Intra-Team Feuds that Rocked the World of F1

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Williams x Nelson Piquet x Nigel Mansell (1987)

intra-team feuds
The fiery rivalry of Mansell and Piquet in Williams

This one was complex and a different case when compared to other intra-team feuds. After the team’s debacle in 1986 (both Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet lost the title to Alain Prost due to tyre problems in the very last race), it couldn’t happen again in 1987, specially as Williams Honda was the partnership to beat.

As a very clever person in and out the car, Piquet started to think that the management would feel better if Mansell won and decided to counter-attack what he thought were squad maneuvers. But he had Honda by his side and the Japanese saw in him a perfect driver to make the Honda tag associate with a champion.

Soon, he started to play mind games to de-stabilise his closest rival. With the help of his mechanics, it was normal to give them the wrong impressions about the car (on practices, he was fast with a certain setup, but knew that he could be way more with the right one) and, when Mansell tried to follow his footsteps, it turned out to be a disaster. Then it was the case of the Briton feeling kind of boycotted from Honda, which wasn’t true. And the Brazilian even used to bring his half of the team to his side even more by paying prizes after every pole or win. Piquet need not even fear some kind of reaction the year later, as he had already sealed his change to Lotus Honda.

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