Tyrrell 003 and Jackie Stewart Were the Perfect Match
The Tyrrell 003 was the Jackie Stewart‘s car in 1971 Formula 1 World Championship when he won his second title.
Secret plan with little chance of success
Tyrrell team has always worked on a very tight budget but when the team owner Ken Tyrrell was unhappy with a March chassis used in 1970, he decided to invest some of his own money and to design a new chassis and the new car for the 1971 championship. The project was secret and Derek Gardner (who was a designer) had to work at his home and had only six months to create a new car. He was a relatively inexperienced designer who never did anything similar to this, so he started with a blank sheet of paper.
Once they got to the construction stage the project was moved into a woodshed at Tyrrell’s lumber yard in Surrey which was a perfect place to keep their work secret. Finally, the new car, named Tyrrell 001, was revealed at Ford’s exhibition room in London, in August of 1970. Just six days after, the new car made its debut in the non-championship race at Oulton Park. Tyrrell 001 was fast, very fast, but the reliability wasn’t at required level.
The 003 was redesigned Tyrrell 001
Over the winter break, development continued and one of the new cars was ready for the 1971 Formula 1 World Championship opening race at Kyalami in South Africa. The redesigned 001 became known as Tyrrell 002 and 003. Those were the chassis numbers and Stewart had an exclusive use of Tyrrell 003 and Francois Cevert competed with the Tyrrell 002.
The 002 and 003 were the same cars as Tyrrell 001 but with redesigned nose section, narrower monocoque, and a longer wheelbase. Ken Tyrrell invested a total of 22.500 pounds in the project of the new cars which was one of the best investments in his life.
Jackie Stewart was dominant in Tyrrell 003
Jackie Stewart finished 2nd in the 1971 season-opening race in South Africa but he was driving the old Tyrrell 001. For the rest of the season, the Scottish driver drove Tyrrell 003 and won his second title. In the first race with the new car, the Spanish Grand Prix, Stewart won after a very close battle with Jacky Ickx. In the next race, the Grand Prix of Monaco, Jackie had a much easier task and scored another win, starting from pole position.
The winning streak has ended in the Dutch Grand Prix in which Stewart was only the 11th, but that was only a moment of weakness. The Scot returned to the winning path in the French Grand Prix, held at the new Circuit Paul Ricard. Starting from pole position, he scored first out of three consecutive wins, while Tyrrell’s triumph was crowned with the second place won by Francois Cevert.
After the race in France, Stewart triumphed in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and later in the German Grand Prix at Nurburgring where he started from pole position. Jackie looked unstoppable at the moment and many other teams were trying to emulate the design of his car, but their attempts were unsuccessful. The car he had was good, but the other drivers weren’t at Stewart’s level at the moment.
Jackie easily clinched the title
Jackie failed to finish the following two races in Austria and Italy because of the half shaft and engine failures. However, his lead in the Drivers’ championship wasn’t affected and he already had a secured championship title. Stewart won the Canadian Grand Prix starting from pole position, while in the final race of the season, the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, he finished 5th.
At the end of the campaign, Jackie had 62 points on his account, while Cevert finished 3rd, helping Tyrrell team to win its first and only Constructors’ championship title.
Good results in 1972
Stewart drove Tyrrell 003 in six races of 1972 Formula 1 World Championship. The car still was good enough and he won the Grand Prix in Argentina and France, while at Brands Hatch he was 2nd. Later in the season, the team switched to Tyrrell 004 and 005 but Stewart couldn’t defend his crown and finished the season as a vice-champion, losing to Emerson Fittipaldi.
In total, Jackie Stewart drove Tyrrell 003 in 16 races during 1971 and 1972, scoring 8 wins, 6 pole positions, and 5 fastest laps.
In 1971, it was proved that Ford engine was still very good. Derek Gardner proved that he is a fair designer, while Stewart was without any doubt the best driver on the grid. But the most important factor was Ken Tyrrell himself. The passion and perfectionism he had could hardly be matched with anyone’s in the history of Formula 1.
Tyrrell 003 technical specifications
Chassis: Aluminium monocoque
Length: 4200 mm
Height: 920 mm
Weight: 548 kg
Wheelbase: 2540 mm
Track (front): 1470 mm
Suspension (front and rear): Double wishbones, coil springs
Engine: Ford – Cosworth DFV, 2993 cc, V8, mid-mounted at 90 degrees, naturally aspirated
Transmission: Hewland FG400 5-speed manual
Fuel tanks capacity: 210 l