How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive
Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car
Tyrrell won the 1971 championship with a team of 19 people – in total. The list of employees included Ken, his wife Norah (secretary/timekeeper/lap scorer) and Eric Baker (accountant). The rest, from Derek Gardner (design director) to Robin Coleman (transporter driver and racing mechanic), had done all that was necessary to build and run cars capable of winning seven of the 11 grands prix.
The final victory at Watkins Glen had been important for two reasons: a $267,000 prize fund made the US GP the richest by far in F1; and a maiden win for Francois Cevert not only earned Tyrrell $50,000 but also signalled the Frenchman’s continuing rise as a serious contender.
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Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…
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