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Mexican Grand Prix 1990: The Classic Overtake

Written by Alejandra Guajardo Lozano, Edited by Janvi Unni

Image Credits - Motorsport Images

The 1990 Mexican Grand Prix saw the reigning Ferrari champion, Alain Prost, on the top step. Despite starting on the 7th row of the grid, he managed to pass his rival, Ayrton Senna, and claim the victory, making it one of the French driver’s “best weekends”. But this Grand Prix isn't remembered by many for this but for Prost´s teammate and future world champion, Nigel Mansell.

It all started at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, where McLaren driver Gerhard Berger claimed pole position on Saturday. Mansell managed to qualify fourth, ahead of his teammate and just behind Ayrton Senna. Having some strong competition behind and ahead of him.

On Sunday, even though a race is usually a battle for first place, Mansell gave it all for that second step on the podium. Prost had passed Senna with a simple move on lap 61 to gain the lead after the Brazilian experienced some troubles with his tyres, the rear tyre exploding three laps later and forcing Senna to retire from his 100th Grand Prix.

The moment that stirred up the crowd took place on the penultimate lap with Mansell in his Ferrari chasing Berger in the McLaren. Berger was putting up a fight for second place, which just motivated Mansell to not give up his place in the podium. Things started to heat up when Berger passed Mansell, diving in the first turn to reclaim second position.

"I was so incensed with the way Gerhard passed me down the straight," he said. "I thought, 'There was no way you are going to take second place from me!' Mansell reminisced about the moment.

As they approached Peraltada, Berger covered the inside, thinking it was the most obvious way Mansell could overtake him. The McLaren driver was definitely taken by surprise when Mansell decided to do a brave around-the-outside manoeuvre, making the commentators and the crowd go wild, sealing the Ferrari 1-2 at Mexico 1990.

"It was one of the greatest overtaking maneuvers of my career probably," said the 1992 world champion. "It's mainly because when I review it now, being here, I think did I really do that?”

Nigel Mansell’s “Classic Overtake” at the 1990 Mexican Grand Prix still captivates F1 spectators until this day. Being remembered as one of the boldest and bravest ever performed and being a clear display of Mansell´s undeniable talent behind the wheel.

Image Credit - Nigel Mansell, Beyond The Grid Interview


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