Former Scuderia Ferrari driver and 1992 Formula One world champion Nigel Mansell believes that today’s generation of Formula 1 driver do not understand how it feels to drive a “proper” F1 car, like he got to do back in the day.
There has been some talk recently – most of it coming from world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel – to reduce the weight of the current F1 car to try and enhance the enjoyment of racing. Nigel Mansell believes F1 will “never get back to” what it used to be like, describing the experience as “frightening” but “exhilarating”.
“Driving those turbo cars was the most exhilarating, frightening thing that you could do in your life,” Nigel Mansell explained to the FIA’s Auto Magazine. “The Williams FW11B: Nothing comes close to that car, nothing in the world. And Formula One will never get back to that. Really, today’s drivers will never know what a proper F1 car feels like. In qualifying, you literally had up to 1,500 horsepower – it’s reputed that BMW had more. And to have wheelspin in sixth gear down the straight, at 175-180mph… you cannot put into words as a driver. At every single corner you came to, the car was literally trying to kill you.” – Nigel Mansell explained.