Nigel Mansell made a typically gritty F1 debut for Lotus in 1980, driving despite the agony of sitting in petrol until his engine blew. But a top-three qualifying slot at Monaco the next year underlined his potential.
That potential was not realised until he joined Williams in 1985 for his first wins, followed by a heart-breaking near-miss of the championship when his tyre famously blew at Adelaide in 1986.
In 1987 he usually had the beating of team mate Nelson Piquet but suffered from unreliability and missed out on the title when he crashed and injured his back in Japan.
A wasted season with Judd engines followed, so Mansell made a long-rumoured switch to Ferrari. The relationship started promisingly with a win first time out in Brazil. But in 1990 new team mate Alain Prost came on board and Mansell’s relations with him and the team soured.
He returned to Williams, now with Renault power in 1991. Mansell was runner-up yet again, this time to Ayrton Senna, but it all came good with the FW14B in 1992 with which he destroyed the opposition.
Refusing to partner Prost again in 1993 he went to IndyCars and won the title first time out, then made a partial return to F1 in 1994 after Senna’s death. He won his final race at Adelaide at the end of the season.
It probably should have ended there, but Mansell planned a full season with McLaren for 1995. He canned it after two races, realising the car wasn’t going to win anything.