Sports Nicknames - Leone, Red 5, Our Niggie

Nigel Mansell would go down as one of the greatest formula 1 racing drivers of all time. While his racing record is impressive, what sets him apart is the unique yet very interesting set of nicknames that he had.

Nigel Mansell aka Leone and Red 5 - Profile Illustration.  Avatar art.  Car racing legend drawing.  Formula 1 star.

Start to his Racing Career:

Mansell started his racing career at the 1980s Austrian Grand Prix, while his first-ever win came at the 1985 European Grand Prix. Between 1980 and 1984, he was part of the Lotus team before moving to Williams in 1985. In 1989 he moved to Ferrari before returning to Williams in 1991.

Nigel Mansell also competed at the CART IndyCar World Series and won it in his inaugural season.


The whole of Britain owned Nigel Mansell as he was the country's face in Formula 1 racing. Over the years, he remained a fan favorite as his impressive performances gave the fans a lot to cheer and celebrate.

Our Niggie:

On the basis of all his ownership and special bond with the fans, Nigel Mansell was nicknamed "Our Niggie" as fans from Britain and across the world loved and supported the British Racing Car driver. This special affinity and connection between Mansell and his fans led to this special nickname, "Our Niggie."

Red 5:

Nigel Mansell raced for Williams racing for a long time. Over the years, he always raced with a number 5 on his car. What set him apart was that his car had the number 5 painted on its nose in red color. Interestingly, the sister car had the number six painted in black.

Since Mansell always attracted special media attention and fan support, his Red colored number 5 became his nickname, "Red 5."

Leone - The Lion:

Scuderia Ferrari is Ferrari's formula 1 racing team. Mansell raced for Ferrari between 1989 and 1990. During the period, Ferrari's tifosi began calling Mansell "Leone". Thus Mansell was The Lion of Ferrari, who performed impressively for the team during his brief stint with Ferrari. The period at Ferrari did not bring him the Driver's Championship. However, it did bring him his best nickname.

Achievements and Awards:

Nigel Mansell won his first and only Driver's Championship in 1992 and joined the Cart IndyCar World Series right after that. He became the only racing car driver to win the IndyCar world series in his debut season.

This also made him the only racing car driver in the history of the sport to be the Reigning Champion of both Formula 1 Driver's Championship and IndyCar world series at the same time.

Over his career, he won a total of 31 races. This puts him in second place on the list of Most Successful British Drivers (behind the all-time great Sir Lewis Hamilton). Moreover, he is 7th on the list of drivers with the most wins in Formula One.

ESPN included him among the 25 greatest Drivers of all time while he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005.


Nigel retired from Formula One in 1995. Interestingly, both his sons followed his footsteps and pursued careers as Racing Car Drivers.


Click for more Sports Nicknames