In this short but very sweet clip, the Englishman has just started a banzai lap that would secure him top spot for the British Grand Prix, the eighth round of the 1990 Formula 1 World Championship. His 3.5-litre V12 F1-90-2 hurtles around the original superfast sweeps of Silverstone, the scarlet machine using every inch of the circuit (which would be reprofiled at Maggotts/Becketts and Woodcote for 1991) to stop the clock at 1m07.428s, comfortably ahead of the two McLaren-Hondas of Ayrton Senna (1m08.071s) and Gerhard Berger (1m08.246s). And all the while he’s being watched over by BBC commentator James Hunt, himself polesitter and winner of the British GP for McLaren in 1977.
In the race itself, which took place 26 years ago today (July 15), Mansell was denied a podium finish when the gearbox gave up the ghost with only nine laps remaining. At the time, he was running second to team-mate Alain Prost, the Frenchman taking his fourth Silverstone victory.
After tossing his gloves into the crowd on the inside of Copse Corner where he’d parked the broken Ferrari, Mansell announced his retirement from F1, causing a media frenzy in the process. Fortunately for those fully paid up subscribers to Mansell Mania, he reversed that decision when Frank Williams came knocking, offering him a return-to-Williams deal.
And that meant the Briton’s huge fanbase would be treated to a double hat-trick of pole position/victory/fastest lap in both 1991 and 1992.