Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet were already at loggerheards when the 1987 Formula 1 World Championship arrived on the former’s home turf at Silverstone.
The pair came together at Williams in 1986 following Keke Rosberg’s defection to McLaren. Piquet took a dislike to being beaten by someone he felt was inferior to him, and was particularly annoyed when Mansell refused to let him pass as the pair battled over the 1986 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.
As a result, Silverstone 1987 provided a particular focus for the Brazilian, who was determined to put one over his rival in front of his home crowd.
Qualifying was all about the two Williams-Hondas, as it had been for much of the season, with Mansell setting the early pace in the second and decisive session. As he waited in the pit for a challenge to arrive, Piquet responded, forcing the Briton into one last effort. Desperate to regain pole position, Mansell spun at the Woodcote chicane and would have to settle for second.
Although reigning champion Alain Prost filtered between the wheel-spinning FW11Bs to lead into Copse, normal service was quickly resumed as Piquet and Mansell set about clearing off into the distance.
Mansell was forced to pit on lap 35 for a fresh set of tyres after picking up a vibration, meaning with Piquet pressing on out front, the gap between the leading pair stretched to half a minute with 30 laps remaining.
Mansell soon showed the benefits of running on fresh rubber, setting a new fastest lap two laps after leaving the pits. Piquet, however, responded and many felt that a third straight victory on home soil was now beyond the local hero.
Nigel, however, had other ideas, and promptly set off on one of the most famous comeback drives in F1 history. Incredibly, he wasn’t just knocking a second a lap of his team-mate’s advantage, but often two seconds with a string of fastest laps.
As it became clear that Mansell would catch his foe before the end, if his pace continued, the crowd began to get involved, taking its national hero onto ever greater heights. By lap 50, the other two giants in the field, Prost and Ayrton Senna, had been lapped.
Into the last ten laps, Piquet’s tyres finally began to give up the ghost and now the gap really began to tumble. By lap 63, his advantage was negligible and his rival was within touching distance as they streamed onto the Hangar Straight. Keen to get the kill over with as quickly as possible, Mansell pounced at Stowe.
Feinting to the left, the Briton convinced Piquet that was the way he was going and the Brazilian covered the move. Mansell, however, was now on his inside, passing at the apex despite a late attempt by Piquet to slam the door in his face.
And with that, the Briton was gone, reeling off the final couple of laps before running out of fuel on the return to parc ferme, leaving him to be swamped by an ecstatic crowd and the kind of celebrations usually witnessed in Italy when Ferrari wins: that afternoon Mansellmania passed into the lexicon of motorsport.
(The more astute among you will notice that the above video is in Italian. UK readers can watch short highlights on the BBC F1 website.)