The battle of Barcelona: the wheel by wheel between Mansell and Senna that made history in Formula 1

In the 1991 Spanish Grand Prix, Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna fought an extraordinary duel, the two remained side by side for a long time on the straight. A moment that has become iconic.

Author: Alessio Morra

There are moments that stay forever, there are images that become part of an ideal pantheon of sport and that gradually become iconic over time, because time creates it. This also applies, or perhaps above all, to the Formula 1. Reviewing the colors of the cars, which in addition to the Ferrari, change, reviewing the heroes of the past and also the format of the single-seaters is always a sensation, if the protagonists are Senna and Mansell and there is also the possibility of listening to James Hunt too, then the game it’s done, and the emotions are in the nth degree.

September 29, 1991. For the first time, Formula 1 makes a stop in Barcelona, ​​which has become a regular stop for the circus over the decades. Ayrton Senna who started the season in a prodigious way feels his breath on the neck of Nigel Mansell, the ‘Lion’ looking for a sensational comeback with a Williams that has become very fast thanks to the technical innovations of young Adrian Newey. The Brazilian knows he is the favourite, but the recovery is impetuous and the Englishman was an extraordinary driver of great character, perhaps the worst opponent at the time.

Senna looks at Mansell, the freeze frame is amazing.
Senna looks at Mansell, the freeze frame is amazing.

FOR barcelona the two are dangerously side by side, it’s a duel, a racing duel that will become one of the historic images in the history of Formula 1. Berger starts on pole, Mansell is overtaken by Senna and Schumacher. The Brazilian doesn’t take the lead and finds himself in a duel with the Englishman who after getting rid of Schumacher and Alesi wants to overtake him, snags him at the last corner, gets on the treadmill and joins him.

The duel continued for a long time on the Barcelona straight.
The duel continued for a long time on the Barcelona straight.

At that moment, time seems suspended. It’s only a few seconds, but it really feels like an eternity. Ayrton is on the inside, Nigel is on his right, ready to overtake him. There McLaren and the Williams they light up, the Brazilian looks at himself in the mirror, moves his helmet, Mansell doesn’t give up, their tires almost touch, slowing down as much as possible. Nobody wants to give up, but the curve comes. Pass Mansell. Commenting on British TV are the legendary Murray Walker and James Hunt, who relishes a high school duel and times gone by.

Mansell was on fire, unleashed even surpasses Berger and gets his hands on victory. The Austrian retires due to technical problems. Prost at Ferrari jumps to second place, and Patrese is also on the podium. The top six, who scored at the time, are elite with Alesi in fourth, Senna in fifth and Schumacher sixth. A fabulous finish line for a race that made history and that will forever be the iconic image of Mansell and Senna side by side on the straight.

Source: Fan Page IT