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Happy Birthday, Nigel!

Nigel Mansell on course to winning the 1992 Portugal Grand Prix with Williams.

© F1-Photo.com / Cahier Archive

Here's wishing 1992 Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell a very happy 64th birthday today, August 8.

Nigel Ernest James Mansell was born in Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire in 1953. He started his racing career in karting relatively late, as he had to earn the money to compete himself. He moved to Formula Ford and won six of the nine races he took part in 1976. Mansell was British Formula Ford champion the following year, despite suffering a broken neck in qualifying at Brands Hatch.

He raced in Formula Three for three years from 1978 where he was spotted by Colin Chapman. The Lotus boss gave him his Formula 1 d├ębut in the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix. He spent four seasons with Lotus before switching to Williams in 1985, where he took his first Grand prix win in the European GP.

Mansell was runner-up in the championship in 1986 and 1987. However, he had to wait until 1992 to finally take the crown, having returned to Williams after a brief two-year stint at Ferrari. Along the way he claimed victory in Portugal (pictured above) by half a minute from McLaren's Gerhard Berger.

At the time, Mansell held the record for competing in the most races - 180 - before becoming champion. The record was only broken last year by Nico Rosberg, who started 206 races before taking the title.

Mansell had an acrimonious falling out with Williams at the end of 1992 and left to race in the US. He did make a brief return to F1 in 1994: reunited with Williams, he won the Australian Grand Prix. After a short two-race stint with McLaren in 1995 he left the sport for good after 187 starts, 32 pole positions and 31 wins.

Subsequently Mansell raced in BTCC, DTM, FIA GT and the Grand Prix Masters series, and also raced in the 2010 Le Mans 24 alongside his sons Greg and Leo. Since hanging up his helmet, he's been an FIA race steward at the British Grand Prix on multiple occasions (pictured below in 2016).

Nigel Mansell, Race Steward, 2016 British Grand Prix

 
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