Mansell eyes own team
Speaking at a press conference to announce that his former F3 sponsor Unipart would add its name to the efforts of his sons Greg and Leo in FBMW this season, Nigel Mansell hinted at possibly starting his own race team as the boys progress.
"The F3 test was to give them a taste of power so that, when they step back into the FBMW, they'll have more time to control the car and to drive it," Mansell told journalists, "For me, personally, I wanted to see what they could do, as I had a few things that I needed to make my mind up about - and they made my mind up."
"It's exciting, I have to say," he admitted, "Having let them do karting and seen how they were straight out of the box, with no experience at all, but with just a tremendous amount of raw talent, they have developed really quickly. I have to say that, now, they are far better race car drivers than they were kart drivers, because they stepped into an F3 car for two days and were far quicker straight off than I thought they would be - and they're not daunted at all.
"People can't just jump into a race car and drive it, or not quickly, and they have both done that this week. We'll just have to wait and see how it progresses, but they're doing everything right at the moment."
"We might develop a Mansell Motorsport at the end of this year - but in the lower formulas, not F1!" he smiled, "It could be in F3 possibly, as the natural progression for the boys is to enter F3 then, maybe, GP2. Having said that, maybe a year in the British series and a year in the international series to learn the circuits and then step up. But that's very premature and you have to take one year at a time. All credit to the boys, they take one day, one month, one year at a time."
"I think they have more challenges because no-one paid any attention to me when I was going through the ranks," he explained when asked to compare their relative careers, "Everyone is going to pay attention to them, but the benefits outweigh the negatives because they'll have full funding where I didn't have it. The sponsors think it is just magical.
"We're on this magnificent journey now, the same one that I started 30-odd years ago but, because they're so level-headed - and they probably get that from their mum rather than from me - they have the ability to be more judgmental about themselves. There will probably be a lot of highs and a fair amount of lows, but the boys just seem to trundle on and get through everything.
"They just do a solid job. I'm not doing a thing - I'm just a proud dad, watching on, helping out on the engineering side, because I'm a reasonable engineer, and having a tremendous time as an ambassador with the FBMW series."