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 Post subject: Mansell & Williams 1993
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:58 pm 
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Hi knowledgeable friends...

2017 marks the 25th Anniversary of Nigel Mansell winning his only world title with im sure that everyone would agree - the majestic FW14B

As an avid F1 fan for far more years than id like to mention, a true & proud Brit, total disciple of 'or Nige' as well as nostalgic and rambling old tit, i just wanted to download a period of F1 history that still sticks in my mind and dare to ask your thoughts (for anyone that A - gives a fairy cakes, and B - loves the whole politics and 'what could have been' of formula 1) on a subject that is well documented, but i still wonder about...and would love if anyone has some actual insight on....Mansell and Williams 1993

The story starts with Alain Prost getting his P45 from Ferrari at the back end of the 1991 season, so late that all the top teams had contracted drivers for 1992. My understanding is that the Proff tested with Ligier and even considered buying into the team before realising it would deliver 'nil pois'

Politician he was, he then focused on sitting out a year and instead securing a golden ticket drive for 1993. This he did over the winter of 91 into 92 and a certain Williams team showed interest. Under pressure from Renault for a French driver to include in its line -up, Sir Frank began negotiations for a partner to Nigel for 1993.

My understanding is that a deal had been struck and was in place before a wheel had turned in 1992, for Alain to join Williams for 1993

1992 fires off to amazing success and Nigel first gets wind of the Prost situation around the French GP in July. Concerned of the friction and dis-harmony of their time together as team mates in 1990, Nigel starts to negotiate his own contractual terms for 1993. My belief being discussions centered on how the garages would operate, the motorhome and entourage that Alain was known for having round him...oh yer - lets not forget salary too.

A deal that suited Nigel was verbally agreed prior to the Hungarian GP, which over the weekend he won the world title..

The day after, a Williams exec called Nigel and informed him that the deal verbally agreed was no longer valid and on top of that Ayrton Senna had thrown his hat into the ring and had offered his sublime driving services for 1993 for a sum total of Zero. Due to the impacts of the current recession and securing the future solvency of the Williams team, Nigel would need to take a 60% pay decrease and agree to it immediately or else they would sign Ayrton that evening. Mansell refused!

For weeks which continued throughout the Belgian GP an awkward atmosphere developed where no internal communication or discussions occurred. Nigel negotiated elsewhere, with Mclaren and Newman Haas in Indycar

Ultimately by the Italian GP, Mansell took the situation in his own hands and with a highly lucrative deal struck with Indycar announced his retirement. At the 11th hour a previous silent Frank Williams hearing of a potential announcement and guaranteed backlash by the British press buckled and offered Nigel the original contract offer pre Hungary (via some stooge). Mansell said no and the rest is History

After a rambling monologue, some questions id like to ask to anyone who may be informed in this area, or anyone who finds it interesting

1 - Is this portrayal accurate? Has anything been missed?
2- Was the Senna offer a crock of....
3 - As world champ, did Nigel have a fair right to call some shots (please bear in mind Schumacher, Hamilton etc etc)
4 - Who do you think was to blame?
5 - If a deal had been struck, do you think Prost or Mansell would have been 1993 world champ
6 - Was 1993 a flatter season without Nigel

Love to hear your thoughts - and for those who dont care less...apologies xxx

A proud Mansell fan


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:11 pm 
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I recall that Prost had a clause that prevented Mansell and Senna being his teammate. The anti-Mansell aspect was withdrawn but the block against Senna remained. In a post-race press conference, Senna referred to this and called Prost a coward.

Senna's offer was symbolic, strategic and political. He wouldn't drive for zero.

Regarding whether Mansell had a fair right to call some shots, he did but Williams held the best cards.

