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F1 scandals: When Williams were missing from entry list and Briatore 'blocked' them

Williams was once a day late and dollar short with important documents - and was left off the official entry list...

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It is January 21, 1993.

Bill Clinton is starting his first full day as President of the United States, Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell is preparing to move Stateside for an attack on CART having been effectively forced out by the Williams team he won the title with.

The official entry list for the season-opening South African Grand Prix is missing - but the name of Williams, the defending World Champions no less, is not included.

The reason?

An administrative error meant that the day lodged its registration for 1993 a day too late, as a solution was discussed.

In the fineprint of the sporting regulations, it was discovered that for Williams to compete, all the other teams had to agree.

Perhaps surprisingly for the Piranha Club, unanimity was not immediately forthcoming.

Williams had just come off a dominant season with Mansell in the FW14B and crushed the oppositon - with Benetton's Flavio Briatore one of those to delay his agreement.

Boss Frank Williams was reportedly humiliated by the events - and urged to use soft power to ensure his team was on the grid.

A meeting in a hotel by Heathrow airport a few weeks before the event at Kyalami smoothed Williams onto the grid - with Alain Prost winning the final South African GP to date on his way to a fourth World Championship.

For good measure, the FW15C guided Williams to its sixth Constructors' Championship.

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