THE TIME WHEN NIGEL MANSELL PASSED OUT FROM RACING HEAVILY IN THE HEAT
A race no one will ever forget...
Formula 1 is a straining and tense sport. A lot of people who don't know how Formula 1 works assume that it's just a race car driver racing around in quick cars. What most people don't realize is that Formula 1 is one of the most difficult and pressuring sports in the world. It takes an immense amount of talent, training, hard work, and consistency. Imagine trying to overtake and fight everyone in a race car for about 2 hours in one of the hottest and most humid climates, while also fighting against G-Forces and trying to remember your team strategy. Most of the time it works out, but sometimes the human in us kicks in. And that is what happened to 1-Time World Champion, Nigel Mansell.
It was the year 1984, and Formula 1 was getting ready to race in hot and humid Dallas, Texas. Nigel Mansell was starting first on the grid after he achieved his first Formula 1 pole position during qualifying on Saturday. This year specifically had excruciating heat that would make it almost impossible to finish the race. It was worrying to the drivers and teams because the drivers already go through a lot of sweat and pressure, and the added scalding heat didn't make things any better. It was set to be a very interesting and thrilling race indeed. And boy it sure was... in one way or another. Mansell led the grid for the first half of the race before his tires went off, which caused him to fall back. The Brit had to make a mandatory pit stop, pulling him to the midfield of the grid.
1984 Dallas Grand Prix
Nigel was running in 5th when he had to give it his all. Mansell is a lion, and he fights his hardest in every race he starts, and this wasn't the exception. It was two laps down till the checkered flag, and the heat was starting to get to the Brit. The lotus gearbox was done for after Nigel hit the wall and damaged it. That specific wall took most cars out of the race, resulting in only 8 cars being able to finish the Dallas Grand Prix. Retirements occurred either due to engine failures or bad track conditions. It was 2 painstaking hours that felt like 2 hundred years...
The top step of the podium was in Nigel's sight, he could feel it, taste it, and touch the hard-earned victory. Yet we don't know if that sight really happened, or if it was just Mansell's dehydration and delusion.
Nigel Mansell got out of his non-functional Lotus and was ready to give it his all. Mansell pushed his 1984 Lotus 95T to the finish line while passing out and falling to the ground from fatigue and dehydration. If that doesn't give you respect for Formula 1 drivers then I don't know what will.
Only eight cars finished the Dallas Grand Prix that day, Keke Rosberg made it on the top step of the podium sweating like no other. The race is recorded as one of the hottest on record after two hours of driving in an average temperature of 104 °F (40 °C). The 1984 Dallas Grand Prix is remembered for its exhausting weather conditions, horrid track conditions, and Nigel Mansell fainting while pushing his car over the line to save an interesting sixth-place finish.
It was one of the most controversial, bizarre and, thrilling races ever to be held. Definitely one for the history books. From moments such as Nigel passing out to the legend himself, Ayrton Senna saying that he retired because the wall moved. The heat brought drama and the horrible track conditions added to it. Let us just say the street circuit wasn't the smoothest asphalt. 1984 Dallas Grand Prix winner, Keke Rosberg described it as...
The already dire situation kept getting worse. Drivers had to wear ice on their heads to keep them cooled from the immense heat that was being generated. Rosberg used a water-cooled skullcap, and Osella’s Piercarlo Ghinzani had to be 'revived' and 'brought back to life' with a bucket of cold water. Heat mixed with fire suits, mixed with hot F1 cars, mixed with dreadful track conditions didn't go well together.
Nigel was carried out to the pits, got checked out, and was given some well-deserved water. Notwithstanding the fact that the bound 1-Time World Champion went through all the hard work to only receive one championship point in return, but it still hails as one of Mansell's most memorable moments in Formula 1. Besides, it does make for a captivating story indeed.
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT NIGEL MANSELL'S 1984 DALLAS GP STORY?