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Tyrrell Honda 020 1991


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#1 bob1977

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 20:14

Hello

I was just watching the 1991 F1 season review the other day and though it was quite sad the poor season Tyrrell had. They went into the season with huge promise but after a reasonable start it went down hill. Does any one have any insight or first hand knowledge of what the problems were? My thoughts are:

The Car - Basically the big heavy Honda V10 was shoehorned into the nimble 019 chassis? (Was said to be a new car but not sure hoe much development from 019)

The Drivers - Losing Alesi was a big blow. Modena was pretty quick but seemed to lose heart as the season progressed. (He was even outqualified by Nakajima a few times)

The Tyres - Pirelli tyres very poor in 1991

Technical Team - Losing Harvey Postlthwaite to Mercedes a big blow

Such a shame as this was Tyrrell's last big chance and they never seemed to recover from this season.





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#2 king_crud

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 20:21

I think you've nailed all the reasons, especially the tyres. Shame, I loved the look of that car, still remember Monaco vividly

#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 20:28

I believe that in 1991 Pirelli didn't give Tyrrell the same level of support they gave Benetton.

#4 nmansellfan

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 20:58

I think Tyrrell had minimal support from Honda in '91 as well if I remember.

This has nothing to do with their struggle that year, but am I right in thinking they had help in finding sponsorship from McLaren? That might be my memory playing tricks on me though...

#5 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 21:07

My comments in italics. Thanks, Nigel

Hello

I was just watching the 1991 F1 season review the other day and though it was quite sad the poor season Tyrrell had. They went into the season with huge promise but after a reasonable start it went down hill. Does any one have any insight or first hand knowledge of what the problems were? My thoughts are:

The Car - Basically the big heavy Honda V10 was shoehorned into the nimble 019 chassis? (Was said to be a new car but not sure hoe much development from 019).

The 020 was mechanically a completely different car from the 018/019 series cars, with a new transverse gearbox, completely different fuel system and suspension components (though still a monoshock front, but refined to make roll stiffness adjustment simpler if I recall correctly - it's a while ago now). George Ryton was responsible for the mechanical design of the car - Harvey somewhat took his eye off the ball and really left it to George to design a car to fit within the aerodynamic surfaces defined by Jean Claude Migeot while we were busy racing the 019. Unfortunately JCM had made it known from around the time of Hungary 1990 that he was going back to Ferrari for 1991, so as the car came together it did so without the input from the man who was chiefly responsible for the aerodynamic concept. In addition, the Honda engine was considerably heavier than expected, and this, coupled with inattention to predicting the weight dstribution during the design process, resulted in a car that was intrinsically flawed.

The Drivers - Losing Alesi was a big blow. Modena was pretty quick but seemed to lose heart as the season progressed. (He was even outqualified by Nakajima a few times)

Modena was psychologically the most complex driver I've ever worked with, with perhaps the exception of one, but at the time he was signed by Tyrrell his stock was pretty high and there was no reason to predict his subsequent decline. He drove very well in the first half of the season (obviously Monaco stands out), but plainly once Harvey left the team completely unexpectedly when we were in Canada then he lost heart. Ironically there had been a strong Italian flavour at Tyrrell in 1990, with Harvey, Migeot, Villadelprat all using some of their Ferrari experience to create an environment which was very simpatico and comfortable for working with Alesi and Pirelli. Although none of the aforementioned were native Italians (with the obvious exception of the Pirelli guys), it the case that they introduced an appreciation of that culture to this most British of teams. Consequently replacing Alesi with Modena was seen as a way of continuing that philosophy, and Stefano must have felt this was a place he'd enjoy. Unfortunately that was progressively deconstructed as JCM, Joan and ultimately HP moved and all of a sudden it disappeared.

The Tyres - Pirelli tyres very poor in 1991

In 1990 Tyrrell was Pirelli's "A" team. That all changed when Pirelli signed up Benetton for 1991. The original association with Pirelli had been driven by the fact that we couldn't get tyre modelling data from Goodyear because we weren't one of their "Top Teams". Migeot's aero mapping software was dependent on having tyre stiffness data to predict dynamic ride heights, and Pirelli were willing to support this. The success of 1990 was in no small part due to having this information as a setup aid.


