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Ayrton Senna

Mansell reveals Senna's brutal admission in 'mind-numbing' podium moment

Nigel Mansell has revealed what Ayrton Senna said to him moments after the British driver was crowned as World Champion in 1992.

Mansell Senna
Article
To news overview © Renault

Nigel Mansell has explained that Ayrton Senna once admitted to being a "b*****d" following a season of hard-fought racing that saw him miss out on the World Championship.

The two drivers shared plenty of memorable battles during the late 1980s and early '90s, with many coming during Mansell's title-winning 1992 season.

Mansell's Williams car was the pick of the field that year but, in order to win his first and only title, the British driver would have to overcome a determined Senna.

The Brazilian had won three championships in fours years behind the wheel of his McLaren, all while building a reputation as a fierce and unrelenting racer.

But after Senna lost the '92 title fight, Mansell has revealed that the F1 legend approached him on the podium to justify his racing style.

Senna: Now you know what a b*****d I am!

After Senna endured five retirements in just eight races, Mansell was crowned as the 1992 World Champion in Hungary in what the 68-year-old has described as a "mind-numbing moment".

That race finished with the three title protagonists on the podium: Mansell, Senna and Mansell's teammate, Riccardo Patrese.

"[Senna] wanted to win the championship but the most fitting moment for me was when I won the championship in Hungary – he was on the top step with me," Mansell told F1's Beyond The Grid podcast.

"He turned to me and said, 'You realise how good a feeling that is now, don't you? Now you know what a b*****d I am, because that's the best feeling in the world'.

"There are some people who would go to any lengths, especially if they've already won it once, to win it again and again.

"There are some drivers I could mention who are true sportsmen and win it the right way, and then are a few others who definitely do not win it the right way, but they win it and that's all that matters.

"To have Ayrton put his arm around me on the top step in Hungary and admit a number of things to me, I said to him, 'Well, at least you admit it!'."

Mansell: I should have nudged him in Monaco

The most famous battle that season was the pair's fight for the win in Monaco, with Williams needing to pit Mansell from the lead late on in the race.

Mansell rejoined the track behind Senna, but sporting a faster car with much faster tyres.

However, despite spending the final laps of the race doing all he could to retake the lead, Senna was able to keep him behind.

"It was either a wheel nut coming undone or a puncture, we had no choice but to pit," said Mansell.

"Under the present regulations today, Ayrton could not hold me behind like he did. It was like a bus; every time I went to overtake he just blocked it.

"If I'm really honest about it, I should have nudged him up the back quite hard on a couple of corners and given him a puncture, or something. Even if it would have broken my front wing off, I could have carried on and maybe won."

Mansell continued: "I was very proud of the fact that we didn't make contact. I was very honourable not to, shall we say, help him into the barrier. Although, I do have thoughts about that now; he did it to me enough!

"But we showed in Monaco how close you could get without hitting anyone."

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