News on Mansell, Herbert, Ferrari, Piquet

Some F1 News gathered Wednesday: MANSELL TESTS WILLIAMS AT ESTORIL Nigel Mansell rejoined Williams in testing yester at Estoril for this weekends Grand Prix of Europe at Jerez, Spain. Rain reportedly hampered most of test session Tuesday and...

Some F1 News gathered Wednesday:

MANSELL TESTS WILLIAMS AT ESTORIL Nigel Mansell rejoined Williams in testing yester at Estoril for this weekends Grand Prix of Europe at Jerez, Spain. Rain reportedly hampered most of test session Tuesday and Wednesday and Nigel was said to still be shaking off jet lag.

Nigel is here because, as he said, "the fire's still burning...IndyCar for the immediate future is definitely over, but as for next year you'll have to be patient and wait and see. (I am here) in the hope of creating more interest and to have a good time myself."

Mansell was asked should Damon Hill win the championship if he would consider being a #2 driver for Williams in 1995. "It is too premature to even try and answer that," Mansell said. "We're talking with the team, and the main thing is to get acquainted with the car and do a good job this weekend."

When asked how the Williams car feels now compared to the one he drove in France in July, Mansell said it was "still very nervous, but a little less sensitive."

Team-owner Frank Williams made no bones about why Mansell is returning: "He's driving for a seat next year," Williams says. "If he's staggeringly quick, he'll make a good claim."

"The fact that I am here partly answers what might or might not happen," said Mansell. "I have made a commitment for three races, but I'm not saying any more."

As for the Grand Prix of Europe in two days time, Mansell said: "We're going to have to guess the settings on the car a bit, so it's going to be a very steep learning curve in Jerez. It's a tall order, but we've done it before and we'll do it again.

"The most important thing, because of the sadness that 1994 has brought to the championship, is that the last three races bring reliability for the two championship leaders, and also that there are no political wranglings. That's very important for the sport, fans and drivers alike."

HERBERT RELEASED, SIGNED TO LIGIER Johnny Herbert has left the Lotus team and has signed a deal with Ligier. This new contract will see him start racing for French-based team as soon as this weekend for the Grand Prix of Europe and the deal extends through the 1995 season.

Herbert, 30, has struggled the last couple of years with the under- financed Lotus team and has asked Lotus managing director Peter Collins many times to release him from his contract.

Collins has steadfastly refused in the past, but the large debts the Norfolk-based team has incurred in the last two years have taken its toll, and Collins needed to sell Herbert's contract to raise money.

Lotus are expected to continue racing for the rest of this season and it is now being reported that they are seeking a buyer.

No word yet who will drive for Lotus or which Liger driver (Bernard or Panis) will step down at Jerez this weekend. I suspect Panis will stay, but that's just a guess at this point.

FERRARI DROP LAWSUIT AGAINST PIQUET After former three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet denied saying that the multi-million-dollar contract of Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger was a cover for illegal transfer of funds, Ferrari has decided to drop its lawsuit against the Brazilian.

by Robert Heathcote

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Gerhard Berger , Nigel Mansell , Peter Collins , Damon Hill , Nelson Piquet , Frank Williams
Teams Ferrari , Williams