproval of his father. In 1976, Mansell won six of the nine races he took part in, including his debut event at Mallory Park. He entered 42 races the following year and won 33 to become the 1977 British Formula Ford champion, despite suffering a broken neck in a qualifying session at Brands Hatch. Doctors told him he had been perilously close to quadriplegia, that he would be confined for six months and would never drive again. Mansell discharged himself from the hospital and returned to racing. Three weeks before the accident he had resigned from his job as an aerospace engineer, having previously sold most of his personal belongings to finance his foray into Formula Ford. Later that year he was given the chance to race a Lola T570 Formula 3 car at Silverstone. He finished fourth and decided that he was ready to move into the higher formula.
Mansell's skill as a test driver, including setting the fastest lap around Silverstone in a Lotus car at the time, impressed Chapman enough to give him a trio of starts in F1 in 1980, driving a development version of the Lotus 81 used by the team, the Lotus 81B. In his Formula One debut at the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix, a fuel leak in the cockpit that developed shortly before the start of the race left him with painful first and second degree burns on his buttocks. An engine failure forced him to retire from that race and his second, however an accident at his third event at Imola meant he failed to qualify. Team leader Mario Andretti wrote his car off in a start-line accident during the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal, so Mansell had to give up his car for Andretti to compete in for his home race, the final race of the season at Watkins Glen in the United States. Andretti announced he was leaving to move to Alfa Romeo at the end of the season leaving Lotus with a vacant race seat.
During the 1982 season, Mansell planned to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans sportscar event in order to earn extra money. At the time Mansell was paid £50,000 a year and was offered £10,000 to take part in Le Mans. Chapman believed that by entering the Le Mans race, Mansell was exposing himself to unnecessary risk and paid him £10,000 to not take part in the race. Chapman extended Mansell's contract to the end of the 1984 season in a deal that made him a millionaire.
As a result of the gestures, such as described above, Mansell became very close to Chapman, who made him equal number one in the team with de Angelis, and was devastated by Chapman's sudden death in 1982. In his autobiography Mansell stated that when Chapman died, "The bottom dropped out of my world. Part of me died with him. I had lost a member of my family." Following Chapman's death, relationships at Lotus became strained, as replacement team principal Peter Warr did not have a high regard for him as a driver or person. Warr in his book titled Team Lotus – My View From The Pit Wall stated about the 1982 season:
Rosberg, the 1982 World Champion who was heading into his fourth season with the team, was initially against Williams signing Mansell based on the clash the pair had at Dallas the previous year (Rosberg won that race and in an interview while on the podium publicly berated Mansell's blocking tactics while leading early in the race, which earned Rosberg a round of boos from the crowd who had appreciated Mansell's courage in trying to push his Lotus to the finish in the extreme heat). Other factors were what Rosberg later said in a 1986 interview was second-hand information about Mansell which ultimately proved to be false. The drivers found they got along well and from early in the pre-season formed a good working and personal relationship.
In 1984, Mansell finished in the championship top 10 for the first time, and took his first career pole position but still finished behind teammate de Angelis, who finished third, in the championship. At the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix Mansell surprised many by overtaking Alain Prost in a wet race for the lead, but soon after retired from the race after losing control on the slippery painted lines on the road surface on the run up the hill on lap 15. Late in the season, Lotus announced the recruitment of Ayrton Senna for the following year, leaving Mansell with no race seat at Lotus. After receiving offers from Arrows and Williams, and first turning down Williams's offer, it was announced before the Dutch Grand Prix that he would indeed be joining Williams.
In 1985 Frank Williams hired Mansell to drive alongside Keke Rosberg as part of the Williams team, Mansell later saying "We have the greatest respect for each other." Mansell was given the "Red 5" number on his car, which he carried on subsequent Williams and Newman/Haas cars and which was brought to the public's attention mainly through commentator Murray Walker for the BBC.
1985 initially appeared to provide more of the same for Mansell, although he was closer to the pace than before, especially as the Honda engines became more competitive by mid-season.
