Mansell: F1 'will never go back' to 'frightening' cars like the turbo era

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1992 Formula 1 champion Nigel Mansell claims the sport will never again see cars as "frightening" as in the turbo era.

Currently, F1 is in the process of designing an all-new car for 2021 which will see the return of ground effect in an effort to improve the racing.

But while the current generation of cars will go down as the fastest in the sport's history, Mansell believes there is no comparison to the monsters he drove in his career.

"Formula 1 will never get back to that," the Briton told the FIA's Auto magazine. "Driving those turbo cars was the most exhilarating, frightening thing that you could do in your life.

"The Williams FW11B, nothing comes close to that car, nothing in the world and Formula 1 will never get back to that. Really, today’s drivers will never know what a proper F1 car feels like."

Indeed, despite the speed, several drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, have bemoaned the lack of physicality and relatively simplicity that allows a young driver to step in and be instantly competitive.

Moreover than that, was the danger and sheer lunacy of the 1980s-90s machines.

"In qualifying, you literally had up to 1,500 horsepower," Mansell continued. "It’s reputed that BMW had more and to have wheelspin in sixth gear down the straight, at 175 or 180mph, you cannot put that into words as a driver.

"At every single corner you came to, the car was literally trying to kill you.

"You know, at that time, if we were racing at the old Silverstone, for example, you’re going down Hangar Straight with qualifying boost, well in excess of 200mph," he recalled.

"You’re turning into Stowe corner flat, without a lift, and this is on the old circuit with six-inch-wide poles and wire across them on the outside of the corner as catch-fencing, and you’re running wide and almost hitting these poles.

You’d come out of the corner and literally breathe a sigh of relief: one, because you could breathe after the extraordinary the G-forces pulling you around; and secondly, and most importantly, because when you came out of the corner, you’d think ‘I made it’."