01.07.92 - JOHN WATSON ON THE FRENCH GRAND PRIXNigel Mansell's unforced error in the last round in Canada is a little difficult to understand. The Championship is all but his, with his current form and the advantage he has with the Williams, but he could have made things easier on himself if he had just shown a little patience. Ayrton Senna's strategy in the race amused me. He slowed the pace making it difficult for any driver to build up the momentum necessary to overtake. It made Mansell's manoeuvre look like that of a far less experienced driver.
Nigel Mansell knows he has an instant remedy to his Canadian mishap when the action moves to France this weekend. He competes in Magny-Cours as odds-on favourite and should repeat his 1991 domination of the race. While Mansell's task is made easier by the equipment he uses, I have no wish to undermine his commitment or the determination that he applies to every second he spends in his racing car. He gives 100 per cent and this is why he is currently the most exciting driver in Formula One.
The recent Goodyear tyre testing at Silverstone was confirmation, if any was needed, that the Williams-Renault-Mansell combination is unbeatable. Even teams such as McLaren and Ferrari must have accepted that the advantage of Williams cannot be overcome in the short term. They can only do their best and look towards 1993. McLaren's biggest struggle is with the aerodynamic stability of the MP4/7 - as has been apparent all season. The problem arises when Senna and Berger drive on the limit and the lack of stability affects their confidence.
Nigel Mansell's biggest threat at Magny-Cours will come from teammate Riccardo Patrese although I would not wish to underestimate the McLaren team. If Ayrton Senna manages to get pole spot for Sunday, he can use all his guile, plus the phenomenal performance of his Honda engine - without doubt now the most powerful in Formula One. McLaren will have new aerodynamic appendages available this weekend although this will barely do more than nibble at the problem. Like the others, there must be doubt for 1992 as a Championship-winning year.
Benetton are seen by many as the biggest threat to Williams this weekend. Two of the new 7-series Ford HB engines will be available for qualifying although they will run the 6-series engines in Sunday's race. The Magny-Cours circuit is not unlike the grand prix circuit in Canada so Martin Brundle and Michael Schumacher must be potential podium finishers. The team's main disadvantage has been in qualifying where they have been lacking the ultimate grunt of the Honda and Renault engines.
Jean Alesi, hopefully fully recovered from his Silverstone crash, will be 'braver than Dick Tracy' in an effort to bring success to the Ferrari team. He may not manage to be the fastest but he will almost certainly be the most spectacular driver at the Magny-Cours throughout the weekend. Also watch out for the Lotus Ford twins Johnny Herbert and Mika Hakkinen, as well as the ever-improving Venturi Larrousse Lamborghini in the hands of Bertrand Gachot and Ukyo Katayama. Karl Wendlinger in the March Ilmor could nudge his way into the points.
Sunday's French Grand Prix is round eight of the FIA World Formula One Championship and the halfway stage. It is therefore the last chance for those teams 'on the bubble' to score the points they need to escape the pre-qualifying net - and 8am starts. Those in trouble are Brabham Judd, Fondmetal Ford, Minardi Lamborghini and Andrea Moda Judd, all without a point so far this season. Jordan Yamaha should escape having scored three points in the previous six months of 1991 but they will need some results to avoid pre-qualifying in '93.
04.07.92F1:- Dominant Nigel Mansell left his rivals trailing in his wake as he powered to pole for Sunday's race at Magny-Cours. He scorched round the circuit and said: "Everyone is running a lot faster because of the fall in temperature and the improved grip. Late in the session the wind really blew and it was quite dangerous in the fast corners."
Johnny Herbert, 12th on the grid, said: "When I was on my final fast run the steering felt funny and it seemed to go loose and light."
FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Final qualifying times: mins secs 1 N Mansell GB Williams 1:13.864 2 R Patrese It Williams 1:14.332 3 A Senna Brz Mclaren 1:15.199 4 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:15.316 5 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:15.569 6 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:16.118 7 M Brundle GB Benetton 1:16.151 8 I Capelli It Ferrari 1:16.443 9 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:16.806 10 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:16.938 11 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus-Ford 1:16.999 12 J Herbert GB Lotus-Ford 1:17.257 13 B Gachot Fr Venturi 1:17.442 14 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:17.508 15 A Suzuki Jpn Footwork 1:17.548Nigel Mansell continued his blistering domination at Magny-Cours as he stormed to pole - but Sunday's race could be called off. Mansell, who slid off in free practice, improved his time to 1 min 13.864 secs to claim his seventh pole of the season. Sunday's race is still on but organisers are bracing themselves for possible action by protesting French truckers and farmers. Christian Fittipaldi cracked his fifth vertebra after crashing in the morning and is out of action for about 60 days.
F.OPEL LOTUS:- Britain's Gareth Rees of David Sears Motorsport claimed his second pole of the Opel/Vauxhall Lotus Euroseries at Magny-Cours. Teammate Martijn Koene of Holland joins Rees on the front row.
TOURING CARS:- Will Hoy, the British Touring Car champion, starts as favourite for the HEAT Willhire 24 Hours, the annual Snetterton saloon car endurance race. The race is scheduled to begin at 3pm on Saturday.
VW BEATLES:- BBC TV's Top Gear presenter Chris Goffey headed the unofficial timesheets after testing for Sunday's 20-lap Bug Prix at Brands Hatch, the third ever race meeting in the UK for VW Beetles.
05.07.92 - THE FRENCH GRAND PRIXNigel Mansell used skill, daring and a lot of common sense, to clinch victory in an incident-packed French Grand Prix at a wet and windy Magny-Cours circuit. Mansell finished more than 46 seconds clear of his Williams Renault teammate Riccardo Patrese after taking the lead from the Italian soon after a re-start following an interruption for rain. Martin Brundle also drove a superb race overcoming a misfire and winning a battle with home favourite Jean Alesi on his way to taking third place. Johnny Herbert in a Lotus also finished in the points, in sixth place.
Nigel Mansell made a quick decision to switch to wet weather tyres when rain returned in the second half of the race. Officials had brought out the red flag for the first downpour but the track dried in the 20-minute interval and the drivers continued on slicks. Mansell, with a 27-second lead over Riccardo Patrese, called in at the pits as soon as the track became slippery but some drivers delayed expecting the race to be stopped once again. Among them was Jean Alesi who stayed on the pace despite driving on slicks but survived a huge slide in his Ferrari.
Nigel Mansell won the French Grand Prix for the second year in succession to take his total of GP wins to a British record-equalling 27 with Jackie Stewart. He is now third in the list of all-time best results, with Alain Prost topping the table with 44 victories. Mansell took the lead on lap 21, just after the re-start, when teammate Riccardo Patrese appeared to wave him by but the Italian later refused to confirm that he was obeying team orders. He now leads the World Championship with 66 points, 32 clear of Patrese in second place with Schumacher (26) third.
Ayrton Senna was left stranded at the side of the track after a collision with Michael Schumacher just after the start of the 69-lap race at Magny-Cours. "I had a very bad start and Gerhard (Berger) went ahead. I braked behind him and was hit from the back," said the McLaren Honda driver. "I don't know what Schumacher was doing but he must have misjudged the corner." Senna's race was over but Schumacher returned to the pits for repairs and continued. There was further bad news for the McLaren camp when Gerhard Berger stopped with engine trouble.
