Jim Clark vs Nigel Mansell

Champion of Champions

Champion of Champions: Jim Clark vs Nigel Mansell

These two British champions may have raced decades apart but there are some interesting similarities between them.

Both clinched champions with technical superior cars – Clark using the Lotus 25 to dominate the 1963 championship and the 33 to claim the 1965 crown. Likewise Mansell wielded the Williams FW14B to devastating effect in 1992.

And it’s possible to argue that car problems were a significant reason why both drivers they didn’t win more races and championships.

For several years mechanical failures were the only thing that kept Clark off the podium. A critical tyre failure cost Mansell the 1986 crown and more bad luck followed on several occasions in 1987.

So how are we to separate these two champions?

Clark lost his life in 1968 at the age of 32. What more could he have achieved had he raced on into his forties, as Mansell did?

It’s down to you to decide which of these drivers should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions. Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.

Jim Clark Nigel Mansell
Jim Clark, Indianapolis, 1967 Nigel Mansell, Williams, 1992
Titles 1963, 1965 1992
Second in title year/s Graham Hill, Graham Hill Riccardo Patrese
Teams Lotus Lotus, Williams, Ferrari, McLaren
Notable team mates Trevor Taylor, Mike Spence, Graham Hill Nelson Piquet, Riccardo Patrese, Alain Prost
Starts 72 187
Wins 25 (34.72%) 31 (16.58%)
Poles 33 (45.83%) 32 (17.11%)
Modern points per start1 11.65 8.07
% car failures2 29.17 32.62
Modern points per finish3 16.45 11.98
Notes An oil leak in the final race of 1962 cost him his first title Runner-up in 1986 and 1987, the latter after back-breaking crash
Finished on the podium in every race where his car didn’t break down over the next three seasons Returned to Williams in 1991, taking title in 1992
Killed in a Formula Two race during the 1968 season having won the first race of the year Quit for good after two-race comeback for McLaren in 1995
Bio Jim Clark Nigel Mansell

1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure

Round one

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Jim Clark (85%)
  • Nigel Mansell (15%)

Total Voters: 604

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Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.

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Images ?? Ford (Clark), Williams/Sutton (Mansell)

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119 comments on Jim Clark vs Nigel Mansell

  1. Bartholomew said on 20th January 2011, 5:48

    In Italy they called Mansell “Il Leone” – he sure was a tough, fast guy.He would be the right one to race against Hamilton like two wild dogs going at each other.

  2. kimbo (@) said on 20th January 2011, 21:03

    I was lucky enough to have seen Jimmy Clark race,in f1 sports and saloon cars and even then you knew you were witnessing something very special – no one comes near in my opinion and i was a ‘Nige’ fan too !

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