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

Toleman logo
Full nameToleman Motorsport
BaseWitney, Oxfordshire, UK
Founder(s)Ted Toleman
Alex Hawkridge
Noted staffRoger Silman
George McAllister
Rory Byrne
Pat Symonds
John Gentry
Christopher Witty
Noted driversUnited Kingdom Brian Henton
United Kingdom Derek Warwick
Italy Teo Fabi
Italy Bruno Giacomelli
Brazil Ayrton Senna
Venezuela Johnny Cecotto
Sweden Stefan Johansson
Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani
Next nameBenetton Formula
Formula One World Championship career
First entry1981 San Marino Grand Prix
Races entered70 (57 starts)
0 (best finish: 7th, 1984)
Race victories0 (best finish: 2nd, 1984 Monaco Grand Prix)
Pole positions1
Fastest laps2
Final entry1985 Australian Grand Prix


The Toleman company was formed in 1926 by Edward Toleman for the purpose of delivering Ford cars from their factory in Old Trafford, Manchester. Within two years, the company moved to Dagenham, London, along with the Ford factory before settling in Brentwood, Essex. In the 1950s, Edward's son Albert took over the reins of the company. In 1966, Albert died leaving his elder son Ted as the chairman with the younger son Bob becoming joint managing director.[1]

In the 1970s, Ted and Alex began their involvement in various car racing formulae in the UK. Ted was also noted for his involvement in off-shore powerboat racing.[2] In 1977, Toleman Motorsport entered an eponymous team in British Formula Ford 2000. By 1978, they were running a March chassis for Rad Dougall in British Formula Two. During that year, Toleman MD Alex Hawkridge 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 2nd in that year's championship standings.[3] The following year the team built their own chassis designed by Rory Byrne and John Gentry based on the Ralt. Powered again by Hart engines, running on Pirelli tyres, supported by BP and driven by Henton and Derek Warwick, the team finished 1st and 2nd in the European Formula 2 Championship.

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 Toleman 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 Las Vegas. In 1982, upgraded TG181Cs were used by Warwick and newcomer Teo Fabi until the carbon-composite Toleman TG183 was ready in late August. The TG183 was used in only two Grands Prix (Italy and Las Vegas) but Warwick did record the first of Toleman's fastest laps in the Dutch GP in a TG181C running on low fuel and soft tyres.

In 1983, the TG183B 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 – Italian white goods manufacturer Candy – was joined by Iveco brand Magirus and BP. Warwick achieved Toleman's first points finish in the Dutch Grand Prix and scored again in the remaining three Grands Prix. These results placed Toleman 9th in the constructors' championship standings.

Ayrton Senna's debut

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

The driver line-up changed completely in 1984. Warwick's performances were rewarded when he signed a contract with the factory Renault team, and his place was taken by the reigning British Formula 3 Champion and Formula One rookie (and future triple World Champion) Ayrton Senna, while Giacomelli's drive was taken by Venezuelan F2 driver and former dual Grand Prix Motorcycle World Champion Johnny Cecotto.

Senna's first ever Formula One Grand Prix was the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix held at the Jacarepaguá Circuit in Rio de Janeiro on 25 March. Driving the 1983 car due to the TG184 not being ready, Senna qualified in 17th position (Cecotto qualified 18th). However, Senna's car was the first to retire in the 1984 season, after he was forced to pull out after 8 laps with turbo failure. Cecotto also retired with turbo failure 10 laps later.

Later in a rain-soaked Monaco GP (Rd.6), Senna finished in a close 2nd place behind Alain Prost, whose McLaren MP4/2 was suffering from a brake balance problem that Prost reported was getting worse with each lap. In the wet conditions the McLaren's carbon front brakes were not generating heat and, as a result, were locking up with increasing regularity over the last few laps. This led the Frenchman, who had re-taken the lead on lap 15 following Nigel Mansell's crash, to drive slower and slower. 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 as Ickx had not consulted the race stewards before holding out the red flag, and one that stirred up a conspiracy theory.[4][5] Prost's McLaren was powered by the Porsche designed TAG engine and Ickx was the lead driver for the factory backed Rothmans Porsche Group C Sports car team, and it was rumored that the Belgian had stopped the race to ensure the Porsche engined car won. The early stopping of the race resulted in much debate about whether Senna would have won. It was also reported by Toleman that Senna's suspension was on the point of collapse after an earlier incident and his consistent running over the curbs at the Chicane du Port, with the team believing that the damage was sufficient to cause his retirement within 2-3 laps of when competition was halted. Senna set the fastest lap of the race, his first in Formula One, but wasn't the quickest on the circuit at the time of the red flag. Catching both Prost and Senna was the Cosworth powered Tyrrell of West German driver Stefan Bellof who, while finishing third on the road, was later disqualified when the entire Tyrrell team was disqualified from the 1984 season due to technical infringements.