Technical Team - Losing Harvey Postlthwaite to Mercedes a big blow.

As stated above, losing HP was the second major blow, after losing Migeot. We were in Mexico chuckling at Benetton when it became apparent that Barnard had left them. The smiles were wiped off our faces when HP (having gone back to the UK between the races) didn't come out to Canada. Basically he was out of contract at the end of 1991, and had wanted to tie up a new deal with Ken. However, Ken had stalled on sorting something out, and had upset Harvey by going on holiday before attending to this business. When Mercedes approached Harvey he thought about it for about half a second....

Such a shame as this was Tyrrell's last big chance and they never seemed to recover from this season.


Edited by Nigel Beresford, 30 July 2012 - 21:19.


#6 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 21:15

I think Tyrrell had minimal support from Honda in '91 as well if I remember.

This has nothing to do with their struggle that year, but am I right in thinking they had help in finding sponsorship from McLaren? That might be my memory playing tricks on me though...


The engines were actually overseen by Mugen, and I couldn't complain at all about the level of support. They were excellent.

You are correct that McLaren undertook to find sponsorship. As I understand it, the McLaren car was "full" (Marlboro always hated having other brands represented on the Penske cars, so I suppose they felt the same about McLaren). Consequently McLaren Marketing steered sponsorship towards Tyrrell, and I believe took a commission on money sourced above a certain datum. Ron Dennis himself came to Ockham to oversee the placing of the decals on the car for the launch pics.

#7 king_crud

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 21:21

Hi Nigel, what was your role with Tyrell at the time? Excuse any ignorance or if this is a stupid question

#8 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 21:25

Hi Nigel, what was your role with Tyrell at the time? Excuse any ignorance or if this is a stupid question


It's not a stupid question at all...for my sins I was Senior Race Engineer (sounds grand, but there were only 2 of us...), running Stefano Modena. I had no design responsibilities on the 020, but for the 018 & 019 we had been a much smaller engineering group and I had designed or drawn some parts. I drew up all the bodywork & wings on the 018 using surface data from Migeot.

#9 king_crud

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 21:27

how was Nakajima treated compared to Stefano?

#10 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 21:34

how was Nakajima treated compared to Stefano?


Completely equally. Tyrrell didn't have an explicit "No.1 Driver", though of course in 1990 Alesi kind of became the de facto no.1 via his performances, and Satoru didn't seem to mind that - especially when he found out that Alesi was taking the Tabac flat out one gear higher than him. However, in terms of equipment, support and opportunity the drivers and cars were the same, and we all worked together as a team. Thats how I think it should always be.

#11 bob1977

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 21:54

Completely equally. Tyrrell didn't have an explicit "No.1 Driver", though of course in 1990 Alesi kind of became the de facto no.1 via his performances, and Satoru didn't seem to mind that - especially when he found out that Alesi was taking the Tabac flat out one gear higher than him. However, in terms of equipment, support and opportunity the drivers and cars were the same, and we all worked together as a team. Thats how I think it should always be.



Thanks Nigel, great inside information. If only HP and Migeot had stayed.

#12 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 22:27

Thanks Nigel, great inside information. If only HP and Migeot had stayed.

You're welcome. Of course, Harvey came back eventually, and his initial departure must have strengthened his hand when doing the new deal with Ken because he got some equity in the team.

Migeot is a top, top guy, and ultimately continues to indulge his affection for Italy by running his Wind Tunnel business there.

Sadly, Tyrrell was doomed because in spite of the talent that passed through its doors there was never the will from the ownership to put the money-finding structure in place to support and keep such people. Nonetheless, all of us who worked there look back on it with nothing but huge affection. I went back for 1995 having worked at Penske Racing for three years, but in spite of my affection for Ken, the team and its people I couldn't bear the lack of a "will to win" from the top, especially after having worked for Roger and experiencing his drive & desire for success.

