Nigel Mansell in the hot seat

Rewards catches up with the F1 star

Motor-racing legend Nigel Mansell is no stranger to success behind the wheel – in 1992 he won the F1 World Championship, and in 1993, just one year later, he won the CART IndyCar World Series.

This year, Nigel joined forces with the AA to launch a joint AA Charitable Trust and Make Roads Safe report to promote safer driving for young people.

We caught up with Nigel for a quick Q&A about life in the driving seat.

Your racing career…

What prompted you to pursue a racing career?
I've been in racing from the age of seven – I started with karting – so it was a natural progression, really.

Any top tips you’d give to aspiring racing drivers?
Stay focused and always maximise an opportunity – you may never get another one. My biggest tip would be that you can never win a race on the first corner – but you can always lose it.

Who is your greatest inspiration?
My mother – she fostered the belief in me that anything is possible.

You’ve won both the F1 World Championship and the CART IndyCar World Series. Are there any personal motoring ambitions as yet unconquered?
To get better safety standards across to the general public to save people’s lives – this is just so important.

What are your hobbies and interests when out of the driving seat?
I spend a lot of time working with the UK Youth charity, which is dedicated to helping young people. I enjoy cycling – I've completed several fundraising rides with the UK Youth cycle team – and I also play a lot of golf.

On the road...

At what age did you pass your driving test – and what was your first car?
It was just a few days past my 17th birthday – and my first car was a mini van.

Stay focused and always maximise an opportunity – you may never get another one.

How's your parking?
It couldn’t be better, thanks!

What do you enjoy listening to while you drive?
Something soothing, for a relaxing journey. I also enjoy listening to '70s music.

Map or satnav? Why?
It’s important to have both – a satnav is very useful, but it can mislead; while the map will never lie.

New Drivers at Risk campaign…

What encouraged you to join forces with the AA to launch the New Drivers at Risk report and the Make Roads Safe Campaign?
To me, it’s just vitally important to do everything we can to promote safety on the roads – and it’s young people who are predominately at risk.

Can the Commission for Global Road Safety make a difference?
The answer is, absolutely, yes – because, with education, you empower people to make better life choices that can save lives.

Could you give an example of actions that could improve road safety for young drivers in the UK?
We need to campaign for education workshops that will instruct young drivers and show them the consequences of their actions – that making a simple choice to be safe can avert fatal consequences.

Read the New Drivers at Risk report online now.

(24 October 2013)