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Toleman
Toleman logo.png
Full name Toleman Motorsport
Base Witney, Oxfordshire, UK
Founder(s) Ted Toleman
Noted staff Alex Hawkridge
Rory Byrne
Pat Symonds
John Gentry
Noted drivers Teo Fabi
Stefan Johansson
Ayrton Senna
Derek Warwick
Formula One World Championship career
Debut 1981 San Marino Grand Prix
Races competed 70 (57 starts)
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0
Race victories 0
Pole positions 1
Fastest laps 2
Final race 1985 Australian Grand Prix

Toleman Motosport was a Formula One constructor based in the UK. It was active between 1981 and 1985 and attended 70 Grands Prix.

Contents

Origins

In the 1970s, businessman and motorsport fan Ted Toleman began his involvement in various car racing formulae in the UK. He was also noted for his involvement in off-shore powerboat racing.[1] In 1977, Toleman entered an eponymous team in British Formula Ford 2000. By 1978, he was running a March chassis for Rad Dougall in British Formula Two. During that year, Toleman hired former Royale designer Rory Byrne but continued to use customer chassis in 1979, purchasing a pair of Ralts (RT2s) and engines from Brian Hart. Rad Dougall was joined by Brian Henton in the expanded team. Henton finished second in that year's championship standings.[2]

Formula One

Toleman's entry to Formula One was announced in November 1980. Discussions took place with Lancia over the supply of a turbocharged engine, but the team decided to use a turbocharged version of the Hart F2 engine. By that time, Formula One was beginning to be dominated by turbo-powered cars, leaving the naturally aspirated engines lagging behind.

The Rory Byrne-designed TG181 was an overweight and underpowered car. Brian Henton and Derek Warwick failed to qualify until Henton made the cut for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September. Warwick also qualified only once; at the season-closing Caesars Palace Grand Prix. In 1982, upgraded TG181s were used by Warwick and newcomer Teo Fabi until the carbon-composite T183 was ready in August. The T183 was used in only two Grands Prix but did allow Warwick to record the first of Toleman's fastest laps in the Dutch GP.

In 1983, the T183 showed improved form thanks to a major update. Derek Warwick was retained, while Teo Fabi was replaced by Bruno Giacomelli. The budget increased as Toleman's current sponsor - white goods manufacturer Candy - was joined by Magirus and BP. Warwick achieved Toleman's first points finish in the Dutch GP and scored again in the remaining three Grands Prix. These results placed Toleman 9th in the constructors' championship standings.

Ayrton Senna's debut

Ayrton Senna's Toleman TG184 car, with which he took second place at the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix.

The driver line-up changed completely in 1984. Warwick's performances were rewarded with a Renault contract and his place was taken by Grand Prix debutant and future three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna, while Giacomelli's drive was taken by Venezuelan F2 driver Johnny Cecotto.

Senna quickly made an impression in Formula One and achieved Toleman's greatest result. In a rain-soaked Monaco GP, he finished in a close 2nd place behind Alain Prost. The torrential conditions forced the clerk of the course (Jacky Ickx) to stop the race after 31 of the scheduled 78 laps. It was a controversial decision that stirred up a conspiracy theory[3] and resulted in much debate about whether Senna would have won. Certainly, he had the pace to do so - he was catching Prost and was within seven seconds of the leading car when the red flag was waved - but passing at Monaco is another matter entirely. It has also been suggested that Senna's suspension was on the point of collapse after an earlier incident, and that both drivers would have been passed by Stefan Bellof's Tyrrell, closing on both. Nonetheless, it was a breakthrough performance.

Before the season was over, Senna signed a contract with Lotus while still legally bound to Toleman. In response, Toleman suspended him for the Italian GP and his place was taken by Stefan Johansson. During practice for the British GP, Cecotto crashed heavily and broke both legs. Toleman opted to run only one entry for Senna at Hockenheim, the Österreichring and Zandvoort. The second car returned at Monza with Pierluigi Martini standing in for the injured Cecotto, but he failed to qualify. In Senna's car, Johansson qualified 17th fastest and finished in 4th place. When Senna returned after his "penalty", he and Johansson finished the season together.

Tyre supply problems

During the off-season, Toleman ran into difficulties over tyre supply and was only able to compete in 1985 after Spirit folded, allowing Toleman to take over its Pirelli tyre supply. The roots of this situation lay in Toleman's decision to abandon Pirelli after the 1984 San Marino GP in response to Michelin and Goodyear's performance advantage. Toleman had already aggravated Goodyear with the same behaviour (that time in favour of Pirelli) in Formula Two, so Michelin was the only alternative. Michelin subsequently announced its withdrawal from F1 effective at the end of 1984, leaving Toleman with bridges to mend.[4]

As a result, it missed the first three Grands Prix and returned initially with only one entry. Johansson was to be retained with John Watson driving the second car, but the tyre supply issues prompted Johansson to drive for Tyrrell before replacing René Arnoux at Ferrari. The sole remaining entry was taken by returnee Teo Fabi until an increased budget allowed a second car at the Österreichring for former Osella driver Piercarlo Ghinzani.

That year's T185 was the first carbon monocoque to be fabricated in-house at the Witney factory.[2]

Change of ownership

In May 1985, Toleman acquired major sponsorship from the Benetton clothing company, which had previously sponsored Tyrrell and Alfa Romeo. During the 1985/86 off-season, the knitwear firm purchased the team and it was renamed Benetton Formula prior to the 1986 season. In March 2000 the team was purchased by the car manufacturer Renault and was renamed Renault F1 for the 2002 season.

Complete Formula One results

All chassis powered by versions of the Hart '415T' 1.5Ltr turbocharged 4-cylinder.

Year Chassis Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1981 TG181 P USW BRA ARG RSM BEL MON ESP FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN CPL 0 NC
B. Henton DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 10 DNQ DNQ
D. Warwick DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret
1982 TG181C P RSA BRA USW RSM BEL MON DET CAN NED GBR FRA GER AUT SUI ITA CPL 0 NC
D. Warwick Ret DNQ DNQ Ret Ret DNQ Ret Ret 15 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret
T. Fabi DNQ DNQ DNQ NC Ret DNQ DNQ Ret Ret DNQ Ret Ret Ret DNQ
1983 TG183
TG183B
P BRA USW FRA RSM MON BEL DET CAN GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR RSA 10 9th
D. Warwick 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret 7 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 4 6 5 4
B. Giacomelli Ret Ret 13 Ret DNQ 8 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 7 6 Ret
1984 TG183B
TG184
P


M

BRA RSA BEL RSM FRA MON CAN DET DAL GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR POR 16 7th
A. Senna Ret 6 6 DNQ Ret 2 7 Ret Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret Ret 3
J. Cecotto Ret Ret Ret NC Ret Ret 9 Ret Ret DNQ
S. Johansson 4 Ret 11
P. Martini DNQ
1985 TG185 P BRA POR RSM MON CAN DET FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA BEL EUR RSA AUS 0 NC
T. Fabi Ret Ret Ret 14 Ret Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret
P. Ghinzani DNS Ret DNS Ret Ret Ret Ret

References

External links

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