"The Mexican wave carried me to victory": Nigel recalls Mansell-mania at Silverstone

F1

Fans surged onto the circuit to celebrate Nigel Mansell's British Grand Prix wins. Then he went back to his trackside campsite, had a barbecue and watched the highlights

Nigel Mansell on the podium after winning the 1992 British Grand Prix

Mansell wins the 1992 British Grand Prix

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He also laments the changes to Silverstone that have diluted the challenge that it posed in the 1980s.

“The old, old Silverstone was the most incredible track,” he says. “But the old corners that were so incredibly challenging were Stowe and Club and of course they don’t exist [in the same form] any more.

“I understand from a safety point of view, but motor racing is dangerous and you should have some dangerous corners because it keeps drivers honest and it keeps it exciting. If you want to do something outrageously bad, you have a penalty for it. The penalty now, you just run off the circuit and drive back on. I don’t think that’s a penalty.”

Nigel Mansell on the top step of the podium at the 1987 British Grand Prix

Mansell capped his 1987 celebrations with a barbecue at his Silverstone campsite

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Some parts of the past generate more amusement than nostalgia. Where drivers today leave the circuit via helicopter to luxury accommodation, Mansell says that he simply camped at the track on the Sunday, after watching highlights of the race, and left the circuit on the Monday – in part to avoid the heavy traffic

“We stayed in the infield in tents and caravans initially, then graduated to motorhomes, but that was in the early ’90s.

“In ’87 when we won the race there, we celebrated by having a barbecue. We had the fans and we had a little football match as well and then we watched TV — the highlights — and then we stayed the night and left the next day.

“It’s very, very different [now] and you have great difficulty comparing the different eras.”