Nigel Mansell trailed his Williams Renault teammate Riccardo Patrese by just 0.789 seconds when officials halted the race for rain on lap 20. The crowd, who had braved wet, windy weather and the lorry drivers' blockade to get to the circuit, were rewarded with a magnificient duel between the Championship's two leading contenders. Time after time Mansell attempted to squeeze past Patrese but was held off. Benetton driver Martin Brundle said the decision to stop the race was a good one. "It was getting a bit treacherous. They stopped it just in time," he said.
Michael Schumacher went out soon after the race re-started after an incident at the corner where he had earlier collided with Ayrton Senna on lap one. Schumacher appeared to be hit from behind by the Jordan of Stefano Modena and this time the Benetton driver was forced to retire. Karl Wendlinger in a March, recovered from a bad crash in practice, was involved in a separate collision with Gabriele Tarquini's Fondmetal at the start. Both eventually retired. Only 16 of 26 starters were running at the halfway stage and just 11 finished.
Martin Brundle thanked the rain for helping him claim the first recorded podium finish of his Formula One career. "I had a small electrical problem and I was thinking about pulling in when it started to rain and solved the problem" said the Camel Benetton Ford driver. Brundle said he was looking forward to the second half of the season and especially to next weekend's British GP. Nigel Mansell won what he described as "the biggest casino of a race" and said he was optimistic about the Silverstone GP. "It's marvellous that Martin is in there with a shout," he commented.
FIA WORLD F1 CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND EIGHT Result after 69 laps: 1 N Mansell GB Williams 1 hr 38 mins 08.459 secs 2 R Patrese It Williams 46.44s back 3 M Brundle GB Benetton 1m 12.579s 4 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus 1 lap 5 E Comas Fr Ligier 1 lap 6 J Herbert GB Lotus 1 lap 7 M Alboreto It Footwork 1 lap 8 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1 lap 9 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 2 laps 10 P Martini It Dallara 2 laps 11 O Grouillard Fr Tyrrell 3 laps FIA WORLD F1 DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 N Mansell GB Williams 66 pts 2 R Patrese It Williams 34 3 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 26 4 G Berger Aut McLaren 18 = A Senna Brz McLaren 18 6 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 11 7 M Brundle GB Benetton 9 8 M Alboreto It Footwork 5 9 A De Cesaris It Tyrrell 4 = M Hakkinen Fin Lotus Ford 4 11 K Wendlinger Aut March Ilmor 3 == E Comas Fr Ligier 3 13 I Capelli It Ferrari 2 == P Martini It Dallara 2 == J Herbert GB Lotus 2 CONSTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS 1 Williams 100 points 2 McLaren 36 3 Benetton 35 4 Ferrari 13 5 Lotus Ford 6 6 Footwork 5 7 Tyrrell 4 8 March Ilmor 3 = Ligier Renault 3 10 Dallara 2 11 Venturi 1F.OPEL LOTUS:- Holland's Martijn Koene won the sixth round of the Opel Lotus/Vauxhall Lotus Euroseries at Magny-Cours after overall leader Gareth Rees suffered a blown engine when leading.
SALOON CARS:- Mike Jordan led a BMW 1-2 in the HEAT/Willhire 24 Hour race at Snetterton. Jordan and co-drivers Steve Griffen and Graham Coomes held off the challenge of Will Hoy, Ian Khan, Steve Guglielmi and Kurt Luby, also in a BMW M3.
VW BEATLES:- Julian Lock led from start to finish as he won the Bug Prix at Brands Hatch, a 20-lap race for VW Beetles. Simon Howarth was second and Peter Keys third.
08.07.92 - F1Nigel Mansell expects the Union Jacks to be in abundance when round nine of the FIA World F1 Championship takes place at Silverstone on Sunday. "It is a fabulous thing to have two British drivers on the podium," said Mansell after winning the French GP last weekend with Martin Brundle third. "I am really looking forward to the British GP. There should be record crowds there after this." Mansell now has 27 GP victories to his credit and one more win would make him the most successful British race winner in Grand Prix history.
JOHN WATSON ON THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX
The Nigel Mansell roadshow is on its way to Silverstone and the circuit is preparing to host the most successful British Grand Prix in memory. Two other Englishman are currently riding the crest of the British success in Formula One - Martin Brundle at Benetton and Johnny Herbert at Lotus. But the primary focus throughout the weekend will be on one man. It is no secret that the British GP means a huge amount to Mansell and that in itself represents a daunting prospect for the other competitors this weekend.
If anyone should need proof of what Silverstone means to Nigel Mansell, they need look no further than the tyre testing there two weeks ago. 'Our Nige' blitzed the opposition, recording a faster time than he did last year when he had the benefit of qualifying tyres and, believe me, that would have been worth two seconds a lap. The progress that the Williams Renault team have made with their actively-suspended car is remarkable. While this may satisfy most of Sunday's spectators, it leaves the other drivers racing for, at best, third place.
This is the second Grand Prix on the revised Silverstone circuit and, since last year, a few changes have been made probably noticeable only to the drivers. These affect the kerbing on the exit to Copse Corner and the approach to Priory Corner where resurfacing has been carried out. They represent improved safety and comfort for competitors. These changes directly benefit those 'on the stage' but likewise spectators will find improvements to their viewing facilities all around the circuit. Not least of these is the addition of a number of diamond vision screens.
Silverstone remains a high speed circuit despite its revised layout and this has made the teams go for a much higher downforce set-up. The team doing the best job in this respect is Williams Renault. By contrast McLaren, traditionally their big rivals, are struggling here despite enormous efforts. They have fantastic organisation and the most powerful engines in Formula One but the chassis is not able to harness the horsepower available. On Sunday the problems they have endured all season will be worse than ever.
Benetton are the team most likely to follow the Williams to the chequered flag at Silverstone on Sunday. They hope to have the latest Ford Series 7 engine available for qualifying and for the race itself. In terms of out and out horsepower, the Ford is behind the Honda, Renault and Ferrari engines. That is the down-side. The up-side is the frugal fuel economy, it is very lightweight and it is simply the easiest engine to package in a grand prix chassis. The outcome - well just watch Brundle and Schumacher.
THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX: JOHN WATSON'S HALF TIME REPORT
AYRTON SENNA (McLaren Honda)
The penny dropped at the French GP that his chances of another world title had all but gone for 1992. No driver is more committed to winning than Senna and his strengths were seen clearly at Monaco. However I am sure he recognises how difficult it will be to get on the podium on Sunday afternoon.
GERHARD BERGER (McLaren Honda)
Like his teammate, Berger works very hard indeed and his win in Canada was fully justified. He is more complete a racing driver now than at any point in his career, mainly due to his three years with the McLaren team.
OLIVIER GROUILLARD (Tyrrell Ilmor)
From time to time shows tremendous speed but does appear to be very hard on his equipment. On top of everything else he is desperately looking for sponsorship to guarantee his seat in the team for the rest of the year.
ANDREA DE CESARIS (Tyrrell Ilmor)
Now in his 12th season of F1 racing, he has learned what being a mature competitor is all about. He has become an outstanding driver and, on the day, is more than capable of getting into the points.
NIGEL MANSELL (Williams Renault)
It has all been said, all been written. With the support of his home crowd, Nigel could win this race even if he started from the back of the grid. This is what Mansell enjoys most about the British Grand Prix - 120,000 people willing him to win. Apart from the hiccup in Canada, he has had an outstanding season so far.
RICCARDO PATRESE (Williams Renault)
Has not adapted to the active suspension as easily as Mansell. Nonetheless an asset to the team and, with a car like this one, should Mansell falter, he will be the man.
ERIC VAN DE POELE (Brabham Judd)
Totally hampered by his equipment and, like many drivers in F1, capable of much more than we have seen this season - or will see at Silverstone.