#13 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 22:28

Thanks Nigel, great inside information. If only HP and Migeot had stayed.

You're welcome. Of course, Harvey came back eventually, and his initial departure must have strengthened his hand when doing the new deal with Ken because he got some equity in the team.

Migeot is a top, top guy, and ultimately continues to indulge his affection for Italy by running his Wind Tunnel business there.

Sadly, Tyrrell was doomed because in spite of the talent that passed through its doors there was never the will from the ownership to put the money-finding structure in place to support and keep such people. Nonetheless, all of us who worked there look back on it with nothing but huge affection. I went back for 1995 having worked at Penske Racing for three years, but in spite of my affection for Ken, the team and its people I couldn't bear the lack of a "will to win" from the top, especially after having worked for Roger and experiencing his drive & desire for success.

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 06:21

That seems the key factor, Nigel. Something we perhaps suspected at the time, but were not close enough to the team to know

#15 roger.daltrey

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 07:25

It's not a stupid question at all...for my sins I was Senior Race Engineer (sounds grand, but there were only 2 of us...), running Stefano Modena. I had no design responsibilities on the 020, but for the 018 & 019 we had been a much smaller engineering group and I had designed or drawn some parts. I drew up all the bodywork & wings on the 018 using surface data from Migeot.


Gotta chuckle at the Senior Race Engineer comment by Nigel - sort of shows how bloated the support behind the sport (and it is still a sport) has become these days.

For reference, anyone have to hand the 1991 budgets for Mclaren and Tyrrell ?

And also how that was met via sponsorship (personal and corporate), race fees, TV fees etc...



#16 nmansellfan

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:00

The engines were actually overseen by Mugen, and I couldn't complain at all about the level of support. They were excellent.

You are correct that McLaren undertook to find sponsorship. As I understand it, the McLaren car was "full" (Marlboro always hated having other brands represented on the Penske cars, so I suppose they felt the same about McLaren). Consequently McLaren Marketing steered sponsorship towards Tyrrell, and I believe took a commission on money sourced above a certain datum. Ron Dennis himself came to Ockham to oversee the placing of the decals on the car for the launch pics.


Thanks for the information, on both points, Nigel. I thought the 020 was one of the smartest presented cars on the grid in '91. In 1/20 scale courtesy of Tamiya it looked very nice too! :)

Was the Honda / Mugen contract due in part to Satoru's presence in the team? Was it only going to be a one year supply deal or did Ken have an option to run them for '92 and beyond as well?

Edited by nmansellfan, 31 July 2012 - 12:05.


#17 PAUL S

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:23

One of my big regrets was not snapping up one of the 018/19/20 at the Stoddart collection auction a few years ago, under 20k and lovely looking cars :) nice to read some period info.

I remember the first time I saw an 019 on its debut, it was a case of "wow" :love:

#18 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 15:38

Was the Honda / Mugen contract due in part to Satoru's presence in the team? Was it only going to be a one year supply deal or did Ken have an option to run them for '92 and beyond as well?


The first I knew of it all was when we were in Adelaide in 1989. My "roomie", Roger Hill, took a brief call from Ken, hung up and said "That was the boss. Nakajima next year and Honda engines for the year after", which implies it was all part and parcel of the same deal. I believe there was an option to continue after 1991, but that would come at a price Tyrrell couldn't afford - the failure of 1991 meant that Tyrrell reverted to default condition - i.e. no money.

#19 Little Leaf

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:48

I always thought it a great shame Modena didn't achieve more than he did. I was a great fan of him when at Brabham in 1989 and thought he would go great in the Tyrrell Honda uin 1991. As pointed out here the wheels seemed to come off part way through the season.

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#20 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 16:46

I always thought it a great shame Modena didn't achieve more than he did. I was a great fan of him when at Brabham in 1989 and thought he would go great in the Tyrrell Honda uin 1991. As pointed out here the wheels seemed to come off part way through the season.


