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What a birthday present: Sebastian Vettel drives a few laps in Nigel Mansell’s 30-year-old Formula 1 car

©  ISOPIX

Sebastian Vettel celebrates his 35th birthday on Sunday. The four-time world champion is likely to face a difficult race as he will only start the British GP from eighteenth place. Vettel did get himself an unforgettable birthday present on Sunday: he drove a few laps in front of a packed Silverstone in the Williams FW14B, the car with which Nigel Mansell won this race and the world championship thirty years ago.

Varewyck himself

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The initiative came from Vettel himself: after all, he owns the car, because he bought the thirty-year-old Williams during the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​in 2019. Not a big surprise, because the German is known for his love for the history of Formula. 1. In addition, Nigel Mansell’s car bears the legendary red number 5 – the same race number with which Vettel has been active in the sport since 2014.

Vettel did indicate to the gathered press that he wanted to finish the demonstration in a “responsible” way. The old Williams was therefore filled with biofuel. Colleague and old rival Lewis Hamilton – himself not averse to a pinch of Formula 1 history – also eagerly admired the car after Vettel’s demonstration.

The Williams FW14B was driven in 1992 by Briton Nigel Mansell – who was also present for the special moment that Sunday – and Italian Riccardo Patrese. It is also one of the most advanced Formula 1 cars ever made, with numerous technical features and systems such as active suspension, a semi-automatic gearbox and traction control. With the FW14B Williams dominated the season: Mansell won 9 of the 16 races and both championships were won with ease.

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©  ISOPIX

Vettel embraces Nigel Mansell, who became world champion with the car in 1992. ©  ISOPIX

Lewis Hamilton (far left) also came to have a look. ©  ISOPIX

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