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Tyrrell Racing facts for kids

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Full name Tyrrell Racing Organisation
Base Ockham, Surrey, United Kingdom
Founder(s) Ken Tyrrell
Noted staff Derek Gardner
Mike Gascoyne
Tim Densham
Harvey Postlethwaite
Noted drivers France Patrick Depailler
France Jean Alesi
France Didier Pironi
South Africa Jody Scheckter
United Kingdom Jackie Stewart
Italy Andrea de Cesaris
France François Cevert
Germany Stefan Bellof
Sweden Ronnie Peterson
Republic of Ireland Derek Daly
Netherlands Jos Verstappen
United Kingdom Martin Brundle
United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer
Italy Michele Alboreto
Finland Mika Salo
Next name British American Racing
Formula One World Championship career
First entry 1968 South African Grand Prix (as Matra International)
1970 South African Grand Prix (as Tyrrell Racing Organisation)
Races entered 23 entries (23 starts) (as Matra International)
442 entries (440 starts) (as Tyrrell Racing Organisation)
Constructors Matra
1 (1971) (as Tyrrell Racing Organisation)
3 (1969 as Matra International, 1971, 1973 as Tyrrell Racing Organisation)
Race victories 9 (as Matra International)
24 (as Tyrrell Racing Organisation)
Pole positions 2 (as Matra International)
17 (as Tyrrell Racing Organisation)
Fastest laps 9 (as Matra International)
18 (as Tyrrell Racing Organisation)
Final entry 1969 Mexican Grand Prix (as Matra International)
1998 Japanese Grand Prix (as Tyrrell Racing Organisation)
Tyrrell as a Formula One chassis constructor
Formula One World Championship career
Entrants Tyrrell Racing,
several minor teams and privateers
First entry 1970 Canadian Grand Prix
Last entry 1998 Japanese Grand Prix
Races entered 432 entries (430 starts)
Race victories 23
Constructors' Championships 1 (1971)
2 (1971, 1973)
Pole positions 14
Fastest laps 20

The Tyrrell Racing Organisation was an auto racing team and Formula One constructor founded by Ken Tyrrell (1924–2001) which started racing in 1958 and started building its own cars in 1970. The team experienced its greatest success in the early 1970s, when it won three Drivers' Championships and one Constructors' Championship with Jackie Stewart. The team never reached such heights again, although it continued to win races through the 1970s and into the early 1980s, taking the final win for the Ford Cosworth DFV engine at the 1983 Detroit Grand Prix. The team was bought by British American Tobacco in 1997 and completed its final season as Tyrrell in the 1998 Formula One season. Tyrrell's legacy continues in Formula One as the Mercedes-AMG F1 team, who is Tyrrell's descendant through various sales and rebrandings via BAR, Honda, and Brawn GP.

Lower formulas (1958–1967)

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. The team's most famous partnership was the one forged with Jackie Stewart, who first signed up in 1963.

Tyrrell ran the BRM Formula Two operation throughout 1965, 1966 and 1967 whilst Stewart was signed to BRM's Formula One team. The team then signed a deal to run F2 cars made by French company Matra. Tyrrell's first entry into a World Championship Grand Prix was at the 1966 German Grand Prix, entering F2-spec Matra MS5s for Ickx and Hubert Hahne. Hahne finished 9th, runner-up of the F2 cars. However, Ickx was involved in a first-lap crash with the Brabham of John Taylor, who later died from burns sustained in the accident. Tyrrell later entered the 1967 German Grand Prix with an F2 car for Ickx, this time the Matra MS7. Ickx qualified with the 3rd-fastest time, however F2 cars were required to start the race from the back of the grid. He ran as high as 5th before retiring from the race with a broken suspension.

Formula One (1968–1998)


Jackie Stewart and Tyrrell won their first championship with the French Matra chassis.

With the help of Elf and Ford, Tyrrell then achieved his dream of moving to Formula One in 1968 as a team principal for the team officially named Matra International, a joint-venture established between Tyrrell's own privateer team and the French auto manufacturer Matra. Stewart was a serious contender, winning three Grands Prix in the Tyrrell-run Matra MS10. The car's most innovative feature was the use of aviation-inspired structural fuel tanks. These allowed the chassis to be around 15 kg lighter while still being stronger than its competitors. The FIA considered the technology to be unsafe and decided to ban it for 1970, insisting on rubber bag-tanks.

For the 1969 championship, the Matra works team decided not to compete in Formula One. Matra would instead focus its efforts on Ken Tyrrell's 'Matra International' team and build a new DFV powered car with structural fuel tanks, even though it would only be eligible for a single season. Stewart won the 1969 title easily, driving the new Cosworth-powered Matra MS80 which corrected most of the weaknesses of the MS10. Stewart's title was the first won by a French car, and the only one won by a car built in France as well as by a car entered by a privateer team. It was a spectacular achievement from the British team and the French constructor that both had only entered Formula One the previous year.


