1978 F1 World Champion Mario Andretti has launched a scathing attack on his former CART Newman-Hass team-mate Nigel Mansell.

Andretti who was team-mates with Mansell in 1993 and 1994 told British tabloid newspaper The Sun: "When he really had to fight for it, he didn't have the stomach. He was very good when he had a clear advantage but he didn't have the strength of character to soldier on when things weren't at their best."

"When it didn't go right for him he'd blame everyone else. Those were the most miserable two years of my career."

"I got such a sour taste. I wasn't enjoying it any more so I thought maybe it was time to retire. My decision wasn't well thought out because I was acting on pure emotional disappointment."

The American added: "The biggest disappointment of Mansell's arrival was how the team rallied around him. Nigel had the charm when he needed it. He was buying gifts for the mechanics, but just the guys on his car. I would never buy for only half the team."

"I don't blame the mechanics but it was typical Nigel tactics and that's destructive. I couldn't respect the guy as a person. I understand you need to be selfish but what I didn't like was that he was so busy undermining all the time."

Meanwhile though former team manager Jim McGee has rubbished the attack. He said: "Mansell came in at the top of his game and Mario was on the downside. Mansell was a special guy who came over from F1 and just drove the hell out of the car."

"He was a showman and that irked the hell out of Mario. I think it really played with his head."