Mansell says no third retirement - yet

NIGEL MANSELL retired dramatically from Formula 1 in 1990 and again in 1992, but he says he has no plans to give up on F1 racing in the immediate future. The fact is that F1 appears to have given up on Mansell instead...

The 42-year-old Englishman was released by Williams at the end of last year and then dropped after just a couple of races this year with McLaren. During the recent silly season months Mansell's name has been conspicuous by its absence from the gossip and most people in the F1 circus seem to think that Nigel's time has passed.

Not so the man himself. At the launch of his life story, named - aptly - "My Autobiography" last week at London's Cafe╩Royal, Mansell said he is not retiring from the sport and has offers of employment for 1996.

The 1992 World Champion says, however, that he is not interested in making up the numbers in F1 or Indycar racing - which presumably means that top teams are interested in his services. The fact that Ferrari (Michael Schumacher/Eddie╩Irvine), McLaren (Mika Hakkinen/David Coulthard), Williams (Damon Hill/Jacques Villeneuve) and Benetton (Gerhard Berger/Jean╩Alesi) have all signed up their 1996 drivers - and most of the same men are under contract for 1997 as well - would suggest that Mansell's dream of a comeback is not very realistic - particularly given the fact that the oldest of the top eight men in F1 is Berger, who is six years younger than Mansell.

Mansell's autobiography, incidentally, has been ghosted for him by ESPN pitlane commentator James Allen.

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