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McLaren stalwart Tyler Alexander passes away aged 75

McLaren stalwart Tyler Alexander passes away aged 75

Tyler Alexander, one of the founding fathers of the McLaren Formula 1 team, has passed away at the age of 75, the Woking outfit has confirmed.

The American, who originally joined the team as a mechanic to work alongside founder Bruce McLaren in 1963, quickly rose through the ranks.

He worked originally on McLaren's CanAm and USAC racing programmes before returning to Europe to help as the outfit set its focus on F1.

After playing a senior role at the team for more than two decades, he left it in 1982 for an IndyCar effort with former McLaren team principal Teddy Mayer, before they briefly switched their focus to the Beatrice F1 team.

Alexander later spent time running BMW's IMSA operations before being recalled to McLaren to head up special projects – prior to retiring before the 2009 season.

He recently wrote a photographic book 'McLaren from the Inside' which combined his passions for motor racing and photography.

Dennis pays tribute

Reacting to news of Alexander's passing away, McLaren chairman Ron Dennis said: “Alongside Bruce McLaren, who founded the McLaren company in 1963, Tyler Alexander was one of the first pillars of our company – working hard alongside Bruce from the very earliest days – and Bruce couldn’t have asked for a sturdier pair of shoulders upon which to help build the team’s reputation.

“Tyler's expert yet practical expertise, coupled with his energetic and optimistic attitude, topped off by his infectiously dry and satirical sense of humour, made him both highly successful and hugely popular, whether he was overseeing car-builds in the team's workshop, running race-winning CanAm and Indy 500 crews, or working with some of the world’s greatest drivers and engineers in Formula 1.

“Quite simply, Tyler lived and breathed McLaren – and, following his retirement in late 2008, during which season he attended every grand prix and played an important part in securing the team's and Lewis Hamilton's world championship success, he remained a much loved and greatly valued chum to many of us, regularly visiting our Woking factory to catch up with pals old and new. 

"Tyler's was a friendship that you could really rely upon; he was a man who would never let you down.

“In fact, Tyler was one of the finest of the old school: hardy, humble and wise, leaving a reputation and a legacy that will remain indelible in the history of international motorsport.

“So, on behalf of all at McLaren, I’d like to pay heartfelt tribute to one of our team’s founding fathers, and to offer our deepest condolences to his many friends and his ever-loving companion, Jane Nottage, who has always stood by him, valiant to the very end."

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A charming man: Tyler Alexander’s reflections on McLaren

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Jonathan Noble