GP Japan: [Video] GP Japan 1987: the second missed opportunity of Nigel Mansell


Photo: Williams F1

The World Championship of Formula 1, 1987, arrived in Japan, the penultimate appointment of the season, with only two candidates for the title: Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell, mates at Williams-Honda, but far from friends. The brazilian was 12 points ahead, but the scoring system for that year stated that it had only the eleven best results, and the british accumulated nine races in the points, while the then-champion, from scoring in these last two races, should be to deduct their two worst results.

Suzuka, a circuit owned by Honda, picked up the relay of Fuji, where ten years ago it had held the last Grand Prix of Japan, remembered for the abandonment of Niki Lauda under the flood, and the final triumph of James Hunt. Mansell arrived with six victories, only three of Piquet, but the greater consistency of the then-champion, who had only been left without scoring any points in two races, he had been placed in a position of privilege.

in The end, Piquet took his third title without sweat. Mansell, a year before, in Australia, lost to the World as a result of a puncture, said goodbye to their options when they suffered a heavy crash in the first qualifying session. He lost control of his FW11B at the exit of the second corner of the eses and struck violently against the wall of tires. Suffered an trauma to the spine that caused him to miss what little remained of the season.

With Mansell out of combat and Piquet champion and surely more than relaxed, the pole and the victory went to Gerhard Berger, his first victory with Ferrari. The austrian ended a negative streak of the team Italian that dated back to the German Grand Prix of 1985.