Obviously I felt bad, that he had been somehow let down by Tyrrell. As mentioned before, the loss of his "champion" (Harvey) mid season clearly demoralised him. However, you have to say things didn't improve much when he moved on to Jordan for 1992.

#21 Little Leaf

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:43

Obviously I felt bad, that he had been somehow let down by Tyrrell. As mentioned before, the loss of his "champion" (Harvey) mid season clearly demoralised him. However, you have to say things didn't improve much when he moved on to Jordan for 1992.


He was supposed to have been quite temperamental and superstitious (didn't he always wear one glove inside out or something?).

#22 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 18:56

He was supposed to have been quite temperamental and superstitious (didn't he always wear one glove inside out or something?).


Yes, there were all sorts of stories - wouldn't sleep with his feet towards the hotel room door (or was it the other way around?), insisted on getting in to the car from the same side, insisted on doing up his own belts. I can't be doing with all that rubbish so I haven't retained it in my memory, though I think I vaguely recall the latter one about the belts being true.

I wouldn't say he was temperamental really. His mrs. used to give us a harder time!

#23 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 19:08

I think a lot of the stuff like preferred-entry-side is just routine, it's a mental checklist and if you do the same thing each time you never miss anything. But feet/door equivalency formulas are weird. And just a bit Italian :p

#24 David McKinney

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 19:42

But feet/door equivalency formulas are weird. And just a bit Italian :p

I'm certainly not an expert on feng shui, but I think that's one of its tenets


#25 ralt12

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 15:48

It's not a stupid question at all...for my sins I was Senior Race Engineer (sounds grand, but there were only 2 of us...), running Stefano Modena. I had no design responsibilities on the 020, but for the 018 & 019 we had been a much smaller engineering group and I had designed or drawn some parts. I drew up all the bodywork & wings on the 018 using surface data from Migeot.



Hi Nigel--Did you keep copies of the drawings?

#26 P.Dron

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 17:35

"Modena was psychologically the most complex driver I've ever worked with, with perhaps the exception of one..."

Oh do tell, Mr Beresford...

#27 BoschKurve

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 02:51

I'm also intrigued by the comment regarding the lack of the will-to-win coming from Ken Tyrrell.

Any particular reason this happened, or was it just one of those things where he had been in F1 for so many years by the 1990s, that it was all starting to wear on him?

I always felt it was a shame Team Tyrrell went out with such a whimper, and never was able to recreate what they had back in the 1970s. There was the brief period in 1984, where it looked like they might've had a chance to turn things around. The exclusion didn't help, and neither did the untimely demise of Stefan Bellof the following season. It just seemed like after Cervert was killed in '73, that started a downward trend?

#28 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 10:42

"Modena was psychologically the most complex driver I've ever worked with, with perhaps the exception of one..."

Oh do tell, Mr Beresford...


Stefano was a nice guy, but after Harvey left he just became more and more disillusioned, insular and sour as the season progressed. He didn't seem to have that innate self confidence that the most successful guys have.

Edited by Nigel Beresford, 03 November 2012 - 11:16.


#29 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 10:43

Hi Nigel--Did you keep copies of the drawings?


No, I didn't own them.

#30 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:00

I'm also intrigued by the comment regarding the lack of the will-to-win coming from Ken Tyrrell.

Any particular reason this happened, or was it just one of those things where he had been in F1 for so many years by the 1990s, that it was all starting to wear on him?

I always felt it was a shame Team Tyrrell went out with such a whimper, and never was able to recreate what they had back in the 1970s. There was the brief period in 1984, where it looked like they might've had a chance to turn things around. The exclusion didn't help, and neither did the untimely demise of Stefan Bellof the following season. It just seemed like after Cervert was killed in '73, that started a downward trend?



