Sebastian Vettel hopes that his demonstration runs of Nigel Mansell’s 1992 World championship-winning Williams FW14B using carbon-neutral fuels will give people the same satisfaction of enjoying the echoes of the past without causing long-lasting environmental damage.
Thirty years after being driven to victory by Mansell in front of a patriotic home crowd, the Williams FW14B returns to a very different-looking Silverstone.
Although the car is visually unchanged since winning that year’s driver’s and constructors championship underneath the bodywork, things are slightly different as the famous Renault V10 will be run using sustainable fuel rather than the traditional ELF fuel that it used 30 years ago.
Vettel, who brought the car at a Bonhams auction in 2019 for an estimated £2.7million, said during Thursday’s FIA press conference of which MotorLAT was in attendance, said that he was hoping to have some fun behind the wheel whilst also promoting sustainable fuels, which are set to be used by Formula 1 in 2026.
“I am expecting to have a lot of fun. And I expect, or I hope, people can share that. Because I think it’s an incredible car, the car’s history. And the way it sounds. So I’m looking forward to it. In terms of the fuel, actually, it was some effort to find the fuel. But once we found it, it was actually very easy. It only took one shakedown to get on top of it, and it will see it on Sunday. It’s no different to how the car was 30 years ago; it will sound exactly the same, it will drive the same way. And yeah, I will not try within a couple of laps to go to the absolute limit, but I will try to enjoy it, which means I will go as fast as I feel comfortable with, bearing in mind it’s my car.”
“I think it’s great to demonstrate to people that, you know, motorsport is our passion. It’s what we grew up with. I think that the cars I dreamt of as a child are different to maybe some of the other drivers. But it is, I think, important to find a way that we can do it responsibly in the future as well, to keep these cars and the history alive. I’m using carbon-neutral fuels on Sunday to demonstrate that, you know, we can, you know, still, hang on to our history and heritage and culture in motorsport, but do it in a more responsible way. I’m very much looking forward to drive the car for the first time. And so yeah, hear a car. I think a lot of people will share the joy with me.”
“You can express culture in many ways – music, arts – but our sort of culture, our way of expressing ourselves is driving cars, racing cars. And it would be a shame if that was all to disappear. And I think it’s a way to, you know, keep it alive. And looking forward, obviously, Formula 1 is headed in that direction with 2026.”