“He Lived and Breaths McLaren”, is how Ron Dennis described Tyler Alexander, who died at the age of 75. In a tribute the McLaren team boss said, “Tyler was one of the finest old school: hardy, humble and wise, leaving a reputation and legacy that will remain indelible in the history of international motorsport”.
He went on to say, “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 or working with some of the greatest drivers and engineers in Formula One”.
“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 many friends and ever-loving companion, Jane Nottage, who always stood by him, valiant to the very end”.
Tyler Alexander alongside Bruce McLaren and Teddy Mayer, started the McLaren Formula One team way back in 1963. Alex worked through the ranks from the post of chief mechanic to chief engineer before becoming the director of the company. Alexander also handled the CanAM sportscar championship and Indycar racing championships before returning to Formula One in the late 1970s.
After Bruce McLaren died in a crash during testing in 1970, Ron Dennis took over the reins of McLaren along with Mayer. Alexander, after a couple of years sold his shares to Dennis, left McLaren and joined Mayer in running an Indycar team in the US. Ron Dennis brought him back into Formula One in 1989 and continued to work at McLaren till his demise.
He has seen McLaren win six drivers and five constructors’ world championship titles with the likes of Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton. In 2008, before retiring, he attended every Grand Prix that season and played an important part in securing Lewis Hamilton and the team a championship title.