I made that comment in the light of having worked for Roger Penske, who would go and get for the team whatever resource it needed to win. Roger is the quintessential racer, but he also, of course, understands commerce and business and the importance of servicing the sponsors. Ken was also a real racer, but his interest seemed to be limited to the racing side of things, and he allowed misguided nepotism & loyalty to influence his approach to the commercial side of things. Consequently the team simply never had the funding to achieve whatever sporting ambitions Ken might have had. Basically the commercial side of the team was too ineptly run to attract a tobacco title sponsor (as opposed to the relatively minor Camel engine cover deal). Unknown fact - an 018 was painted in Rothmans colours as part of a pitch to them, and it looked absolutely fabulous. Of course, they ultimately took their money to Williams (as you would expect).

Edited by Nigel Beresford, 03 November 2012 - 11:09.


#31 BoschKurve

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:05

Nigel,

Thank you very much for that information!

I had no idea that the commercial side of Tyrrell was so inept. That would have been something had they been able to land the Rothmans sponsorship. I wonder where the team would have gone with that kind of backing.

#32 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:39

Ken didn't run the commercial side, so I should emphasise that it wasn't him personally who was so inept - he was universally respected, of course.

As was the case with the technical side of the team, many good people came and went, disillusioned with the company director charged with responsibility for things commercial.

Sadly, the Tyrrell family's ability to attract sponsors and convince them of the worth of being in F1 (e.g. Benetton, Courtaulds etc. etc) was more than matched by their ability to subsequently disenfranchise them.

#33 uechtel

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:47

On the other hand, more than once I wondered how the team managed to survive their frequent "un-sponsored" seasons and still be usually reasonable competitive though. Did they have some hidden money reserve or how for example could they design, build and run new and quite competitive cars in the 1989 season?

#34 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:50

I knew an ex Tyrrell engineer who had very much the same opinion of the latter days - the lack of a will-to-win etc. He reckoned by the early 90s Ken and family were in it for the lifestyle, (in the proper meaning of the term, I hate that word generally!) rather than the desire to push the team onwards. They just loved being involved in racing, but the competitive fire had gone out.

#35 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:08

On the other hand, more than once I wondered how the team managed to survive their frequent "un-sponsored" seasons and still be usually reasonable competitive though. Did they have some hidden money reserve or how for example could they design, build and run new and quite competitive cars in the 1989 season?


There were some benefactors, but I suppose that part of the incoming money in the good years was salted away for use in the unsponsored years. It's as if KT knew he'd never get out of the feast / famine cycle.

Just such a year was probably 1989, coming after two years of DG sponsorship. However, the competitiveness that year was due to hiring Harvey Postlethwaite and Jean-Claude Migeot in mid 1988, massively upgrading the team's engineering and aero programs. Add Alesi in to the mix mid-89 and we were on our way... for the next 18 months anyway. Then it started to fall apart again, which is where this thread started.

Edited by Nigel Beresford, 05 November 2012 - 10:09.


#36 Ibsey

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 15:37

Yes, there were all sorts of stories - wouldn't sleep with his feet towards the hotel room door (or was it the other way around?), insisted on getting in to the car from the same side, insisted on doing up his own belts. I can't be doing with all that rubbish so I haven't retained it in my memory, though I think I vaguely recall the latter one about the belts being true.

I wouldn't say he was temperamental really. His mrs. used to give us a harder time!


There's a pretty amusing story in Martin Brundle's book 'Working the Wheel' about one occasion in 1989, where IIRC just before pre-qualifying, Modena walked into the garage & looked like he'd seen a ghost. Because his car was on the wrong side of the garage. So he insisted that the team move his car & equipment to the correct side. Which they had only just about managed to do before the start of pre-qualifying.

Nigel really been enjoying reading your great insightful posts here. If its not too much trouble I wondered if you could tell us to what extent did Alesi's Williams & Ferrari negotiation saga adversely affecting his & Tyrell's performances, from mid 1990 onwards. And to what extent did other factors like...Tyrell lack of development, perhaps due to their small budget. Especially in comparison to the main teams, particularly Williams & Benetton. Or the power tracks like Sliverstone, Hockenhiem, Spa & Monza not suiting Tyrell's V8 engine. Or the tyres...contribute towards this apparent performance drop off?

