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Canada 1991 - waving goodbye to victory 11 Jun 2003

The flags of the competing nations are paraded on the grid.
Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, 9 June 2002

Nigel Mansell won the Canadian Grand Prix in 1986. He should have repeated the feat in 1991. Indeed, victory was within his grasp, but the Englishman's somewhat premature celebrations proved to be his undoing.

After being out-qualified by Williams team mate Riccardo Patrese, Mansell started from second on the Montreal grid. However, by the first corner he had taken a lead that he would not surrender until the final lap.

With both McLarens and both Ferraris retiring before half distance, the Williams duo looked to have the race wrapped up. However, a puncture forced Patrese to pit and dropped him to third behind Nelson Piquet's Benetton.

Meanwhile, Mansell carried on unchallenged at the front. Only on his final lap did he ease off as he waved to the crowds. However, he eased off just a little too much and stalled the car. Unable to get going again, Mansell was left helpless as his former Williams team mate Piquet passed him to take an unexpected win.

Tyrell driver Stefano Modena moved ahead of Patrese in the closing stages to take a career-best second place, while the Jordans of Andrea de Cesaris and Bertand Gachot finished fourth and fifth. Mansell was classified sixth, a single point providing scant consolation for his misfortune.

In the end the incident, embarrassing as it was for Mansell, did not prove crucial in terms of the championship. Even had he taken the additional nine points in Montreal that day, he would still have finished second to Ayrton Senna in the drivers' standings and Williams would still have been runners-up to McLaren in the constructors' championship.