DAMON HILL (Brabham Judd)
Must feel disappointed that all the knowledge and experience gained from being a Williams team test driver has not helped him as a Brabham driver. No chance to show what he can do.
MICHELE ALBORETO (Footwork Mugen)
With improved equipment, he has rediscovered the excitement of being a F1 driver. Competitors like Alboreto never lose ability, just motivation.
AGURI SUZUKI (Footwork Mugen)
Potentially faster than teammate Alboreto but still not mature enough to recognise how to manifest that speed.
MIKA HAKKINEN (Lotus Ford)
A second year student, bursting with enthusiasm and ability while at the same time retaining a sense of reality. If Lotus can maintain their speed and reliability, a potential point scorer.
JOHNNY HERBERT (Lotus Ford)
Perfect foil for teammate Hakkinen. One of the happiest people to meet in the pits, Johnny has been marked out as a potential British world champion of the future. What else can I say.
ANDREA CHIESA (Fondmetal Ford)
If there is no pre-qualifying, Chiesa is capable of qualifying for the race. Both he and his team are short of track time.
GABRIELE TARQUINI (Fondmetal Ford)
Driver generally very underrated but, like his teammate, his performances are governed by a lack of track time. In better circumstances could surprise a lot of people.
KARL WENDLINGER (March Ilmor)
Highly talented and, in spite of driving for a tightly-budgeted team, is doing an outstanding job. A driver for the future...
PAUL BELMONDO (March Ilmor)
Generally considered to be a journey-man and perhaps unfairly burdened by a famous father. Does the best he can.
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (Benetton Ford)
So far the discovery of the '90s. Prodigious talent but he must learn that nobody can walk on water. A potential podium finisher on Sunday.
MARTIN BRUNDLE (Benetton Ford)
Has had his best F1 season by far and, at the halfway point, is now displaying the confidence and self-belief to match his ability. He will be certain to race hard all weekend.
JJ LEHTO (Dallara Ferrari)
Would be better in a British-based team. Natural speed and flair being wasted.
PIERLUIGI MARTINI (Dallara Ferrari)
Italian drivers in Italian teams are not always the perfect combination. He has often shown potential but is lost without the necessary team discipline.
GIANNI MORBIDELLI (Minardi Lamborghini)
Highly regarded by Ferrari but suffering from equipment unreliability.
ALESSANDRO ZANARDI (Minardi Lamborghini)
First GP of the year but, as Benetton's test driver, has had some cockpit time. Bright, fast and knows the circuit.
THIERRY BOUTSEN (Ligier Renault)
Enigmatic Belgian who is a proven winner but who is currently suffering from pressure within the team, particularly from teammate Erik Comas.
ERIK COMAS (Ligier Renault)
Highly regarded at Ligier and, not insignificantly, responsible for the team's Championship points to date. Worth watching.
JEAN ALESI (Ferrari)
Always worth watching. Will always drive the wheels off his car and, with the help of Niki Lauda, beginning to understand the need for self-discipline and the art of communication.
IVAN CAPELLI (Ferrari)
Should be in another team. His qualities are not being maximised and probably never will be at Ferrari. What a waste.
BERTRAND GACHOT (Larrousse Lamborghini)
Tremendous self-belief and confidence and totally ambitious. Is capable of more but in different circumstances.
UKYO KATAYAMA (Larrousse Lamborghini)
Impressive debut F1 year. Has matched Gachot on speed - quicker on occasions.
STEFANO MODENA (Jordan Yamaha)
A man whose potential is entirely self-governed. Should be less introspective.
MAURICIO GUGELMIN (Jordan Yamaha)
Opposite personality to his teammate and, in a difficult season for the Jordan team, can help maintain morale. Has on occasions driven well.
ROBERTO MORENO (Andrea Moda Judd)
Did a good job at Benetton and deserves better than this. Uncertainty lies over the future of the team.
PERRY MCCARTHY (Andrea Moda Judd)
Our Pel would just like the opportunity to get more than three or four laps in a Formula One car. A real enthusiast's favourite.
10.07.92 - THE BRITISH GRAND PRIXNigel Mansell set Silverstone buzzing with fastest ever lap times, in first practice for Sunday's race. Mansell promised a 1:20 lap was on its way and he was as good as his word with a 1 min 19.711 secs lap in his Williams Renault within the first 20 minutes. He reduced it twice more before taking everyone's breath away with a 1:18.965 lap, averaging an incredible 148.043mph. There was further British cheer with Martin Brundle (Benetton) sixth, Johnny Herbert (Lotus) one place back and Damon Hill provisionally qualifying for his first GP, in 26th spot.
Nigel Mansell even surprised himself with his sensational fastest ever lap in the first official practice session. "It was a perfect lap. It was so quick" said the Williams driver. "I can't imagine going any quicker than that... I really gave it everything. I am aching all over now - including my teeth. There is so much g-force on this track. I thought a 1:19 was optimistic but a 1:18 - well I didn't think it could be for real. "I hope it remains dry tomorrow morning but if it is wet I am confident we can get the car set up."
Johnny Herbert claimed a provisional place on the fourth row of the grid despite losing 20 minutes following a spin in his Lotus during practice. Herbert had been clocking impressive lap times when he spun at Luffield and was forced to stop in the pits with a damaged front wishbone. Martin Brundle also spun, at Brooklands on his final lap of practice, but was able to continue. "It was not a good day for me," he said. "My entry speed to the corners was too slow and I experienced oversteer on the exit. I'll make big changes overnight."
Ayrton Senna finished third behind the two Williams Renaults in the first qualifying session and admitted the McLaren Honda team faced a hard task. "The gap between us and the Williams is bigger here at Silverstone than normal, reflecting their strengths and our weaknesses," said the Brazilian. "I had clear lap on the first run when I did my time but my second set were not as quick as the first." Team manager Ron Dennis said the car's performance was disappointing. "We have gone substantially quicker here in testing," he insisted.
Tyrrell's Andrea de Cesaris and Olivier Grouillard struggled in practice and finished 18th and 20th respectively. "I was struggling to find grip and to get a good clear lap," said De Cesaris. "I spoilt my first set of tyres spinning at Club but the car feels good," commented his teammate. Stefano Modena and Mauricio Gugelmin were frustrated with the lack of speed of their Sasol Jordan Yamahas. "We had a good balance and I had no mechanical problems. That was just the best time I could get out of it," said Gugelmin.
FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP Pre-qualifying times (four go through): mins secs 1 B Gachot Bel Venturi Lam 1:24.650 2 G Tarquini It Fondmetal 1:27.378 3 U Katayama Jpn Venturi Lam 1:27.560 4 A Chiesa It Fondmetal 1:28:965 NON-QUALIFIERS 5 R Moreno Brz Andrea Moda 1:30.592 6 P McCarthy GB Andrea Moda 1:46.719Bertrand Gachot produced an impressive lap in the closing stages to head the six-car field in the most exciting pre-qualifying session this season. Gachot lapped in 1 min 24.650 secs in a Larrousse, as the Silverstone track was drying out, with second-placed Gabriele Tarquini (Fondmetal) clocking 1:27.378. The last few minutes were hectic and Andrea Moda Judd driver Roberto Moreno was the one to lose out, slipping to fifth to join teammate Perry McCarthy as a non-qualifier. McCarthy had been allowed to complete just two laps.
FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Friday's first qualifying session: mins secs 1 N Mansell GB Williams 1:18.965 2 R Patrese It Williams 1:20.884 3 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:21.706 4 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:22.066 5 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:22.296 6 M Brundle GB Benetton 1:23.489 7 J Herbert GB Lotus 1:23.605 8 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:23.723 9 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus-Ford 1:23.813 10 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:23.957 11 B Gachot Fr Larrousse 1:24.065 12 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:24.198 13 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:24.545 14 I Capelli It Ferrari 1:24.558 15 G Tarquini It Fondmetal 1:24.761 16 U Katayama Jap Larrousse 1:24.851 17 A Suzuki Jpn Footwork 1:24.924 18 A de Cesaris It Tyrrell 1:24.984 19 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 1:25.037 20 O Grouillard Fr Tyrrell 1:25.096 21 K Wendlinger Aut March 1:25.123 22 P Martini It Dallara 1:25.221 23 S Modena It Jordan 1:25.362 24 M Gugelmin Brz Jordan 1:25.988 25 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1:25.998 26 D Hill GB Brabham 1:26.378 PROVISIONAL NON-QUALIFIERS 27 A Zanardi It Minardi 1:26.458 28 P Belmondo Fr March 1:27.995 29 A Chiesa Swi Fondmetal 1:28.452 30 E Vd Poele Bel Brabham 1:28.719 11.07.92 - THE BRITISH GRAND PRIXNigel Mansell starts from pole position in his bid for a record 28th GP victory after a rain-hit final practice session. Mansell produced the fastest ever lap at the revised Silverstone circuit when he clocked 1 min 18.965 secs on Friday - and that was never likely to be bettered even in the dry, except by him. He was also considerably quicker than anyone else on the wet track, recording a 1:35.990 lap, with teammate Riccardo Patrese again second in 1:38.185. Mansell's pole position was the 25th of his GP career as he bids to become the only British driver to have won 28 GPs.
Nigel Mansell said he was still sore from his amazing laps on Friday which earned him pole spot in Sunday's race. He said he could not have matched his lap of 1 min 18.965 secs even if final qualifying conditions had been ideal. "I suppose I had a few aches and pains from yesterday, from the number of laps we did and the amount of 'g' we pulled. I was not able to commit myself at the same level as I did yesterday." He said teammate Riccardo Patrese had been his biggest worry. "He is a very fast and classy driver and, at any time, can stick one there."
Nigel Mansell has revealed that a telegram arrived from Jackie Stewart after he had equalled the Scot's 27 GP wins with victory at the French GP. "He sent me a fantastic telegram welcoming me to the 27 Club," said the Englishman. "He said, in his opinion, it would be a very short membership." Mansell said he was not concerned about the race start even though Patrese took the lead from him in the French GP. "I have analysed it on the computer... I am reluctant to play with the lights too much. On the front row if you jump the start you will get penalised."
Olivier Grouillard spun three times during final practice but said he would be "in good shape" even for a wet race. "The balance of the car felt good, particularly in the quick corners" said the Tyrrell driver. "I had slight problems with a stiff gearbox which caused me to spin but I finished sixth." Ayrton Senna was a lot happier after adjustments to his McLaren Honda. "The aerodynamic improvements seemed to make the car go slightly better," he said. "This afternoon it was really very slippery out there. It's difficult to judge the car's potential in the wet."
Damon Hill has given the Union Jacks an extra reason for waving on Sunday by qualifying for his first Grand Prix. The Brabham Judd driver starts from the back row of the grid after qualifying 26th fastest on Friday. His time of 1 min 26.378 secs was 7.4 seconds off the pace set by Nigel Mansell. Martin Brundle, hoping to get among the points in front of his home crowd, was sixth fastest in his Camel Benetton Ford while behind him will be Johnny Herbert in the Lotus Ford. Brundle was best of the trio in the wet with Saturday's fourth fastest time.
Frenchman Erik Comas limped away from the wreckage of his car after a high speed collision during free practice. Comas, running a bit wide in his Ligier to avoid a car parked on the grass at Stowe, collided with the Williams of Riccardo Patrese and both spun off. The two cars were badly damaged as they crashed heavily into the barriers. Comas spun back on to the track with debris and wheels flying around him. The 1.5-hour free session was halted while the track was cleared. Both drivers were fit to take part in the final qualifying session.
FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Times in final qualifying session: mins secs 1 N Mansell GB Williams 1:35.990 2 R Patrese It Williams 1:38.185 3 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:39.961 4 M Brundle GB Benetton 1:40.781 5 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 1:40.867 6 O Grouillard Fr Tyrrell 1:41.221 7 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:41.227 8 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:41.311 9 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:41.504 10 I Capelli It Ferrari 1:41.734 11 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:41.912 12 S Modena It Jordan 1:42.104 Conditions: track very wet, drizzle BRITISH FORMULA THREE CHAMPIONSHIP - round 11 Result after 15 laps: mins secs 1 W Hughes Ralt RT36 30:58.60 2 K Burt Reynard 923 31:00.77 3 A Ribeiro Reynard 923 31:11.10 4 O Negri Reynard 923 31:11.71 5 H Cowie Reynard 923 31:11.71 6 M van Hool Reynard 923 31:12.10 7 J Westwood Van Diemen 31:14.33 8 P Evans Ralt RT35 31:36.61 9 W Hewland Ralt RT35 31:37.02 10 FT Wolde Van Diemen 32:28.67Warren Hughes cheered the rain-soaked crowd at Silverstone as he won a tense dice with Kelvin Burt to earn his first win in the British F3 Championship. Burt, starting from the second row of the grid in his Everex Reynard, swept into an early lead and held off a fine challenge from Philippe Adams in his Ralt RT36 which ended when he spun off. Hughes took up the chase and, after closing the gap on Burt despite the slippery conditions, he then nipped by and pulled away to win by 2.17 seconds. Andre Ribeiro pipped Oswaldo Negri on the line to snatch third place.
DUNLOP ROVER GTi CHAMPIONSHIP - Round seven Result after 10 laps: mins secs 1 Ray Armes 25:46.09 2 Nick Carr 25:46.99 3 Martin Short 25:55.41 4 Mark Hazell 25:55 83 5 Nigel Petch 25:58.30 6 Dave Loudoun 26:00.62 7 Ray Davis 26:02.53 8 Mark Jones 26:02.84 9 Nigel Evans 26:03.57 10 John Girvan 26:04.62 12.07.92 - THE BRITISH GRAND PRIXNigel Mansell tightened his grip on his first world crown with a commanding performance in front of an ecstatic home crowd at sun-soaked Silverstone. Mansell finished 39.09 seconds clear of his Williams Renault teammate Riccardo Patrese with Martin Brundle third - a repeat of last week's French GP result. It was his fourth British GP victory, his seventh win of the 1992 season and a record 28th for a British driver. Mansell's biggest challenge of the race was completing his victory lap as he was mobbed by thousands of fans who swarmed on to the track.
Nigel Mansell gave the Union Jack-waving crowd few anxious moments after taking the lead just after the start of the 59-lap race around Silverstone. Mansell, in pole spot, lost out to his teammate Riccardo Patrese at the start but challenged immediately and was in front by the time they reached Becketts. The World Championship leader, under-lying the dominance he had shown all weekend, extended his lead by about two seconds a lap and, at the end of lap 20, was 20.5 seconds clear. The same gap covered the next eight cars at one-third race distance.
While Nigel Mansell continued his solo performance out of sight, a fierce battle was developing for third place. Leading the trio was Britain's Martin Brundle, who had made a superb start in his Benetton from sixth on the grid. Close behind was the hard-charging Ayrton Senna in his McLaren Honda and Lotus driver Michael Schumacher. Brundle kept his nerve as the defending world champion put constant pressure on him and attempted to dive past. Senna's challenge ended with transmission failure in the closing stages.