Although teams in motor racing series are generally allocated numbers, Mansell has been associated with the number 5 for many years. This began when he joined Williams in 1985 and was allocated car number 5, as at the time Formula One racing numbers were allocated by constructor and Williams received numbers 5 and 6. For the first four races of the 1985 season, both Williams cars had white numbers, but from a distance the numerals "5" and "6" resembled each other. As a consequence, it was decided to give Mansell's car a red number to make it more distinctive. While this was initially just for recognition, BBC F1 commentator Murray Walker began describing Mansell's car as "Red Five", leading to Mansell retaining the red coloured number throughout his first spell at Williams. On his return to the team in 1991, Williams had retained the number 5 car, allowing Mansell to race as "Red Five" once again. After his departure to CART in 1993 to drive for Newman/Haas, he again retained the red number 5. In addition, "Red Five" fit well into the livery of his Indy car, as Newman Haas's main sponsors Texaco and Kmart both shared corporate colors of black, white and red. When he returned to Williams for four races in 1994 the team's numbers were 0 and 2 as they had won the Drivers' and Constructors' titles in 1993 but would not run #1 as Alain Prost had retired. Damon Hill drove car #0 while Mansell raced the #2 with the number on the nose of the car painted red. So associated with the red 5 is Mansell that, in 2004, he purchased a yacht from Sunseeker, one of his longtime sponsors, which he named Red 5.
Going into 1986, the Williams-Honda team had a car capable of winning regularly, and Mansell had established himself as a potential World Championship contender. He also had a new teammate in twice World Champion Nelson Piquet who had joined Williams looking to be a regular winner and contender again after the Brabham-BMWs had become increasingly unreliable and uncompetitive. The Brazilian publicly described Mansell as "an uneducated blockhead" and had also criticised Mansell's wife Roseanne's looks, later retracting these statements following threats of legal action.
Mansell won five Grand Prix in 1986 and also played a part in one of the closest finishes in Formula One history, finishing second to Ayrton Senna in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez by a mere 0.014 seconds (Mansell later jokingly said they should give himself and Senna 7½ points each). The 1986 season was led mostly by Mansell in championship points, and it went down to the wire in Adelaide, Australia for the Australian Grand Prix with Prost, Piquet and Mansell all still in contention for the title. The equation was simple, Prost and Piquet needed to win and have Mansell finish no higher than fourth. After aiming for a third-place finish which would guarantee him the title, Mansell would narrowly miss out on winning it after his left-rear tyre exploded in spectacular fashion on the main straight with only 19 laps of the race to go. In a 2012 interview for Sky Sports Legends of F1 Mansell revealed that, had he hit the wall rather than wrestling the car safely to a halt in the run-off area at the end of the straight, the stewards would most likely have red flagged the race. As the race was over two thirds distance, he would have kept his position and won his first F1 world title. Instead Mansell ended the season as runner-up to Alain Prost. His efforts in 1986 led to his being voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
1986 proved to be a tough year for both Mansell and the Williams team, off the track at least. After a pre-season test session at the Paul Ricard Circuit in the south of France, team owner Frank Williams was involved in a horrific road accident which left him a tetraplegic. Williams would not return to the scene until making a surprise appearance at the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch where Mansell and Piquet finished 1–2. Williams's absence from the day-to-day running of the team actually created tension between the team and engine supplier Honda. The Japanese giant regarded dual World Champion Nelson Piquet as the team's number one driver (they were reportedly paying the bulk of Piquet's multimillion-dollar retainer) and were reportedly unhappy that the team's co-owner and Technical Director Patrick Head did not rein in Mansell during races and allowed him to take both points and wins from Piquet. As it was, while Williams dominated the Constructors' Championship, the two drivers took enough points from each other to allow McLaren's Alain Prost to sneak through and win the Drivers' Championship.
Mansell was awarded the title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year in both 1986 and 1992. Only three other people have won the award twice, one of whom being fellow racing driver and former F1 World Champion Damon Hill. Mansell was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005. Mansell won the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy, an award for the leading British or Commonwealth driver in F1 each year, a record seven times in his career.
Six more wins followed in 1987, including an emotional and hugely popular victory at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in which he came back from 28 seconds behind in 30 laps to beat teammate Piquet, with his car running out of fuel on the slowing down lap. A serious qualifying accident at Suzuka in Japan for the penultimate race of the season severely injured Mansell's back (a spinal concussion). Trying to beat Piquet's lap time, Mansell made a mistake and hit the guardrail. As a result of Mansell's absence from the remaining two races, Piquet became champion for the third time. Piquet called his win over Mansell "a win of intelligence over stupidity". The Brazilian also added that he won because he was more consistent than his teammate, racking up points and podiums where Mansell often ran into trouble. Piquet's was a percentage driving policy which worked well in the ultra-competitive Williams-Honda, whereas Mansell was a hard charger who many felt often pushed his luck too far.