Tyrrell 001 Goodwood 2008
Tyrrell's first F1 car, the 001, being demonstrated at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed
The Tyrrell P34 six-wheeler

For the 1970 season following Matra's merger with Simca, Tyrrell were asked by Matra to use their V12 rather than the Cosworth. Simca was a subsidiary of the American company Chrysler, a rival of Ford. Stewart tested the Matra V12 and found it inferior to the DFV. As a large part of the Tyrrell budget was provided by Ford, and another significant element came from French state-owned petroleum company Elf, which had an agreement with Renault that precluded supporting a Simca partner, Ken Tyrrell had little alternative but to buy a March 701 chassis as interim solution while developing his own car in secret. As a result, the name of his team Matra International was officially changed to Tyrrell Racing Organisation at the beginning of the 1970 season.

Tyrrell was 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 with mixed success, while Derek Gardner worked on the first in-house Tyrrell Grand Prix car at the woodshed in Ockham, Surrey.

The privateer team owned by Ken Tyrrell, which competed under the name Matra International from 1968 to 1969 and under the name Tyrrell Racing Organisation in 1970, won 10 races in total during this period with the Matra MS10, Matra MS80 and March 701 cars as well as one World Drivers' Championship (in 1969 with the Matra MS80 car), thus becoming the most successful privateer team in Formula One history.

The Tyrrell 001, which bore much resemblance to the MS80, emerged at the end of 1970. It earned Stewart a pole position in the Canadian GP but suffered mechanical failures in all of its three race starts. The nearly identical Tyrrell 003 won both Drivers' and Constructors' Championships in 1971, with strong driving from Jackie Stewart and François Cevert. Stewart's 1972 challenge was ruined by a stomach ulcer, but he returned to full fitness in 1973. He and Cevert finished first and fourth in the Championship, but Cevert was killed in practice for the final race of the season, the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Stewart, who was to retire at the end of the season, and Tyrrell immediately stood down, effectively handing the Constructors' title to Lotus. At the end of the season Stewart made public his decision to retire, a decision that was already made before the US Grand Prix. 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 (and only) 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 tyres needed for the car as they were too busy fighting the other tyre manufacturers in Formula One.

Ken Tyrrell had been spending a lot of his own money running his team, but in the summer of 1979 he finally found a sponsor: Italian appliance manufacturing group Candy put up the money to run the 009, fielded by Jarier and Pironi.


Tyrrell 012 Goodwood 2008
The Tyrrell 012 (pictured at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed) raced from 1983 to 1985.

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 to race with the Cosworth DFV when all other teams had switched to turbocharged engines; during the height of FISA-FOCA war, Ken Tyrrell was adamant that turbochargers constitute a form of turbine, which had been banned in 1971, a protest that was rejected by FIA stewards. 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 (the Tyrrell 011), driven by Michele Alboreto at the 1983 Detroit Grand Prix. It was also Tyrrell's last Grand Prix win.


Mika Salo 1995 Britain
Mika Salo driving for Tyrrell at the 1995 British Grand Prix
Takagi 1998 Spanish GP
"Tora" Takagi driving the Tyrrell 026 at the 1998 Spanish Grand Prix

Tyrrell struggled on through the 1980s and 1990s – the team consistently punching above their financial weight following the 1984 controversy, despite winning the Colin Chapman Trophy for naturally-aspirated constructors in 1987 following Renault's withdrawal that year. There was a brief revival of fortunes in the early 1990s. The combination of Harvey Postlethwaite's revolutionary anhedral 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, but Honda engines and Braun sponsorship in 1991 helped Stefano Modena earn a front row start at Monaco alongside Senna and a fine second-place finish at the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix. Nonetheless, the team slowly dropped back from the middle of the pack. Tyrrell's last F1 points were scored by Mika Salo at the 1997 Monaco Grand Prix.

Eventually, and in the face of dwindling form and ill health, Ken sold his team after the 1997 season to Craig Pollock, who at the same time was building British American Racing with his funding and sponsor partner British American Tobacco. Ken left the team following the sale, just before the start of the 1998 season, after a disagreement with Pollock over him choosing Ricardo Rosset for sponsorship money reasons over Jos Verstappen.

The final race for Tyrrell was the 1998 Japanese Grand Prix, where Rosset failed to qualify and teammate Tora Takagi retired on lap 28 after a collision with Esteban Tuero's Minardi.


The double championship-winning Brawn GP team of 2009 and the present Mercedes team can loosely be said to be descendants of Tyrrell, through its predecessors, Honda Racing F1 and BAR. While BAR bought the Tyrrell F1 team and entry, they used a different factory, chassis builder and engine – most of the former Tyrrell cars and equipment were sold to Paul Stoddart, later owner of the Minardi F1 team.

When team boss Ross Brawn led a management buyout of the Honda F1 team to compete in the 2009 season, a revival of the Tyrrell name was briefly considered when deciding what to call the new team.

As of the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, the teams which descended from Tyrrell have won 125 Grands Prix, 8 Drivers' championships (one as Brawn in 2009 and the rest as Mercedes from 2014 to 2020) and 9 Constructors' championships (one as Brawn in 2009 and the rest as Mercedes from 2014 to 2021).

The Minardi 2-seater F1 cars are modifications of the 1998 Tyrrell 026 design, most noticeable in the distinctive shape of the nose of the car. These cars still run in demos today, most recently as demo cars during the launch of the Yas Marina F1 track.

Ken Tyrrell died of cancer on 25 August 2001 at the age of 77.

Formula One World Championship results

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Tyrrell Racing para niños

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