Johnny Herbert looked set to provide further British joy when he took sixth place early in the 59-lap race. But his fine drive ended with the car stuck in gear half-way through the race leaving him to limp back to the pits. It was left to his Lotus teammate Mika Hakkinen to claim a point for the team. There was disappointment too for the Jordan team. Mauricio Gugelmin stopped after 37 laps while Stefano Modena was involved in a minor collision with Michael Schumacher in the Benetton. Modena, who suffered in a similar incident in France, eventually retired.
Nigel Mansell dedicated his historic victory to the Silverstone crowd which he described as "just unbelievable". He said becoming the only British driver to have won 28 GPs was "just a little bit special. I've never seen a British crowd so enthusiastic," he added. "Every time I got on to the straight the crowd blew me along - it was worth 300 revs to me. They blew and slowed the cars behind!" He smashed the lap record clocking an amazing 1 min 22.539 secs on lap 57 of the 59. "I did it for them. They deserved a bit of a thrill," he said.
Nigel Mansell said the crowd had given him a few anxious moments when they swarmed on to the track after the race. "They formed an almost mobile chicane down the straight. We were anxious but we were going very slowly," he said, adding he had knocked down one fan who picked himself up apparently unhurt. He thanked the police and marshalls for rescuing him after he was "picked up and thrown about". Riccardo Patrese joked: "I think my car has probably gone. I had to leave it at Club and it will not be my car now."
Martin Brundle equalled his best ever GP result with a hard-earned third place, to move into sixth place in the FIA World Formula One Championship. Teammate Michael Schumacher snatched fourth spot as Gerhard Berger's McLaren blew up on the line to give Benetton a total of seven points which moved them into second in the constructors' series. "It seemed a long race with Ayrton (Senna) bearing down on me," said Brundle. "I kept telling myself not to watch him and not to make a mistake." It was Brundle's second successive podium finish.
FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Result after 59 laps: hr mins secs 1 N Mansell GB Williams 1:25:42.991 2 R Patrese It Williams 1:26:22.085 3 M Brundle GB Benetton 1:26:31.386 4 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:26:36.258 5 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:26:38.786 6 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus-Fd 1:27:03.129 7 M Alboreto It Footwork 1 lap 8 E Comas Fr Ligier 1 lap 9 I Capelli It Ferrari 1 lap 10 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 2 laps 11 O Grouillard Fr Tyrrell 2 laps 12 A Suzuki Jap Footwork 2 laps 13 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 2 laps 14 G Tarquini It Fondmetal 2 laps 15 P Martini It Dallara 3 laps 16 D Hill GB Brabham 4 laps 17 G Morbidelli It Minardi 6 laps FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Retirements: Ayrton Senna (McLaren) 4th lap 52 Andrea De Cesaris (Tyrrell) lap 46 Jean Alesi (Ferrari) 8th lap 43 Stefano Modena (Jordan) lap 43 Mauricio Gugelmin (Jordan) lap 37 Bertrand Gachot (Venturi) lap 32 Johnny Herbert (Lotus) 6th lap 31 Karl Wendlinger (March) lap 27 Ukyo Katayama (Venturi) lap 27 FIA WORLD F1 DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 N Mansell GB Williams 76 pts 2 R Patrese It Williams 40 3 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 29 4 G Berger Aut McLaren 20 5 A Senna Brz McLaren 18 6 M Brundle GB Benetton 13 7 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 11 8 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus Ford 5 = M Alboreto It Footwork 5 10 A De Cesaris It Tyrrell 4 11 K Wendlinger Aut March Ilmor 3 == E Comas Fr Ligier 3 13 I Capelli It Ferrari 2 == P Martini It Dallara 2 == J Herbert GB Lotus 2 16 B Gachot Bel Venturi 1 CONSTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS 1 Williams 116 points 2 Benetton 42 3 McLaren 38 4 Ferrari 13 5 Lotus Ford 7 6 Footwork 5 7 Tyrrell 4 8 March Ilmor 3 = Ligier Renault 3 10 Dallara 2 11 Venturi 1Finn Mika Hakkinen missed the morning warm-up session after a brush with the law on his way to the circuit. Hakkinen, badly delayed by miles of traffic jams around Silverstone, was arrested by police and later charged with dangerous driving. The Lotus team believe the incident was the result of a misunderstanding but were told he would only be released on surrender of his passport. Hakkinen was just in time to attend the drivers' briefing and started from the fifth row of the grid. He will appear before magistrates on Wednesday.
World champion Ayrton Senna has said he will retire from Formula One unless he is given a competitive car for 1993. The McLaren star, who wass third on the grid for this afternoon's race, is seriously considering his future. He said: "I will stop if I don't find a competitive car. There is no reason for risking my life to take third place. I cannot turn my back on McLaren because they have helped to take the title but I want a team which can give me technical and organisational guarantees."
BBC commentator Murray Walker slammed the behaviour of fans who risked injury running on the track as the race ended. "It could have led to something tragic it's a miracle no-one was hurt," said Walker. "The organisers will have to put up better fences." Silverstone spokeswoman Corinna Phillips promised: "We will look at the film and see where the crowds came from. FISA president Max Mosley added: "We are awaiting reports and when we have seen them we will give the matter our full attention."
ESSO RAC BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP - round 8 Result after 15 laps: mins secs 1 J Allam Vaux Cavalier 31:05.01 2 W Hoy Toyota Carina 31:07.73 3 J Cleland Vaux Cavalier 31:07.99 4 T Harvey BMW 318i 31:15.78 5 J Kaye Toyota Carina 31:24.19 6 R Bellm BMW 318i 31:24.71 7 D Leslie Vaux Cavalier 31:25.76 8 B Verdon-Roe Vaux Cavalier 31:30.14 9 A Menu BMW 318i 31:30.65 10 K Odor Nissan Primera 31:48.36 New lap record: Hoy 2:03.14Jeff Allam in his Vauxhall Cavalier powered to his first victory of the season in round 8 of the Esso RAC British Touring Car Championship. Allam finished 2.72 seconds ahead of defending champion Will Hoy in a Toyota Carina with his Vauxhall Sport teammate John Cleland third. The race was fiercely contested from the start with Allam taking advantage of a slight mistake by Cleland to grab the lead. Early challenger Andy Rouse retired his Toyota at the end of lap 1. Hoy clipped Cleland's car as he took second and struggled with a damaged car.
VAUXHALL LOTUS EUROSERIES - round 8 Result after 16 laps: mins secs 1 Gareth Rees 30:38.32 2 Jeremy Cotterill 30:43.97 3 Dario Franchitti 30:50.57 4 Martijn Koene 30:51.87 5 Gualter Salles 31:02.21 6 Pedro Couceiro 31:02.65 7 Scott Lakin 31:04.50 8 Manuel Giao 31:05.59 9 Patrick Crinelli 31:09.28 10 Dino Morelli 31:10.21 RESULT OF TOMMY'S PETIT PRIX (4 laps) mins secs 1 Barry McGuigan 11:24.78 2 Nick Mason 11:24.91 3 Jeremy Clarkson 11:26.73 4 Jeremy Irons 11:29.82 5 Jason Donovan 11:53.95 6 Clarke Peters 12:02.34 7 Fred Finn 12:04.39 8 Timmy Mallett 12:05.72 9 Philippa Forrester 12:07.92 10 Alain Li 12:08.85 11 John Alderton 12:27.81 12 Christopher Cazenove 12:44.15 13 Pamela Stephenson 14:27.68 18.07.92F1:- Honda are reportedly ready to pull out of Formula One at the end of the season, fuelling speculation that Ayrton Senna could leave McLaren. World champion Senna, frustrated at his lack of success this season and the charge of Nigel Mansell, has already threatened to quit the team. The two Honda-powered McLarens of Senna and Gerhard Berger have won only two Grands Prix so far this year. Honda will formally announce its withdrawal next month, according to Press reports in Japan.
WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP Round Four Final qualifying times from Donington: mins secs 1 Warwick/Dalmas Peugeot 1:15.285(average speed: 192.375 km/h) 2 Baldi/Alliot Peugeot 1:16.044 3 Lammers/Wallace Toyota 1:16.773 4 Lees/Brabham Toyota 1:17.003 5 Euser/Pareja Lola-Judd 1:18.722 6 Sala/Caffi Mazda 1:19.279 7 Frentzen/Andrews Lola-Judd 1:21.181 8 De Lesseps/Hoy Spice-Ford 1:24.865 9 Taverna/Gini Spice-Ford 1:25.576 10 Randaccio/Seb'ni Spice-Ford 1:33.101Derek Warwick is on pole position for Sunday's fourth round of the Sportscar World Championship at Donington Park. The Le Mans winner, who slashed eight seconds off the lap record during Friday's first qualifying session, found even more speed on Saturday. Warwick put in an amazing 119.55mph lap of the Leicestershire circuit in his 3.5 litre Peugeot 905. Warwick, seeking his third consecutive win in the series to consolidate his championship lead, lapped the 2.5 mile circuit in one minute 15.285 seconds.
JOHN WATSON ON THE SPORTSCARS AT DONINGTON PARK
This weekend sees the continuation of the battle between Toyota and Peugeot in the fourth round of the Sportscar World Championship at Donington Park. Two Lola-Judds and a single Mazda will also be contesting the top three positions in the 124-lap 500km race. BRM are once again hoping for better reliability but, dare I say it, do not blink in case you miss the car on the circuit. But the main focus will undoubtedly be on Toyota and Peugeot.
It is hoped the Peugeot team will bring along the new 905 Evolution 2 car and it is possible that it may be used in practice on Friday and Saturday. This car is a much more radical-looking version of the 905 and is reported to be producing phenomenal downforce. Also of significant interest if the weather is wet, will be an equally new revolutionary rain tyre from Michelin. It is in effect two small tyres on a standard one-piece rim and reports indicate a big wet weather advantage.
On the Toyota side we will see David Brabham lining-up as Geoff Lees new driving partner. The team also hope to have the revised V10 engine for both qualifying and the race and from pre-race testing there looks to be a negligible gap between these two huge manufacturing companies. Euro Racing will be hoping for more speed and reliability while, at Mazda, the former Footwork F1 GP star Alex Caffi will join up with Maurizio Sala. So far the Mazda has proven to be a reliable performer but has yet to display the pace of Peugeot and Toyota.
Supporting the Sportscar World Championship will be a number of FIA Cup runners. It would be no surprise to see the Chamberlain Engineering Spice SE 90C continuing its 100 per cent success rate of the three previous races. Will Hoy, the 1991 British Touring Car champion, will be joining the team this weekend to drive with Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps.
19.07.92 - SPORTSCARS WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP Round Four Result after 125 laps: hrs:mins.secs 1 Baldi/Alliot Peugeot 2:54.03.868(average speed: 173.341 kph) 2 Warwick/Dalmas Peugeot 2:54.04.444 3 Lees/Brabham Toyota 2:54.32.016 4 Frentzen/Andrews Lola-Judd @ 6 laps 5 Sala/Caffi Mazda @ 13 laps 6 De Lesseps/Hoy Spice @ 14 laps 7 Rand'cio/S'iani Spice @ 23 laps Taverna/Gini Spice N/C 71 laps Lammers/Wallace Toyota DNF 85 laps Euser/Pareja Lola-Judd DNF 38 lapsMauro Baldi and Phillipe Alliot took the chequered flag after 125 laps of the fourth round of the World Sportscar Championship to give victory to Peugeot. Teammates Derek Warwick and Yannick Dalmas had to be content with second place, just 0.576 secs behind after team orders were issued with 30 minutes of the race remaining. Geoff Lees and David Brabham were third in the Toyota 28.148 secs adrift after only seven cars finished the race. Jan Lammers and Andy Wallace went out on lap 86 when their Toyota caught fire.
Italian Mauro Baldi was thrilled to have clinched victory for Peugeot as they extended their lead in the World Sportscar Constructors Championship. "I'm very happy," said Baldi, as co-driver Phillipe Alliot crossed the finishing line. "It has been a long time since we won." Derek Warwick had to be content with second place but was not too pleased. "I'm never happy with second. The car was bad at the start and had problems with the brakes," said Warwick. "I'm happy for Peugeot, but disappointed."
The Chamberlain Spice-Ford driven by Ferdinand de Lesseps and Will Hoy won the FIA Cup as they once again finished first in their class. The team has had a 100 per cent success rate in every race this season with victory at Monza, Silverstone and in the 24-hour race at Le Mans. The team finished sixth overall, 14 laps behind the winning Peugeot. Hoy, the 1991 British Touring Car champion, joined up with Frenchman de Lesseps in the Chamberlain Engineering Spice having missed Monza and Le Mans.
1992 WORLD SPORTSCARS STANDINGS DRIVERS: 1 D Warwick GB 70 points = Y Dalmas Fr 70 3 M Baldi It 32 = P Alliot Fr 32 = G Lees GB 32 6 J Herbert GB 25 7 M Sala Brz 23 TEAM: 1 Peugeot 75 points 2 Toyota 47 3 Mazda 33 4 Chamberlain 18 20.07.92 - F1Honda have denied they have made the decision to withdraw from Formula 1. Speaking in Tokyo today Honda President Nobuhiko Kawamoto said: "We have not decided anything about our F1 plans for next season." He was replying to reports in a leading Japanese newspaper that Honda would be parting company with McLaren at the end of the year. The newspaper said that Honda would make a decision on its Formula 1 future next month.
22.07.92 - JOHN WATSON ON THE GERMAN GRAND PRIXAs usual Hockenheim is the point in the season when all the team wheeling and dealing really starts to flow. Right now, the stakes seem more crucial than at any time I can remember with engines, drivers and designers the main commodities. Alain Prost looks likely to join Williams and obviously Nigel Mansell is not delirious about the thought of this after their relationship at Ferrari. Mansell's concerns are not about Prost's speed on the race track but about Prost's ability to manipulate a team effort to focus upon him.
I believe one of the key figures for next year is neither a team owner or a driver. John Barnard has been one of the most influential engineers in Formula One over the past decade. Ferrari believe that Barnard is the key to Ayrton Senna. But should he rejoin the team, undoubtedly a degree of relocation of this mostly Italian team would be essential. How about a British racing green prancing horse?
At the German Grand Prix this weekend, speculation for the future will be to the fore. To some extent this may overshadow the Grand Prix itself but, in my opinion, nothing will stop the remorseless charge of Nigel Mansell towards his first World Championship. Expect to see yet another Williams one-two at Hockenheim on Sunday. The battle behind Williams will be fought between the two Benettons, the two McLarens and at least one Ferrari. Add both Lotus, a Ligier and a Tyrrell and we could see a compelling race.