Also, again if its not too much trouble, did things like Alesi spin possibility as a result of his extreme setup at Monza 1990, (i.e. running such skinny wings - even by Monza's standards!) or his crash at Suzuka in 1990. Or IIRC his crash in a free practice session in Australia 1990 - where Ken Tyrell made him test the brakes for the majority of the 2nd Quali session as punishment, cause any friction within the team?

In fact if its not asking to much from you how supportive Ken was towards his drivers when you were at the team?

I ask this, because I've always had the impression (rightly or wrongly), that Ken was maybe a bit too hard on his drivers in his latter years. Which surprises me, considering the great relationship he developed with JYS. Not to mention the great relationship he was looking to build with Cevert, before his tragic demise.

My impression of Ken being too hard on his drivers is formed from reading Brundle's book, where for example he stated how Ken made him wait right up until a deadline date to confirm the Tyrrell drive. Therefore Brundle didn't know if he needed to look elsewhere or not? Also Brundle also states how he was shown things like gearboxes after the race & received a telling off from Ken. Who would say things like 'do you know how much these cost? can you be a bit easier on them in future'. Similarly I've heard Murray Walker say in his commentaries how Ken Tyrrell would get angry at his drivers whenever they moved over to allow the leaders to lap them (Ken's view was it was up to the leaders to find their way past you).

Apologies if I am asking too much here (& I completely understand if I am), but would really love to hear your insights into these points.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Ibsey, 05 November 2012 - 16:29.


#37 mfd

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 16:18

Similarly I've heard Murray Walker say in his commentaries how Ken Tyrrell would get angry at his drivers

Known as the "froth jobs" I believe.
and for Nigel, I imagine for your comment about nepotism, you mean Son Bob?

#38 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 17:47

Known as the "froth jobs" I believe.
and for Nigel, I imagine for your comment about nepotism, you mean Son Bob?


Well, it was a carefully selected noun.

Edited by Nigel Beresford, 05 November 2012 - 17:48.


#39 mfd

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 18:20

Well, it was a carefully selected noun.

I understand...I do recall talking to someone in the first full Alesi year who was seconded from McLaren to work on commercial stuff. That didn't last long.

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#40 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 19:32

to what extent did Alesi's Williams & Ferrari negotiation saga adversely affecting his & Tyrell's performances, from mid 1990 onwards. And to what extent did other factors like...Tyrell lack of development, perhaps due to their small budget. Especially in comparison to the main teams, particularly Williams & Benetton. Or the power tracks like Sliverstone, Hockenhiem, Spa & Monza not suiting Tyrell's V8 engine. Or the tyres...contribute towards this apparent performance drop off?

I don't recall feeling that we were being hurt by lack of development in the second half of 1990. Development rates at that time were very slow in comparison to today, but that's because budgets and teams were much smaller and the technology didn't exist (or wasn't yet available) to achieve the rates of today. For example, we didn't have an in-house capability for machining patterns for composite components - we had three (super) ex BAE patternmakers who shaped everything by hand. We didn't have a solid-modeller based CAD program for making things via Direct Numerical Control, and there was no stereolithography or other rapid prototyping processes. You play to your strengths and cut your cloth accordingly, so the emphasis was put on refining the wind tunnel testing processes, and on developing the aeromapping capability (the computer program which we used to predict and adjust the aero performance of the car at the track). Similarly I don't think Pirelli lost their way particularly. Any relative downturn in performance in the second half of the year was probably due to the type of tracks not really suiting our engine package (as you've highlighted), although Brian Hart certainly was continuously pulling rabbits out of the hat, with different exhaust systems for example. Jean seemed to become increasingly keen to impress, and became prone to getting tangled up with people - he collided with Martini in Hungary, and was put out of the race by Berger in Spain.

Also, again if its not too much trouble, did things like Alesi spin possibility as a result of his extreme setup at Monza 1990, (i.e. running such skinny wings - even by Monza's standards!) or his crash at Suzuka in 1990. Or IIRC his crash in a free practice session in Australia 1990 - where Ken Tyrell made him test the brakes for the majority of the 2nd Quali session as punishment, cause any friction within the team?