In 1988, for the first time in his career, Mansell was a team's first driver, having won more races in the previous two seasons than any other driver. However Williams lost the turbo power of Honda to McLaren, and had to settle with a naturally aspirated Judd V8 engine in its first season in F1. A dismal season followed, which saw Mansell's Williams team experiment with a terribly unreliable (but extremely innovative) active suspension system (the system had worked well when introduced by the team in 1987 where it could draw on approximately 5% of the reported 1,000 bhp (746 kW; 1,014 PS) produced by the Honda turbo, but struggled with the 600 bhp (447 kW; 608 PS) Judd V8). Mansell would complete only two of the 14 races in which he appeared in 1988, both being podium finishes. One of these was a second place at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone where, overnight, the team had stopped using its active suspension (after months of Patrick Head telling Mansell and teammate Riccardo Patrese that it would take many months of work to do so), and reverted to a passive suspension set-up.
In preparation for the 1989 season, Mansell became the last Ferrari driver to be personally selected by Enzo Ferrari before his death in August 1988, an honour Mansell described as "one of the greatest in my entire career". Enzo Ferrari presented a 1989 Ferrari F40 as a gift to Mansell. In Italy he became known as "il leone" ("the lion") by the tifosi because of his fearless driving style. The season was one of change in the sport, with the banning of turbo engines by the FIA and the introduction of the electronically controlled semi-automatic transmission by Ferrari.
A keen golfer, Mansell revealed a desire to compete in the British Open Golf Championship and briefly participated in the 1988 Australian Open.
Mansell believed that 1989 would be a development year and that he would be able to challenge for the championship the following season. In his first appearance with the team he scored a very unlikely win in the 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix at the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in Rio de Janeiro; his least favourite track, and the home race of his bitter rival Piquet. He later joked that he had booked an early flight home for halfway through the race as he predicted the car's new electronic gearbox would last only a few laps (as it had done throughout pre-season testing and in qualifying for the race). Mansell became the first driver to win a race in a car with a semi-automatic gearbox. The race saw him as the first driver to win in their debut race for the Scuderia since Mario Andretti had won the 1971 South African Grand Prix and he would remain the last man to win on his Ferrari debut until Kimi Räikkönen won the 2007 Australian Grand Prix.
A tough 1990 followed with Ferrari, in which his car suffered more reliability problems, forcing him to retire from seven races. He was paired with Alain Prost, (who was also the reigning World Champion), and who took over as the team's lead driver. Mansell recalls one incident where at the 1990 British Grand Prix, the car he drove did not handle the same as in the previous race where he had taken pole position. On confronting the mechanics, it transpired that Prost saw Mansell as having a superior car and as a result, they were swapped without telling Mansell. After retiring from the race, he announced he was retiring from the sport altogether at the end of the season. This, combined with the fact that Frenchman Prost was not only a triple World Champion and the winner of more Grands Prix than anyone in history, but also spoke fluent Italian, whereas Mansell's Italian was only conversational at best, gave Prost greater influence within the Maranello-based team. According to Prost, Mansell only attended two or three mechanical briefings throughout the season, preferring playing golf. One notable highlight of the season was a daring pass on Gerhard Berger around the daunting high speed Peraltada corner that was later renamed in his honour. Approaching the corner for the penultimate time Mansell was bobbing from side to side in Berger's mirrors. Heading into one of the quickest corners on the calendar at the time, where the Ferraris had registered forces of 4.7g during practice, Mansell launched to the outside of Berger and flashed past to take second place.
Mansell scored only a single win, at the 1990 Portuguese Grand Prix, and finished a thrilling second to Nelson Piquet in Australia, and finished fifth in the World Championship. His retirement plans were halted when Frank Williams again stepped in. Williams signed Mansell on 1 October 1990 after Mansell was assured the contract stated that he would be the focus of the team, having experienced being the 'Number Two' driver at Ferrari. Mansell would be paid £4.6 million a season, a deal which made him the highest paid British sportsman at the time.
