Iconic Williams 1992 Formula 1 championship winner sells for $5.1 million
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The Williams-Renault FW14B Formula 1 car in which Nigel Mansell won a record-setting five Grands Prix (all from pole position) at the start of his F1 title-winning season in 1992 has beeen sold for £2,703,000 ($5,100,000) at auction during the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Designed by celebrated engineer Adrian Newey, the FW14B was technologically advanced for the time, with a six-speed semi-automatic transmission, ride-levelling active suspension and cutting-edge aerodynamics. It was powered by Renault’s RS3 3.5-litre V10 engine.
It also had one of the era’s most distinctive liveries, the yellow, white and blue of major sponsors Camel, Canon and Labatts.
The car sold by Bonhams at the Festival of Speed on Friday is FW14B chassis number 08. The car contested 13 of that year’s 16 Grand Prix races, driven by Mansell in the first seven and wearing his famed “Red Five” race number from that season.
Mansell won five of those seven races – in South Africa (where he set the fastest lap), Mexico, Brazil, Spain and San Marino – all from pole position, in the process setting a new Formula 1 record for consecutive wins.
He was narrowly beaten into second place at Monaco by Ayrton Senna before chassis 08 was entrusted to Mansell’s team-mate Riccardo Patrese, subsequently bearing the Italian’s race number of 6 in a further six Grands Prix.
Thanks to the dominance of the FW14B and the skills particularly of Mansell, Williams-Renault easily clinched the top two positions in the 1992 Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship.
Mansell notched up another four race wins that year in the sister car, becoming the first driver in Formula 1 to win nine World Championship-qualifying Grand Prix races in a single season.
Having been meticulously well-preserved, initially by Williams Grand Prix Engineering and subsequently by a private collector, FW14B chassis 08 remains in running order; both its V10 engine and hydraulic active suspension system have been tested recently.
Mark Osborne, global director of motorsport at Bonhams, said: “The FW14B was the high-water mark in Grand Prix design for ’92 and remains today one of the most sophisticated cars to compete in F1. We at Bonhams are honoured to have been entrusted with such a motor racing legend.”
- Telegraph UK