Every season is flatter without Mansell.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:20 pm 
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93 prost and hill , and an easy championship for prost and it should have been mansell's , and prost never looked that interested, and damon pushed prost more than he wanted a few times


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:32 pm 
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slide wrote:
93 prost and hill , and an easy championship for prost and it should have been mansell's , and prost never looked that interested, and damon pushed prost more than he wanted a few times


Hill should have won that Championship. Had technical failures whilst leading in San Marino, Silverstone, Germany and Portugal.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:54 pm 
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I tend to agree with your view. In my opinion, after a tentative and reserved opening laps at the season opener in South Africa, Prost then went on and dominated the race with the FW15C looking impressive in his hands... Strangely this is something i never saw again throughout the rest of the season. Brazil was a complete clanger and i honestly believe he not only lost confidence after that race, Sir Frank and Patrick did in him too..which had a undertone for the rest of the year. Typical British attitude of they felt it but didnt say anything about it

Remember the times he stalled the car, regularly had shocking starts, enforced the number 1 status (French GP) or didn't even try to race for the win (Portugal).

All felt a little..restrained?

But maybe thats always been the Prost style

With Mansell you new he'd boss the car and throw it in the corners, something i think the FW14/15 got turned on by ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:54 pm 
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This thread reminds me of a video i watched the other day

1993 Williams The Champions - Behind the scenes at Williams preparing for 1993

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hCe-EFbdMc&t=7s


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:58 pm 
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Also for fun:

1992 Formula 1 season review
Part 1
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2spiwt

Part 2
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2srqii


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:11 pm 
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jiminwatford wrote:
This thread reminds me of a video i watched the other day

1993 Williams The Champions - Behind the scenes at Williams preparing for 1993

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hCe-EFbdMc&t=7s



A great watch...


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:43 pm 
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Mansell's career looks great even with missing out on the 1993 Williams drive

Before he won the championship he was loved as a plucky trier and after he became a plucky winner!

This was enough, i feel, in reality

He then had more glory in America. Something not a lot of people have done. Then had a successful return in 1994 - bringing some familiar class and depth to the last races

TBH i wasn't aware of his 1995 efforts at the time. So i discount them as not really happening (shh ;))

1993 was a little flat but it showed the FW15c in it's pomp, gave the Professor his fourth title, allowed Hill an opportunity and still Senna proved how good he was

1995 was a bit of sad year, almost grieving for the loss the charismatic figures suddenly gone


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:57 pm 
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jiminwatford wrote:
Mansell's career looks great even with missing out on the 1993 Williams drive

Before he won the championship he was loved as a plucky trier and after he became a plucky winner!

This was enough, i feel, in reality

He then had more glory in America. Something not a lot of people have done. Then had a successful return in 1994 - bringing some familiar class and depth to the last races

TBH i wasn't aware of his 1995 efforts at the time. So i discount them as not really happening (shh ;))

1993 was a little flat but it showed the FW15c in it's pomp, gave the Professor his fourth title, allowed Hill an opportunity and still Senna proved how good he was

1995 was a bit of sad year, almost grieving for the loss the charismatic figures suddenly gone


Nicely summarised....


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:43 pm 
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Banana Man wrote:
slide wrote:
93 prost and hill , and an easy championship for prost and it should have been mansell's , and prost never looked that interested, and damon pushed prost more than he wanted a few times


Hill should have won that Championship. Had technical failures whilst leading in San Marino, Silverstone, Germany and Portugal.


I don't believe he retired when leading in San Marino, nonetheless........ you have just blown my mind. Wish my 9 year old Damon Hill idolising self had been paying closer attention!! That simply never occurred to me, and with a podium in San Marino and Wins at Germany and Silverstone, with Prost losing 8 points in the process.

I've just had a moment... Bare with me.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:39 pm 
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Prost's 1993 season was pretty average, but he just turned up and won the title against a rookie Hill. He probably had a bit in reserve at a lot of races but with his year out and age he was past his best.

I think Mansell who was the king of the active car would have beaten Prost in 1993 if they were team mates. Mansell's 1990 season was under rated - although Prost was better overall. Mansell had horrible reliability and was the quicker driver 5-6 races of the 16 races season. Prost was also getting all the best engines and was number 1 from mid season, famously taking Mansell's chassis when Mansell was quicker than him.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:40 pm 
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Colinjb wrote:
Banana Man wrote:
slide wrote:
93 prost and hill , and an easy championship for prost and it should have been mansell's , and prost never looked that interested, and damon pushed prost more than he wanted a few times


Hill should have won that Championship. Had technical failures whilst leading in San Marino, Silverstone, Germany and Portugal.