Alesi's accident at Suzuka wasn't his fault - the steering column failed. The Monza "off" was just due to Jean overdriving, trying to keep up with the more powerful cars. There was nothing wrong with the wing - it was typical of the kind of wing run at that time at those circuits. To paraphrase Raikkonen, Migeot knew what he was doing. There wasn't any friction in the team - it was a fantastic group.

In fact if its not asking to much from you how supportive Ken was towards his drivers when you were at the team?

I ask this, because I've always had the impression (rightly or wrongly), that Ken was maybe a bit too hard on his drivers in his latter years. Which surprises me, considering the great relationship he developed with JYS. Not to mention the great relationship he was looking to build with Cevert, before his tragic demise.

My impression of Ken being too hard on his drivers is formed from reading Brundle's book, where for example he stated how Ken made him wait right up until a deadline date to confirm the Tyrrell drive. Therefore Brundle didn't know if he needed to look elsewhere or not? Also Brundle also states how he was shown things like gearboxes after the race & received a telling off from Ken. Who would say things like 'do you know how much these cost? can you be a bit easier on them in future'. Similarly I've heard Murray Walker say in his commentaries how Ken Tyrrell would get angry at his drivers whenever they moved over to allow the leaders to lap them (Ken's view was it was up to the leaders to find their way past you).

I think the picture that is painted here of Ken somehow being a frothing, raging maniac is very unfair and inaccurate, and I would be certain that's not the message Brundle is trying to deliver. Ken was an English gentleman. I, personally, went through a very similar gearbox conversation with Ken at the end of 1990. One of my jobs was to predict gear ratio requirements, but of course in those pre-simulation days one couldn't be pin-point accurate on what would be required at a given race meeting, so you'd need, say, two ratios each side of the gear ratio you were expecting to use. So, for a two car team you'd need, say, six examples of each of five ratios for, say, third to sixth gear. Factor in, too, that Hewland didn't have this stuff on the shelf - you had to order months in advance. This is a roundabout way of saying that at the end of the 1990 season we had a very significant unused gear inventory which was now useless because we were switching to Xtrac internals for 1991. Ken called me in to his office, leaned forward over his desk and passed a (long) list of unused gears to me, saying "have you any idea how much that cost?". I remember mumbling something about it being what we'd needed for the Japan/Australia fly-away. He didn't say anything else - just said "Okay, you can go". Hardly a raging froth job - he'd made a fair point but I think he understood how it had come about. In truth, I don't recall Ken ever being angry with a driver in public or private. The closest I personally witnessed was at one particular race. Ken was so unimpressed by the performance of one driver that he decided he wasn't going to stand around in the rain and cold watching it any longer. This was the only time I ever remember him leaving the track before the end of the race. He turned and said "I want you, no... I'm INSTRUCTING you... to tell (insert driver name) that that was the most pathetic display I've ever seen.", before walking off the pit wall and out the back of the garage. After the race the driver was getting changed in the back of the truck, and I was the only other person there. "Where's Ken?". "Well, he left, but he told me to tell you...."


Edited by Nigel Beresford, 05 November 2012 - 19:56.


#41 Ibsey

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 13:49

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply Nigel. :)

#42 funformula

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 21:16

The closest I personally witnessed was at one particular race. Ken was so unimpressed by the performance of one driver that he decided he wasn't going to stand around in the rain and cold watching it any longer. This was the only time I ever remember him leaving the track before the end of the race. He turned and said "I want you, no... I'm INSTRUCTING you... to tell (insert driver name) that that was the most pathetic display I've ever seen.", before walking off the pit wall and out the back of the garage. After the race the driver was getting changed in the back of the truck, and I was the only other person there. "Where's Ken?". "Well, he left, but he told me to tell you...."


I donĀ“t want to name a driver here, but I guess Ken Tyrrell went to his own house rather than in a hotel that day ;)

Edited by funformula, 09 November 2012 - 21:18.