Retiring F1 legend Sebastian Vettel paid almost £3m for Nigel Mansell car

Sebastian Vettel will soon have extra time to engage in his passions away from being a full-time driver when he retires from F1 at the end of the season.

The four-time world champion announced his decision to call time on his career ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. After a 15-year career, Vettel said the decision stemmed from his desire to spend more time with his family and pursue his other interests, including environmental causes.

He is also hugely passionate about motorsport history and owns a number of classic cars, including a Williams FW14B from Nigel Mansell’s 1992 championship-winning year.

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Vettel, who has established a fortune of more than £100million during his career, paid a colossal £2.7million for the car back in 2019. But his commitments to F1, the resources needed to run a 30-year-old car and then the pandemic meant he had to wait before being able to actually drive it.

But that wait was finally ended when he took the FW14B for a demonstration run ahead of the British Grand Prix. Thirty years on from Mansell’s memorable title triumph, the run-out went down a storm with fans at Silverstone. It also gave a nod to Vettel’s environmental credentials as the car ran purely on carbon neutral fuel, which will be used across F1 from 2026.

“It felt like time travel,” said Vettel, who was also celebrating his 35th birthday. “I got to feel how Nigel must have felt a little bit 30 years ago. I think these cars are incredible. The sound inside is incredible… A perfect birthday present.”

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He added: “It was my idea. The red five [on the nose] is the car from ’92 and that means a bit more than just the car itself.

“I won my first championship with [a] red five [on the 2010 Red Bull], I was number five throughout karting and I’m number five now – so there’s a link there.

“The early ’90s are kind of my first memories of Formula 1 and it was my idea [because it’s] exactly 30 years after he won the championship, but it also won the British GP 30 years ago.”


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