As far as the German public are concerned there will be only one man they are interested in on Sunday. Michael Schumacher will be competing in his first German Grand Prix and the expectations on him will be enormous. Spicing up Schumacher's home Grand Prix will be the developing conflict he and Ayrton Senna are embroiled in. Last week they were involved in a pushing and shoving match during a test. I do not believe either driver is prepared to give way on the circuit and I just hope common sense prevails throughout the weekend.
There have been a number of changes at Hockenheim, principally at the Ostkurve at the far end of the circuit. This has a much slower entry than before - for safety reasons, we are told. Yet driver reaction indicates it is actually more dangerous than the previous corner. The two chicanes remain the same but one-off areas have now been incorporated. A new pit complex tops off the work at Hockenheim. The circuit appears to be marginally slower but the race distance remains at 45 laps of the 4.226 mile circuit.
25.07.92 - THE GERMAN GRAND PRIXNigel Mansell gave another superlative display to dominate the first practice session for Sunday's 45-lap race at the Hockenheim circuit. The 38-year-old Briton clocked 1 minute 38.340 secs in his Williams, almost two secs quicker than his closest rival Ayrton Senna. The session was interrupted for half an hour while the track was cleared of dust and gravel after a series of spins at the revamped Ostkurve. Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert were among those to spin during the session.
Nigel Mansell clinched provisional pole for Sunday's race at Hockenheim after making the right choice by going out early in the first practice session. "I went right out at the beginning and I was lucky. I got my time straight away when there was no-one spinning and leaving debris out there. "I cannot remember a session with conditions changing like that. It was pretty bumpy and the car seemed to jump around a lot," he said. Mansell hopes to equal Ayrton Senna's record of eight GP wins in a season.
FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Friday's practice times: mins secs 1 N Mansell GB Williams 1:38.340 2 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:40.331 3 R Patrese It Williams 1:40.501 4 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:40.869 5 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:42.183 6 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:42.563 7 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:42.930 8 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:43.574 9 M Brundle GB Benetton 1:43.614 10 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:43.696 11 I Capelli It Ferrari 1:43.744 12 A de Cesaris It Tyrrell 1:43.790 13 K Wendlinger Aut March 1:44.173 14 A Suzuki Jpn Footwork 1:44.359 15 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus-Ford 1:44.370 16 G Tarquini It Fondmetal 1:44.661 17 O Grouillard Fr Tyrrell 1:44.689 18 P Martini It Dallara 1:45.099 19 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 1:45.132 20 P Belmondo Fr March 1:45.190 21 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1:45.455 22 A Zanardi It Minardi 1:45.788 23 M Gugelmin Brz Jordan 1:45.941 24 J Herbert GB Lotus 1:46.164 25 S Modena It Jordan 1:46.211 26 A Chiesa Swi Fondmetal 1:46.362 27 U Katayama Jpn Venturi 1:46.406 28 E Vd Poele Bel Brabham 1:47.321 29 D Hill GB Brabham 1:49.843 30 B Gachot Bel Venturi did not run FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP Pre-qualifying times (four go through): mins secs 1 G Tarquini It Fondmetal 1:45.518 2 B Gachot Bel Venturi Lam 1:45.766 3 U Katayama Jpn Venturi Lam 1:46.599 4 A Chiesa It Fondmetal 1:48.502 NON-QUALIFIERS 5 R Moreno Brz Andrea Moda 1:48.878 6 P McCarthy GB Andrea Moda 1:55.476TOURING CAR:- David Leslie and John Cleland led the field after testing at Knockhill in preparation for Sunday's Esso British Touring Car championship.
F.OPEL LOTUS:- Dutchman Martijn Koene is on provisional pole for Sunday's Opel Lotus/Vauxhall Euroseries race at Hockenheim. Gareth Rees lies third.
ARGENTINE RALLY:- Frenchman Didier Auriol is poised for his fourth World Championship win of the year after extending his lead over Carlos Sainz on the third day. Spaniard Sainz clawed back some of Auriol's overnight advantage with the fastest times on the first two stages of the day. But he lost 22 secs on stage 17 after choosing the wrong tyres and Auriol picked up a further 25 secs on the last stage to lead by almost two minutes. "We were still trying hard this morning but now it looks over," Sainz said.
Leading positions after third day: 1 D Auriol Fr Lancia 3:37.43 2 C Sainz Sp Toyota 3:39.40 3 G Trelles Uru Lancia 3:47.21 4 A Fiorio It Lancia 4:01.50 5 C Menem Jnr Arg Lancia 4:12.43 6 R Stohl Aut Audi 4:13.44 7 G Raies Arg Renault 4:17.19 8 M Torras Arg Renault 4:18.57 9 H Rosso Arg Fiat 4:25.38 10 H Nishiyama Jpn Nissan 4:30.53 26.07.92 - THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX Result from Hockenheim: hrs:mins.secs 1 N Mansell GB Williams 1:18.22.032 (average speed 234.897kph) 2 A Senna Brz Mclaren 1:18.26.532 3 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:18.56.494 4 M Brundle GB Benetton 1:18.58.991 5 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:19.34.639 6 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:19.58.530 7 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:19.59.212 8 R Patrese It Williams @ one lap 9 M Alboreto It Footwork @ one lap 10 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara @ one lap 11 P Martini It Dallara @ one lap 12 G Morbidelli It Minardi @ one lap 13 P Belmondo Fr March @ one lap 19 J Herbert GB Lotus @ 23 laps FIA WORLD F1 DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 N Mansell GB Williams 86 pts 2 R Patrese It Williams 40 3 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 33 4 A Senna Brz McLaren 24 5 G Berger Aut McLaren 20 6 M Brundle GB Benetton 16 7 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 13 8 M Alboreto It Footwork 5 = M Hakkinen Fin Lotus Ford 5 10 A De Cesaris It Tyrrell 4 == E Comas Fr Ligier 4 12 K Wendlinger Aut March Ilmor 3 13 I Capelli It Ferrari 2 == P Martini It Dallara 2 == J Herbert GB Lotus 2 16 B Gachot Bel Larrousse 1 CONSTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS 1 Williams 126 points 2 Benetton 49 3 McLaren 44 4 Ferrari 15 5 Lotus Ford 7 6 Footwork 5 7 Tyrrell 4 = Ligier Renault 4 9 March Ilmor 3 10 Dallara 2 11 Venturi 1Nigel Mansell took another step towards his first ever world F1 title with a record-equalling eighth Grand Prix win of the season at Hockenheim. Mansell changed tyres early in the race and then surged to his 29th Formula One success on the new-look German circuit. Ayrton Senna came second with home favourite Michael Schumacher finishing third on his German debut. Martin Brundle continued his fine form in fourth place with Jean Alesi fifth and Erik Comas sixth. Riccardo Patrese spun out on the final lap while third.
Nigel Mansell is now one Grand Prix win away from becoming world champion after another comfortable victory in Germany. Mansell started on pole for the ninth time this year and the only threat to his 29th career win was on lap 19 after he had changed for new tyres and was in pursuit of second-placed Ayrton Senna. Senna tried to entice the Williams ace into a tactical battle as they came to the notorious Ostkurve and Mansell momentarily veered off the track. Mansell survived the scare by avoiding the gravel trap to stay in the race.
The decision to change the tyres of both Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese early in the race secured Williams victory but indirectly caused the downfall of the Italian. Williams brought Mansell and Patrese into the pits on lap 16 and lap 21 respectively of the 45-lap contest. Mansell regained first place three laps after his pit stop but Patrese was left fourth behind Michael Schumacher. Patrese was held by the German for 16 laps and the chase for second spot then proved too much and he finally spun out.
