Tyrrell 012

Tyrrell 012

The Tyrrell 012 is a Formula One racing car that was designed by Maurice Philippe for the Tyrrell team. It was introduced for the F1|1983 season, and was subsequently used in F1|1984 and the first few races of F1|1985. It was the first chassis built by the team to be composed mostly of carbon fibre, following on from Lotus and McLaren. The car was powered by the short stroke version of the Ford Cosworth DFV that had previously been supplied to Lotus, after that team signed to use Renault turbo engines. The Benetton clothing company sponsored the team in 1983, with the large budget used to successfully develop the car. Although the car was light and nimble, it was no match against the massively powerful turbo cars.

Ken Tyrrell continued to use young, promising drivers in his team and helped develop their careers. Michele Alboreto, in his second year for the team, scored a point in the car's first race at Zandvoort.

For 1984, Alboreto moved on to Ferrari and was replaced by Martin Brundle, whilst Stefan Bellof filled the other seat. The 012 was further developed with smaller sidepods and a larger rear wing to increase downforce. A newer version of the DFV, dubbed the DFY was provided to the team by Ford. Tyrrell were now the only one of the established teams to use the venerable engine. Brundle and Bellof drove excellently, achieving solid placings and a podium place each, but after Brundle's second place in the United States Grand Prix the FIA discovered that the team had been running their cars underweight in races and had been using ball bearings in the water tanks to bring the car up to the minimum weight requirement. The FIA chose to disqualify the team's points for the season.

The 012 was pressed into service in the early races of 1985 and Bellof pulled off a run of points finishes until the 014 Renault turbo was introduced; its chassis almost identical to its predecessor's. The 012 does, however, have the distinction of being the last Formula 1 car to enter a race powered by the Cosworth DFV engine, with Martin Brundle driving in the 1985 Austrian Grand Prix.

The 012 was Tyrrell's last truly competitive and consistent car the team built, and is still a familiar sight in historical racing series around the world.

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