June 11, 2015 / 11:47 AM / 2 years ago

Mansell yearns for F1's good old days

Former Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell poses for photographs after being presented with his Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal at Buckingham Palace in London February 14, 2012. REUTERS/Yui Mok/Pool/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Nigel Mansell says the titanium screws in his left shoulder are a reminder of Formula One’s “good old days” when drivers were not pampered with electronic aids.

The 1992 world champion believes gadgets like Drag Reduction Technology (DRS) and thinner, less grippy tires have taken the thrill out of F1, leaving both fans and drivers short-changed.

“We need a bit of magic,” Mansell, who won 31 grands prix, said in a Sky Sports interview on Thursday.

”Let the drivers drive and race the cars like we used to.

”Some of the rules need tweaking, DRS is a false overtaking aid in my opinion and doesn’t give the driver the opportunity to slipstream properly and demonstrate a bit of a chess game and perhaps plan lap by lap, where to pass.

”Also, although Pirelli have done a great job with the tires on what they’ve been asked to do I think they should go back to the old tires where they had plenty of grip.

“Then if a driver wants to deliver the car into a corner and brake really late, put the power on and get sideways he can do it. It’s very exciting for the fans to watch that.”

Mansell said the power steering in today’s F1 cars means the penalties for hitting curbs or going off line are too light.

“All the tracks I drove on were before all the changes and we had a lot of dangerous corners,” he said.

”We used to go flying into corners knowing if we got it wrong we would have a massive accident so we respected the car and the corners. If we hit the curb too hard the feedback would actually tweak your wrists and you could damage yourself.

“We had to do physical training just to be able to hang on to the car, now drivers can drive with a couple of fingers.”

Lewis Hamilton has already surpassed Mansell’s total of wins and could break Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles, according to Mansell who does not share F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s view that the Briton is the best world champion ever.

“Lewis is a great world champion but there are many more great world champions as well, it’s just that he’s got the unbelievable backing of an incredible manufacturer,” he said.

“Everyone knows I‘m a Lewis fan, he is doing a great job and the equipment he’s got is fantastic, Mercedes are the best of the best at the moment by far.”

Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Toby Davis

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