Nigel Mansell, Lotus 81B, Hethel, 2011

Nigel Mansell reunited with Lotus 81B at Hethel

F1 picturesPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nigel Mansell got back behind the wheel of the car he made his F1 debut in.

The 1992 world champion drove a Lotus 81B at the opening of Group Lotus’s new test track in Hethel, where the original Lotus F1 team used to test its cars.

Mansell’s son Leo drove the famous Lotus 88 – the twin-chassis car which was banned from competing in 1981.

Former F1 driver Jean Alesi piloted a Lotus T125 – the company’s F1-style customer experience car – painted in the black and gold colours used by Renault this year.

Renault drivers Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna were also on-hand for demonstration laps in their F1 show car.

Mansell said: “What a joy it was to be reunited with my old 81B after 30 years.

“This is a very special place, Hethel, and it was wonderful to open the circuit today by driving alongside my sons Leo and Greg.

Mansell first raced the 81B in the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix.

Hethel test track opening pictures

F1 pictures

View more F1 pictures

Images ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Renault/LAT, Williams/LAT, McLaren, Getty Images/Red Bull, Force India F1 Team, Sauber F1 Team, Team Lotus, Virgin Racing, Motioncompany, Pirelli