His second stint with Williams was even better than the first. Back in the familiar 'Red 5', he won five races in 1991, including the Spanish Grand Prix. In this race he went wheel-to-wheel with Ayrton Senna, with only centimetres to spare, at over 320 km/h (199 mph) on the main straight. Quite a different spectacle was offered following Mansell's victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Senna's car had stopped on the final lap, but, rather than leave his rival stranded out on the circuit (the two had come to blows in the pits following their first lap tangle during the 1987 Belgian Grand Prix and were hardly close friends), Mansell pulled over on his victory lap and allowed Senna to ride on the Williams sidepod back to the pits.
Other Formula One records set in 1992 that he still holds are the highest percentage of pole positions in a season (88%), most wins from pole position in a season (nine) and most runner-up championship finishes before becoming World Champion (three). Mansell also holds the record for obtaining pole position and scoring the fastest lap and subsequently retiring from the race (1987 German Grand Prix, 1990 British Grand Prix, 1992 Japanese Grand Prix, and 1992 Italian Grand Prix). He is the driver having the most wins (31) without ever winning Monaco.
He won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award again in 1992, one of only four people to have won the award twice.
Mansell took part in the 1993 TOCA Shootout, held at Donington Park. Mansell drove a Ford Mondeo with his usual red number 5. The race ended in disaster for Mansell; he was knocked unconscious following a crash with six laps remaining. He lost control of his car through the exit of the Old Hairpin, over-corrected the slide and collided with Tiff Needell's Vauxhall Cavalier, resulting in a spin and a bad crash into the tyre wall under the bridge.
In 1994, after the CART season ended, Mansell returned to F1 and re-joined the Williams team. Since he had left it in 1993, the team had undergone some significant changes. Damon Hill had been promoted from test driver and was running full-time in one car. Prost, Mansell's replacement, won the 1993 Drivers' Championship and then retired after the season. This allowed Williams and Ayrton Senna to finally work out an agreement, and the team received a new sponsor in Rothmans International for a season in which they were expected to remain as champions. However, the car proved unreliable and tricky to handle early in the season, leading Senna to retire from the opening rounds despite claiming pole. In the third race at Imola Senna was killed in a crash on the Tamburello curve.
After losing the Williams seat to David Coulthard, Mansell signed to drive for McLaren in 1995.
Mansell appeared without his moustache in the first half of the 1988 season. After his official retirement from Formula One in 1995, he shaved it off. The moustache made a re-appearance when Mansell was interviewed by the BBC at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.
A few testing sessions with F1 teams including Jordan suggested another comeback could be on the cards, but it never happened. Reports at the time suggested that the Mansell–Jordan partnership for 1997 was a real possibility with Eddie Jordan's title sponsor willing to pay for the deal. The Jordan team said after the tests in Barcelona in December 1996 that Mansell decided against it.
Mansell made a return to racing in 1998 in the British Touring Car Championship, driving in a Ford Mondeo for three rounds. With the number 5 already taken by James Thompson, Mansell raced with the red number 55.
Mansell started the 1992 season with five straight victories (a record not equalled until Michael Schumacher in 2004). At the sixth round of the season in Monaco, he took pole and dominated much of the race. However, with seven laps remaining, Mansell suffered a loose wheel nut and was forced into the pits, emerging behind Ayrton Senna's McLaren-Honda. Mansell, on fresh tyres, set a lap record almost two seconds quicker than Senna's and closed from 5.2 to 1.9 seconds in only two laps. The pair duelled around Monaco for the final four laps but Mansell could find no way past, finishing just 0.2 seconds behind the Brazilian. Mansell became the most successful British driver of all time when he won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, as he surpassed Jackie Stewart's record of 27 wins with his 28th. Mansell was finally crowned Formula One World Champion at the age of 39 early in the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the 11th round of that season, where his second-place finish clinched the Drivers' Championship, securing the title in the fewest Grands Prix since the 16-race season format started. Mansell also set the then-record for the most wins in one season (9); both records stood until broken by Schumacher in 2002. He managed 14 pole positions that year, a record only broken by Sebastian Vettel in 2011 in the Brazilian Grand Prix on 26 November. He also held the record for the most races before becoming World Champion with 180 races; this record was broken by Nico Rosberg in 2016 with 206 races.
