Mansell describes ‘incredible’ Ferrari, Williams reunions

Sam Cooper
Nigel Mansell in a Ferrari. Goodwood, June 2022.

Nigel Mansell sits in the Ferrari 640 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Goodwood, June 2022.

Nigel Mansell has been describing what it was like to be reunited with some of his former cars at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

To mark the 30th anniversary of his 1992 World Championship win, the 68-year-old headed to Goodwood to hop back in the cockpit of some of the most iconic cars of his career.

Among the lineup was a Lotus 91, two Ferraris and the Williams FW14B that he drove in his title-winning season.

On Friday, he drove the Ferrari 640 which was the car he first drove when he joined the famous Italian team. Mansell would go on to finish fourth in the Drivers’ standings that year but did win the season’s first grand prix in Brazil.

Mansell described the experience of getting back in the car as “incredible.”

“I mean sitting in the car this morning,” Mansell said. “The memories that come flooding back is astonishing and very special time with Ferrari and the 640. Here is an iconic car, winning first time out in Rio.

“That fantastic race in Hungary from 12th on the grid to win the race and passing Ayrton [Senna] in the way that we did in the race was just marvellous memories.”

He was with the Ferrari team for two seasons before moving back to Williams but described the support for the most famous team in the sport as “very special.”

“The Italian fans, the fans worldwide are just incredible, but when you drive for Ferrari it’s something very special.

“If you’re two years of age in Italy or 92 years of age, everybody knows who drives for Ferrari and if you win a race it’s not like winning a race in any other country in the world because all the bells throughout the country, ring in all the churches and everything else. I mean, how many teams get a visit from the Pope? It’s an institution, Ferrari’s an institution.

On Sunday, he will drive the Williams car once more and said it was an experience he was looking forward to if one he was also a bit apprehensive about.

“It was wonderful [driving the Ferrari]. Last night, we were reacquainted after a long, long time and we had a little practice go up the hill. The car obviously is a little bit delicate.

“But first and second gear it’s okay to give it the berries a little bit but, this car, it jumps gear, so you have to be very protective because we want the cars to run every day.

“But the Williams especially we have to be very careful but looking forward to driving it on Sunday. It’s an amazing car and the mechanics did a fantastic job to get it running yesterday. So it’s just a joy to be here, to drive it.”