Nigel Mansell


The British love a sportsman who can come back from a desperate defeat to finally grab the glory they've always sought.

So it was with Nigel Mansell. Never blessed with the sort of charisma that melts the hearts and minds of the public, the moustachioed Mansell only really won over the doubters when he was cruelly robbed of the Formula 1 driver's title in 1986.

Needing a third-paced finish in the final race at Adelaide to secure the championship, Mansell's Williams was 19 laps away from glory when his rear tyre exploded at 200mph down the main straight. He lost the title but was voted that year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

It took Mansell six more years, and a stint at Ferrari, before he finally won the world title back at Williams in 1992. He also took the BBC award again that year – one of only three people to achieve that feat.

Rather than defend his F1 crown, Mansell went to America and won the equivalent CART IndyCar World series instead. He did return to F1, for both Williams and McLaren, before switching to touring cars at the end of a career full of heartache, triumph and pure unadulterated speed.

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Nigel Mansell