Mansell turns 59 on Aug. 8. (LAT photo)
A happy 59th birthday to 1992 Formula 1 World Champion and 1993 IndyCar champion Nigel Mansell, long considered one of Great Britain's best drivers.
His 14-year F1 career covered a span from 1980 through 1995, although both his first and last years in the sport were only in part-time roles. An initial podium occurred at the 1981 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder, in only his sixth start, although it took until 1985 at the European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in his home country t score his first win.
That year, of course, marked the beginning of his successful tenure with Williams in the iconic “Red 5,” and championships went begging in both 1985 and '86, the latter in spectacular fashion at Adelaide. His Ferrari years yielded little of the same success, and he would ultimately return to Williams in 1991.
Mansell's second stint with Williams would feature that elusive title in 1992 with the all-conquering FW14B – a then-record 14 poles in 16 races, eclipsed only a year ago by Sebastian Vettel's 15 – and nine race wins.
Crowned as king, Mansell made the swift decision to move Stateside in 1993, where he followed up his F1 heroics with the IndyCar championship as a rookie. His second year was less fruitful, and sporadic races with Williams in 1994 provided his last Grand Prix victory, at Adelaide.
He retired after his McLaren saga in 1995 where he could barely fit in the car, and then found it uncompetitive from just two starts.
Further outings in Touring Cars and Le Mans followed, although he crashed out in the car he was set to share with sons Greg and Leo less than an hour into the 2010 24 Hours.