When F1 team-mates fight for the title



Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell (1986/1987)

One of two examples where more than one season was defined by the battle, it resulted in one success and one failure for Williams in an increasingly bitter fight between Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell.

Mansell had given Rosberg a run for his money in 1985, but Piquet joined Williams the following year with two world titles already to his name at Brabham. Piquet started the new season in perfect fashion, with victory in Brazil, but four wins from five races for Mansell in the middle of the season showed the Brazilian he had a fight on his hands. With no team orders in place, the pair continued to take points off each other in the fastest car until the final round at Adelaide, where Mansell suffered a tyre blowout which dashed his title hopes, and Alain Prost stole the championship in the McLaren. That Williams outscored McLaren 141 points to 96 and nine wins to four shows how costly their personal fight proved.

The relationship did not improve in 1987, as the title emerged as a straight fight between the two as McLaren and Lotus failed to mount a sustained challenge after promising starts. Piquet crashed heavily at Imola and missed a race, but took a more cautious approach - much as Lauda had in 1984- and finished second on no fewer than seven occasions. Mansell, racing in his typically tenacious style, failed to finish second once, and in his attempts to claw back the advantage Piquet enjoyed, crashed heavily at Suzuka. Mansell was ruled out for the rest of the season, Piquet took the title and left for Lotus.