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Tyrrell Racing first came into being in 1958, running Formula Three cars for Ken Tyrrell and local stars. Realising he was not racing driver material, Ken Tyrrell stood down as a driver in 1959, and began to run a Formula Junior operation using the woodshed owned by his family business, Tyrrell Brothers, as a workshop. Throughout the 1960s, Tyrrell moved through the lower formulas, variously giving single seater debuts to John Surtees and Jacky Ickx. But the team's most famous partnership was the one forged with Jackie Stewart, who first signed up in 1963.

Tyrrell ran the BRM Formula 2 operation throughout 1965, 1966 and 1967 whilst Stewart was signed to the Formula One team. Tyrrell then signed a deal to run Formula 2 cars made by French company Matra

With the help of Elf and Ford, Tyrrell then achieved his dream of moving to Formula 1 in 1968, as team principal for Matra International, a joint-venture established between Tyrrell's own team and the French auto manufacturer Matra. Stewart won his first Formula One World Championship in 1969 driving a Cosworth-powered Matra MS80.


Tyrrell 001   (1970)

For the 1970 season, Matra insisted on using their own V12 engines, while Tyrrell and Stewart wanted to keep the Cosworth engines as well as the good connection to Ford. As a consequence, the Tyrrell team bought a chassis from March Engineering, which Stewart drove with mixed success until Tyrrell built its own car later in the season. They were still sponsored by French fuel company Elf , and Tyrrell would retain the traditional French blue racing colours for most of the rest of its existence. Tyrrell and Stewart ran the March-Fords throughout 1970, while Derek Gardner worked on the first in-house Tyrrell Grand Prix car at the woodshed in Ockham, Surrey.

Emerging in 1971, the Tyrrell 001 won both drivers' and constructors' championships that year, with a driving strength of Jackie Stewart and François Cévert. Stewart's 1972 challenge was hamstrung by a stomach ulcer, but he returned to full fitness in 1973. He and Cévert finishing 1st and 2nd in the Championship. Tragedy struck on October 6th, 1973, as Cévert was killed in practice for the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Stewart, who was to retire at the end of the season, immediately stood down. Without their star driver or his skilled French protégé aboard, Tyrrell were never serious World Championship contenders again.

Despite this, the team remained a force throughout the 1970s, winning races with Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler. Most notable of these was Scheckter's triumph at the 1976 Swedish Grand Prix, giving Tyrrell a 1-2 finish driving the distinctive Derek Gardner designed Tyrrell P34 car. The P34 was the first successful six-wheeler F1 car, which replaced the conventional front wheels with smaller wheels mounted in banks of two on either side of the car. The design was abandoned after Goodyear refused to develop the small tires needed for the car as they were too busy fighting the other tire manufacturers in Formula One.


Tyrrell 010   (1980)

In 1977, the Turbo era dawned in Grand Prix racing, which was, by the mid-1980s, to render normally aspirated engined cars obsolete. Without the proper funding, Tyrrell was the last resistant with the Cosworth DFV at a time all teams had switched to turbocharged engines. It was the beginning of two decades of struggle for Tyrrell, who was often underfunded through lack of sponsorship. It seemed appropriate, then, that the final win for the classic Cosworth Ford DFV engine was taken by a Tyrrell car, Michele Alboreto at the 1983 Detroit Grand Prix. It was also Tyrrell's last Grand Prix win. During the 1984 season, Tyrrell were disqualified from the year's standings after it was discovered they had been illegally putting lead in their fuel tank at the Detroit race.


Tyrrell 019   (1990)

Tyrrell struggled on through the 1980s and 1990s - although their insubstantial on-track performances were not matched by the sway which Ken Tyrrell held behind the scenes in Grand Prix politics. There was a brief revival of fortunes in the early 1990s. The combination of Harvey Postlethwaite's revolutionary high-nose Tyrrell 019 and Jean Alesi's full debut season in 1990 brought the team two second places at Phoenix and Monaco - Alesi having led 30 laps of the Phoenix race. The French-Sicilian left the next year for Ferrari and, although Honda engines and Braun sponsorship in 1992 went some way to making up for this, the team slowly dropped back from the middle of the pack. Eventually, in 1998 and in the face of dwindling form and ill health, Ken was forced to sell his team to British American Tobacco, the team becoming British American Racing. The final race for Tyrrell was the 1998 Japanese Grand Prix, where Ricardo Rosset failed to qualify and team-mate Toranosuke Takagi retired on lap 28 after a collision with a Minardi.

Ken Tyrrell died of cancer on August 25th, 2001.

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