Scenes of jubilation as Nigel Mansell claims victory at Silverstone in the dominant FW14B Williams in 1992. Nigel would go virtually unchallenged towards the title that year in a fashion matched only by Ascari in the early 50’s, Schumacher in the early 00’s and Sebastian Vettel last year.
Ayrton Senna in the midst of one of the finest displays of defending Formula One has ever seen.
After picking up a puncture, Championship leader Nigel Mansell, driving in the beyond dominant FW14B, was behind reigning world champion Ayrton Senna. For the final laps, despite having the better handling car, with a better engine, with fresher tyres, Nige could find no way past the wiley Senna using every inch of the narrow Monaco street circuit to his advantage.
In the hands of British driver Nigel Mansell, the FW14B would win both the driver’s and constructors titles in such a dominant fashion, many of Nigel’s single season records stood well into Schumacher’s dominant years. Some of which including:
- Most wins from start of the season (5, shared with Schumacher’s 2004 season)
- Most pole positions in a season (14, beaten by Sebastian Vettel this year)
- Most wins in a season (9, equalled by Schumacher in 1995 and bettered in 2002)
- 56% winning percentage (best winning percentage since Jim Clark in 1965, nearly 30 years prior)
- 88% pole position percentage (unbeaten)
- Most starts from the front row in a season (tied with Senna for 15, beaten by Prost in 1993)
- Most fastest laps in a season (8, beaten by Mika Hakkinen in 2000)
- Most wins from pole in a season (9, unbeaten)
Nigel Mansell, Monaco, 1992. He finished second behind Senna.
After pitting towards the end of the race, the Manx driver had fresher tyres to go along with his vastly superior FW14B (look carefully, you can even see the active suspension working to make the car lean into corners) but found himself stuck behind the shot tyres of triple world champion Senna.
To be fair, Monaco is notoriously tricky to pass at, but that Williams was so much faster in every way than that McLaren by all rights he should have been an easy target. Just watch that video, you can visibly see that the Williams was faster literally everywhere. Senna’s performance in 1992 and 1993 with vastly inferior equipment compared to the Williams of Mansell and Prost is probably the greatest testament to his greatness. So often do I hear “If Hamilton/Vettel/Schumacher/Alonso wasn’t in the best car, he wouldn’t be that good”, but it is a moot point with Senna because it was whilst in inferior machinery that he performed his greatest miracles.