Tyrrell 003

Tyrrell 003

by Luca Dal Monte

The Tyrrell 003 is the second model in the then still short history of Ken Tyrrell’s British team. At the end of 1969, Tyrrell ended its long relationship with Matra and, after a brief collaboration with March, became a full-fledged constructor. Designed by English engineer Derek Gardner, the 003 model is the natural evolution of the 001 with which the new team debuted in the World Championship at the 1970 Canadian Grand Prix.

Compared to the 001 model, the 003 features a differently designed nose, an elongated wheelbase, and a narrower chassis. Interestingly, the 003 is the exact same car designated as the 002, built as a single unit. The only difference is the pedal placement closer to the seat due to Jackie Stewart’s smaller stature compared to his taller teammate, Frenchman Fran├žois Cevert. In the 1971 and 1972 seasons, Cevert always raced with the 002, while Stewart used the 003.

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Jackie Stewart: Behind the wheel of the Tyrrell 003, in 1971 Scottish driver Jackie Stewart is virtually unbeatable. Jackie wins the Spanish Grand Prix, where the 003 makes its debut, and then Monaco, France, Great Britain, Germany, and Canada, in a season that effectively has no competition, leading him to clinch the world championship for the second time. In the 1972 season, he will win two more races with the 003, in Argentina and France.

Francois Cevert: Driving the model designated as 002 in 1971, young French driver Fran├žois Cevert achieves his only Formula 1 victory with a win in the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. In the same season, he also secures two second places in France and Germany and a third place in Monza. Like his teammate, there will be very few satisfactions in the 1972 season, when he scores points only twice and achieves his best result with a second-place finish in Belgium.

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Powered by the three-litre, 8-cylinder Ford Cosworth engine, the Tyrrell 003 is a rather conventional car. But in a world of experimenters, as was the Formula 1 of the very early 1970s, its fundamental solidity proves to be winning. After finishing second on its debut at the 1971 South African Grand Prix, the Tyrrell 003 collected a total of seven victories that season and three other podiums, leading Jackie Stewart to his second world title and Tyrrell to its first Constructors’ Championship. Also fielded in 1972, despite two victories by Stewart, the 003 (as well as the 002) would lose the edge shown in the previous season.

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