Ayrton Senna defied McLaren by taking a tactical gamble in Hockenheim and holding on for his second best finish of the year. McLaren wanted Senna to follow Williams pair Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese into the pits for new tyres early in the race. But Senna elected to ignore the request and complete the race without stopping. Fortune favoured the Brazilian and he managed to hold off Patrese, who was driving on new tyres and in a superior car, to claim second place.
Riccardo Patrese spun out of the German Grand Prix on the last lap after a gruelling 45 laps for the Italian. Williams looked set for their seventh one-two of the year when Patrese followed Nigel Mansell into the pits on lap 21 but he rejoined the race behind German favourite Michael Schumacher. Schumacher magnificently held off Patrese for 16 laps before the Italian could pursue second-placed Ayrton Senna. In a dramatic final lap Patrese attempted to pass Senna but misjudged his surge and spun out of the race.
Michael Schumacher finished his first-ever German Grand Prix in the points after a brave display at Hockenheim. Schumacher came third behind Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna to maintain third spot in the drivers championship. Schumacher's Benetton was fitted with harder compound tryes than teammate Martin Brundle, Williams and McLaren. This enabled him to avoid any stoppages but the skill he showed when holding off Riccardo Patrese for 16 laps mid-way through the contest was a treat for the crowd and a highlight of the race. Nigel Mansell said his eighth Grand Prix win "was not quite as comfortable as it looked."
"The handling of the car was terrible and I nearly had two big spins," the Williams ace said after the race. "The vibration was so bad that I had to slow down on the straights to see where I was going for the next corner and at the end I had big holes in my tyres, there were blisters all over them. As to the championship - no comment. I've been in this situation too long to say anything now."
Nigel Mansell suggested he had been "gagged" by his team when asked about the possibility of Alain Prost joining up with the Canon Williams team. "I've been told to say nothing," he said. "But I can tell you if it was up to me, I'd keep the same team together. I feel very deflated sometimes that I am in this position. I'm trying not to let it worry by just getting on with the job in hand on the track." Mansell clearly meant he wanted his team to hang onto Riccardo Patrese and not import Prost for a new-look team.
Ayrton Senna said his second place was "a good result for me, making the best of our equipment. The last 10 laps were very worrying for me because I didn't know if I could cope with Riccardo (Patrese) as he had more top speed and his tyres seemed to be in better condition," Senna said. Patrese, who spun out of the race on the last lap, said: "Senna was not unfair, he just defended his position. Obviously, this is not the result I wanted. I tried to attack Senna but he closed the door and I braked on dirt."
Home favourite Michael Schumacher said he was "delighted" to have finished third in his first ever German GP. "My result is absolutely fantastic, not only because it is in front of my home crowd but also because, to be honest, I did not expect to finish third. It was a great result for me," Schumacher added. Benetton teammate Martin Brundle added: "Third and fourth for the team is a great result. It was a very hard race and I had a problem with my back. At times I could hardly feel my foot."
ARGENTINE RALLY:- Frenchman Didier Auriol claimed his fourth World Championship victory of the year by winning the Argentine round ahead of Spain's Carlos Sainz. Sainz clawed back some of Auriol's overnight advantage with the fastest times on the first two stages on Saturday. But he lost 22 seconds on stage 17 after choosing the wrong tyres and Auriol picked up a further 25 seconds on the final stage to win by just over two minutes.
Final positions: 1 D Auriol Fr Lancia 4:47.26 2 C Sainz Sp Toyota 4:49.44 3 G Trelles Uru Lancia 5:01.37 4 A Fiorio It Lancia 5:15.19 5 R Stohl Aut Audi 5:34.33 6 C Menem Jnr Arg Lancia 5:34.39 DRIVERS STANDINGS 1 C Sainz Sp Toyota 92 pts 2 D Auriol Fr Lancia 80 3 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia 62 4 M Biasion It Ford 34 5 F Delecour Fr Ford 33F.OPEL LOTUS:- Britain's Gareth Rees increased his lead in the Vauxhall Lotus Euroseries to 51.5 points with second place behind Switzerland's Christian Fischer at Hockenheim.
TOURING CAR:- Jeff Allam was first and second in the two-race British Touring Car Championship meet at Knockhill to move up to second in the series. John Cleland remains championship leader.
27.06.92 - F1Nigel Mansell returns to the scene of one of his greatest triumphs next month when he goes to Budapest and bids to to clinch his first world F1 title. Three years ago, Mansell charged through from a disappointing starting position on the middle of the grid to win a thrilling race for Ferrari. He will now be hoping for a similar outcome on August 14, knowing that victory will seal Britain's first world drivers' title since James Hunt in 1976. Mansell refuses to look ahead saying: "There is still some way to go left."
Nigel Mansell may be only one win away from the world drivers' championship but uncertainty about his future with Williams has yet to be resolved. Mansell knows his place as the team's undisputed number one could be under threat if Alain Prost is signed up. After Sunday's win in the German Grand Prix the 38 year old Briton confessed: "I am approaching the finest hour of my life and there is a great uncertainty." He added: "If it was up to me, I'd keep the same team together. I cannot be comfortable in this situation."
29.07.92 - F1British designer John Barnard is returning to the Ferrari team after agreeing a five-year contract. Barnard, who had a spell with Ferrari in the late 1980s, will head a new car project and research centre to be located in England. The unit will design single-seaters to be built at the team's Maranello HQ, where Harvey Postlethwaite is in charge of construction. Barnard left the Benetton team in June 1991 after an 18-month spell with them.
The venue for next year's Asian Grand Prix has been thrown into doubt after the owners of the Autopolis circuit at Kyushu, Japan, filed for bankruptcy protection. They have debts of over #200 million and FISA may now seek an alternative venue before finalising the 1993 calendar in October.
31.07.92SPA 24 HRS:- Armin Hahne will start the 44th running of the Belgian marathon from pole position despite failing to improve his time in final practice. The German's lap of 2 mins 30.69 secs, set on Thursday, was less than a second quicker than Britain's Steve Soper. Factory BMW's fill the top five places on the grid with Joachim Winklehock moving up from fifth to fourth above Gabriele Tarquini, the only change. Nissan, handicapped by a 90kg weight penalty after last year's win, were sixth fastest with Masahiro Hasemi.
SPA 24-HOUR RACE, Belgium. Final qualifying positions mins secs 1 A Hahne Ger BMW M3 2:30.69 2 S Soper GB BMW M3 2:31.56 3 J Cecotto Ven BMW M3 2:31.67 4 J Winklehock Ger BMW M3 2:31.91 5 G Tarquini It BMW M3 2:32.01 6 M Hasemi Jpn Nissan 2:33.70 7 V Bervid BMW M3 2:36.12 8 H Grohs Ger Porsche 2:37.11 9 F Jelinski Ger Porsche 2:39.54 10 J Gartzen Ger Porsche 2:40.95 Others 37 D Phillips GB BMW M5 2:53.19 53 G Kimber-S GB Ford Sierra 2:59.09 54 B Williams GB BMW M3 2:59.54 MOBIL1/TOP GEAR BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP - ULSTER RALLY Positions after 9 of 20 stages: (end of first day) mins secs 1 C McRae Subaru 47:35 2 B Fisher Subaru 48:11 3 D Greer Ford 49:50 4 R Barry Ford 51:22 5 A McRae Ford 51:36 6 F Meagher Ford 51:38 7 D Metcalfe Vauxhall 51:40 8 T Smith Ford 52:13 9 L Aitken-Walker Ford 52:14 10 J Milner Peugeot 53:10