Fans of this weekend’s British Grand Prix will be treated to an extra treat this Sunday as Sebastian Vettel takes to the circuit in Nigel Mansell’s Williams FW14B for a demonstration around Silverstone – 30 years after Mansell scored a famous victory on the track.
In Mansell’s hands, the active-driving car dominated the 1992 season and the mustachioed Englishman won nine Grands Prix during the year en route to the World Championship – including the British Grand Prix, where he qualified on pole 1.919 seconds ahead. of his teammate Ricardo Patrese.
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An F1 history buff, Vettel bought the famous ‘red five’ car two years ago – so named for Mansell’s racing number inscribed in red on the nose cone – and decided that a demonstration at Silverstone would be the perfect way to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of Mansell’s mob triumph.
“I expect a lot of fun and I hope people can share that fun, because I think it’s an amazing car, the story of the car, the way it sounds. So I can’t wait to be there,” Aston Martin driver Vettel said ahead of this weekend’s event.
“It was my idea – it’s my car – I bought the car a few years ago because it’s ‘red five’ – it means a bit more than just a car from 30 years ago Obviously I have number five on my car, I won my championship with the red five – even though it was a bit smaller on our car – I wore number five quite a bit in karting, and I ‘ve got number five now, so there’s a link here.
“And I think the early 90s is the [earliest] memories I have of Formula 1 – the earliest memories are of this car and the years that followed. So that was my idea and I thought exactly 30 years after winning the championship in 1992 and the British Grand Prix, that was a great idea.
But as well as looking to the past, environmental campaigner Vettel is also making a statement about the future with his demo run, as the car will run on sustainable fuels – with Formula 1 set to switch to 100% sustainable fuels in 2026.
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“I also thought we had to do it responsibly, so we’re using carbon neutral fuels on Sunday, to demonstrate that we can still keep our history, our heritage and our culture in motorsport, but do it in a way responsible. ,” he explained.
“It was an effort to find the fuel, but once we found it it was actually very easy, it only took one shakedown to get it under control.
“You’ll see it on Sunday, it’s no different to what the car was like 30 years ago, it will sound exactly the same, it will drive exactly the same.
“I will not try to reach the absolute limit in a few laps, but I will try to enjoy it, which is to go as fast as I feel comfortable – keeping in mind. it’s my car!
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“Motorsport is our passion, it’s what we grew up with. I think the cars I dreamed of as a kid might be different from some of the other drivers, but it’s important to find a way to do it responsibly as well to keep those cars and the story alive.
“You can express culture in many ways: music, art, but our way of expressing ourselves is to drive cars, race cars, and it would be a shame if all of that went away, and I think that’s a way to keep her alive. And looking forward, Formula 1 is heading in that direction in 2026 [when F1 will be using 100% sustainable fuel] and I think it’s a great way to put it all together and have fun.