I don't believe he retired when leading in San Marino, nonetheless........ you have just blown my mind. Wish my 9 year old Damon Hill idolising self had been paying closer attention!! That simply never occurred to me, and with a podium in San Marino and Wins at Germany and Silverstone, with Prost losing 8 points in the process.

I've just had a moment... Bare with me.

Whilst it looks good on paper, bear in mind that Prost also had an engine failure in Monza, spun out from the lead in Brazil due to a poor call from his team, stalled from pole in Hungary and had a jump start penalty in Monaco.

That's a lot of points lost.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:17 pm 
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I miss Williams being a contending team. Hard to believe how far they have fallen. Mclaren is more than half way there now too.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:21 am 
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If Nige and Alain were mates in 93 it would have been a great year. Mansell already had that car mastered and Prost would be challenged. Whether it was failures or not, Prost wasn't pushed hard enough in the standings and so his season appeared average. Prost and Mansell in 93 could have been like Prost and Senna in 88 but Williams wasn't interested.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:53 am 
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ultima_volta wrote:
The story starts with Alain Prost getting his P45 from Ferrari at the back end of the 1991 season, so late that all the top teams had contracted drivers for 1992. My understanding is that the Proff tested with Ligier and even considered buying into the team before realising it would deliver 'nil pois'
I didn't realise Prost was after peas. Would those have been mushy peas?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:45 am 
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lamo wrote:
I think Mansell who was the king of the active car would have beaten Prost in 1993 if they were team mates. Mansell's 1990 season was under rated - although Prost was better overall. Mansell had horrible reliability and was the quicker driver 5-6 races of the 16 races season. Prost was also getting all the best engines and was number 1 from mid season, famously taking Mansell's chassis when Mansell was quicker than him.
I wouldn't mind hearing from Patrese whether he considers Mansell's early problems in 1991, to be similar to the way Prost had difficulty to getting into a car that did the most difficult things for you. It must be difficult to "unlearn" all that you have built up for yourself for so long. Remember how Prost couldn't double-declutch properly, and simply worked around that problem and come out faster than his instructors? That's where he got his nickname, as I recall.

Is there more than one source for the story that Mansell's chassis was switched to Prost? And if this really happened, then surely this means that it wasn't Mansell who was quickest, but his car? Which would raise the question why he would be bothered by it.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:12 pm 
Fiki wrote:
lamo wrote:
I think Mansell who was the king of the active car would have beaten Prost in 1993 if they were team mates. Mansell's 1990 season was under rated - although Prost was better overall. Mansell had horrible reliability and was the quicker driver 5-6 races of the 16 races season. Prost was also getting all the best engines and was number 1 from mid season, famously taking Mansell's chassis when Mansell was quicker than him.
I wouldn't mind hearing from Patrese whether he considers Mansell's early problems in 1991, to be similar to the way Prost had difficulty to getting into a car that did the most difficult things for you. It must be difficult to "unlearn" all that you have built up for yourself for so long. Remember how Prost couldn't double-declutch properly, and simply worked around that problem and come out faster than his instructors? That's where he got his nickname, as I recall.

Is there more than one source for the story that Mansell's chassis was switched to Prost? And if this really happened, then surely this means that it wasn't Mansell who was quickest, but his car? Which would raise the question why he would be bothered by it.


Mansell was well known to be a bit of a diva - if it wasn't his way, it was WRONG!!. So Ferrari giving his team mate his chassis would have really screwed with Mansell's mindset. Probably why Prost was keen to do it :)

I think I read something in Head's Autobiography about the 1992 Williams and Mansell's ability to extract the best out of it. The car had a tendency to understeer on turn in as the active suspension sorted itself out, if you hung on the car would grip and be monster through the corner. Mansell would grab any car by the scruff of the neck and throw it into the corner, so this kinda suited his driving style. Patresse admitted that he never got used to that characteristic as it unnerved him.


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