“Tyrrell: The story of the Tyrrell Racing Organisation” reviewed

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Let’s start with the disclaimer: Tyrrell were always ‘my’ team, making me the absolute target audience for this book.

For the (outrageously) uninitiated Tyrrell were the quintessential independent Formula 1 team. From early successes and three world championship in partnership (initially) with Matra and Jackie Stewart, via Derek Gardener’s six wheeler, and into a difficult 1980s and 1990s that wasn’t without its Cinderella moments – the Tyrrell story is entertaining in its own right, and also perfectly frames Formula 1’s evolution into a multi-billion dollar business.

Balancing a coffee table format, lavish illustration (over 500 pictures), and the need to tell a 40-plus year story in a few hundred pages, Richard Jenkins does a brilliant job of pulling it all together. It would be tempting to focus on the Tyrrell story up to the retirement of the six-wheeler at the end of 1977, but instead the book is superbly paced, offering as much insight into later struggles as on the glory days.

The joy of Tyrrell is that the team was always about the racing, and that is largely the focus of the book – with extensive contributions from almost all surviving Tyrrell drivers and technical staff – securing this array of interviews (including the scarcely heard from Mike Thackwell) is an achievement in itself.

Alboreto gave Tyrrell their final win 40 years ago
That said – and bearing in mind my ideal length for this book was 3,000 pages – I would have liked a bit more on the business side of the team, having a bit more of a breakdown of latter year budgets, prize money and general logistical considerations.

Jenkins does a good job of not weighing in, when it would have been easy to express an opinion – for example both sides of the 1984 technical disqualification are put forward, and there are other occasions where Ken Tyrrell’s stubbornness had me gnashing my teeth in frustration (just buy a hospitality motorhome!). That said no punches are pulled or egos spared – there is unusual honesty from contributors about the capabilities of the drivers who passed through the team.

Most importantly the atmosphere and tone of the team is captured perfectly, Tyrrell was a one-off – a championship-winning Formula 1 team that felt like a family. For myself and many, many, others the Tyrrell ethos made supporting Formula 1 personal and relatable. It is extremely unlikely that we’ll see the likes of Tyrrell in Formula 1 again, and more’s the pity.

RaceFans rating

Rating four out of five

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Tyrrell: The story of the Tyrrell Racing Organisation

Author: Richard Jenkins
Publisher: Evro
Published: 2023
Pages: 464
Price: £90.00
ISBN: 9781910505670


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Ben Evans
Motorsport commentator Ben is RaceFans' resident bookworm. Look out for his verdict on the latest motor racing publications on Sundays....

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7 comments on ““Tyrrell: The story of the Tyrrell Racing Organisation” reviewed”

  1. “It is extremely unlikely that we’ll see the likes of Tyrrell in Formula 1 again, and more’s the pity.”

    This is the sad thing. How many books are going to be written about the teams from the last 10 years? There’s going to be no books to review! F1’s current hegemony has made it a rather grey affair. No rags to riches, no characters building teams from the ground up, no new teams fulls stop. It’s such a shame. It’s the nature of the beast, but man you’re never getting another Tyrell, Toleman, Lotus etc… ever again.

  2. Why it’s so expensive really?

    1. Expensive to make. Author has to be paid. Sales will not be massive. So the price reflects that.

    2. Richard Jenkins
      13th August 2023, 13:01

      Thanks for the kind review, Ben.

      Chris, there a couple of alternate options if it helps. You can pay in 3 instalments on the Evro website or Amazon has it for £60.
      Unfortunately, like everything, costs for publishing and printing have gone up. To do a smaller book wouldn’t have done Tyrrell justice, there was double the amount to cover for the new Benetton book, for example, which is £60.
      Hopefully there will be other offers in time.

    3. It’s currently £67 on Amazon (UK)…

      1. Yeah i saw that thx.

        Guys its not that the book is not good, i will buy it either way i just thought it was on the expensive side.

  3. Looks like a great book. Definitely want to add it to my collection. Only witnessed the last few years of Tyrrell before it became BAR. Love these kind of books with the history of a team especially when you get the inside stories from people working or driving for the team – looking forward to reading it.

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