On 16 July 2005, Mansell took part in a Race of Legends exhibition event at the Norisring round of the DTM. He competed against other Formula One World Champions Jody Scheckter, Alain Prost and Emerson Fittipaldi, as well as Motorcycle Grand Prix World Champions Mick Doohan and Johnny Cecotto (himself a former F1 driver), each driver having an opportunity to drive Audi, Mercedes and Opel cars. Prost was announced as the winner by the DTM organisers.
Mansell became a financial stakeholder and a driver in the new Grand Prix Masters series. Following a period of testing and developing the car, Mansell made a successful race comeback by winning the inaugural race of the series in Kyalami in November 2005 (Mansell had won at the old Kyalami circuit in 1985 and had also won at the new circuit in 1992). After the success of the race at Kyalami, four dates were scheduled for the GP Masters Series in 2006, including one at Silverstone. Mansell won the season opener at Qatar in April from pole position. The Monza round of the series was cancelled due to noise limitations at the venue, whilst technical issues quickly ruled him out of the Silverstone race.
Also in 2006 he appeared at Brands Hatch, scene of his first Grand Prix win, in October 1985, driving some demonstration laps in the BMW M3 GTR that Andy Priaulx drove to victory in the 2005 24 Hours Nürburgring, as part of the World Touring Car Championship event.
He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2006.
On 3 July 2009, Mansell tested his other son Greg's World Series by Renault car at the Silverstone Circuit, setting a best time six seconds off the pace of the fastest driver in the session.
Mansell raced a Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans, alongside his two sons. According to the BBC, this was the first time a father has raced at Le Mans in the same car as his two sons. However, in the race he crashed going 240 mph after only five laps, following a tire puncture. Reports at the time indicated that he had suffered a concussion, but Mansell later revealed that the accident left him unable to talk or recognize his wife and children. To recover, he took up magic in order to “get [his] brain to work in different ways.” Since taking up the hobby, Mansell has become a member of the Magic Circle and gone on to perform around the world.
For the 2010 Formula One season, the Sporting Regulations were changed so that a former driver sits on the stewards' panel. Mansell took this role at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 British Grands Prix.
Already an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), Mansell was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to children and young people (as president of UK Youth).
Before the season started, Mansell could not fit into the narrow car and was deputised by Mark Blundell for the opening two rounds in Brazil and Argentina. Mansell's car was completed in 33 days and in time for Imola, where despite being in the top six late in the race, a clash with Eddie Irvine saw him finish 10th and out of the points. The Spanish Grand Prix saw Mansell become frustrated over his car's handling characteristics, he chose to retire after just two races with the team. Mansell cited the decision to retire as his not wanting to make up the numbers and with no hope of the McLaren MP4/10 being competitive. In 2015, Mansell stated that he was wrong to leave McLaren so soon and that in hindsight he should have continued with the team for the season and help improve the car.
In 2015 turn 17 of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez was renamed in honour of Mansell, twice winner of the Mexican Grand Prix (1987 and 1992). He received The London Classic Car Show Icon Award in 2018.
Nigel had three children with his wife Roseanne.
Currently, Nigel Mansell is 68 years, 9 months and 18 days old. Nigel Mansell will celebrate 69th birthday on a Monday 8th of August 2022. Below we countdown to Nigel Mansell upcoming birthday.
1988 (Happy 66th Birthday, Nigel Mansell) by FarhanAzlan64 on DeviantArt
Nigel Mansell's Birthday Celebration | HappyBday.to - Page 2
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Happy birthday, Nigel! | F1i.com
1992 Formula One world champion Nigel Mansell, one of British motorsports most iconic heroes, celebrates his 63rd birthday today
Happy birthday, Nigel Mansell! (+photos) | Auto123.com
Happy birthday, Nigel Mansell! (+photos) on Auto123.com
Happy 60th birthday, Nigel Mansell - MotorSportsTalk | NBC Sports
We’re wishing a happy 60th birthday today to Nigel Mansell, “Our Nige” in the U.K. but a man whose impact on both the European and American racing scenes was profound in the early 1990s. Mansell is the only driver to hold the Formula One World Championship and IndyCar titles concurrently. He made the famous switch