1992 Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell had his first taste of the Formula Renault 3.5 race car when he drove his son Greg's Ultimate Motorsport Dallara at Silverstone after Friday testing in preparation for his demonstration laps on Sunday...
1992 Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell had his first taste of the Formula Renault 3.5 race car when he drove his son Greg's Ultimate Motorsport Dallara at Silverstone after Friday testing in preparation for his demonstration laps on Sunday in front of the large crowd expected for the UK round of the 2009 World Series by Renault.
This was the first time that Nigel Mansell had driven the 425 horsepower single seater and also his first experience of a car that required left foot braking. In the fifteen minute session, under the watching gaze of the Ultimate engineers and his son on the pitwall, the 55-year-old completed eight laps on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
Nigel Mansell said after his 15-minute test session: "In perfect order I have to thank Greg for allowing me to get in his car because he was very concerned with me driving his car before qualifying and you all here can all be my witness that the car is OK; no spins, no nothing, so thank you car! Also thank you to Renault for giving me a few laps experience so when I drive on Sunday I know what to expect during the demonstration."
"For me it was a wonderful experience; the Renault power is always nice to feel; winning with Renault in '92 as world champion was something special. To be reacquainted with an open wheeler which is close to Formula One was very nice; there is a very good feeling to the car and it was a great experience. It was a little bit tight in the car and the biggest problem I had on the first lap was I frightened myself going into Becketts because I went to brake and as I normally do, I put my foot over and as I pushed the pedal I accelerated because I used my right foot and not my left. Fortunately I was going slowly enough to stop but to get used to left foot braking and a number of things in the car is a good challenge and I'm pleased it has been perfect. The feeling I always remember is qualifying with over 1000 horsepower, so when you have over 1000 horsepower and you come back to this it is a different feeling but the car is magnificent. I think the World Series is one of the best series in racing because the car is very good and the driver has to push the car."
Nigel Mansell will demonstrate the Formula Renault 3.5 Ultimate Motorsport racecar on Sunday 5 July at 16:25 after his son Greg has completed Rounds 8 and 9 of the 2009 World Series by Renault.