During practice for the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, Cecotto crashed heavily and broke both legs, ending his F1 career, though he would go on to have a touring car career. Toleman opted to run only one entry - Senna - in Germany at Hockenheim, the Austrian Grand Prix at the Österreichring and Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

However, before the Dutch Grand Prix, it emerged that Senna had signed a contract with Lotus despite having two years to run on his current deal. Although he had included a line in his Toleman contract allowing him to legally sever ties with the team should a better offer come along, Senna had failed to invoke this clause because he hadn't informed team principal Alex Hawkridge of the Lotus deal. He was subsequently suspended for the following race in Italy.

Toleman entered two cars again for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but local driver Pierluigi Martini - deputising for Cecotto - failed to qualify for the race. In Senna's car was Stefan Johansson, who qualified 17th fastest and finished in 4th place. When Senna returned after his "penalty", he and Johansson finished the season together.

Senna ended the year with three podiums during the season, finishing third at the British Grand Prix behind Niki Lauda's McLaren and Warwick's Renault, while he finished off the season with a third (after qualifying a then career best 3rd) in the final round in Portugal behind the dominant McLarens of race winner Prost and World Champion Lauda.

Early in the 1984 season, Ayrton Senna recorded his only failure to qualify for a Formula One Grand Prix. At round four of the championship, the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, Toleman decided not to run their cars during Friday qualifying after to a dispute with tyre supplier Pirelli. Senna then suffered a fuel pressure problem in the wet Saturday session which left him stranded on the far side of the circuit between Tosa and Piratella. He was unable to make it back to the pits in time to qualify for the race, his best time of 1:41.585 being 13.068 seconds slower than the time defending World Champion Nelson Piquet had set in his Brabham-BMW to claim pole while being 2.637 seconds slower than 26th and last qualifier Jo Gartner.

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 Grand Prix in response to Michelin and Goodyear's performance advantage. Due to the dispute, Toleman had opted to sit out the first day of qualifying at Imola and this, along with a fuel pressure problem on his Hart powered TG184 in the final session resulted in Ayrton Senna not qualifying for a Grand Prix for the only time in his career. Toleman had already aggravated Goodyear with the same behaviour (that time in favour of Pirelli) in Formula Two, so Michelin was the only alternative. When Michelin subsequently announced its withdrawal from F1 effective at the end of 1984, it left Toleman with bridges to mend.[6]

The bridge with Pirelli wasn't mended in the off-season and as a result, it missed the first three Grands Prix. It was only after the team's new sponsor Benetton purchased Spirit Racing and transferred its Pirelli contract to Toleman did the team return, 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 in Brazil as a replacement for the suspended Stefan Bellof, before replacing René Arnoux at Ferrari from round two in Portugal (where Ayrton Senna scored his maiden Grand Prix win). 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, who got the drive as Watson reportedly wanted payment for the full season, even though he would have only driven for less than half of that. Pole position at the Nürburgring in the hands of Teo Fabi was the highlight of the season.

That year's T185 was the first carbon monocoque to be fabricated in-house at the Witney factory.[3]

Change of ownership

In May 1985, Toleman acquired major sponsorship from the Benetton clothing company, which had previously sponsored Tyrrell and were at the time the major sponsor of the Alfa Romeo team. During the 1985/86 off-season, the knitwear firm purchased the team and it was renamed Benetton Formula prior to the 1986 season. The team, through numerous sales, became the Renault factory team in 2016.

Toleman continued to be involved in motor racing, increasingly with management rather than as competitors. As of 2010 this includes management of the Australian Mini Challenge one make series by Toleman Motorsport.[7]

Complete Formula One results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engines Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1982 TG181B
United Kingdom Derek Warwick Ret DNQ DNPQ Ret Ret DNQ Ret Ret 15 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret
Italy Teo Fabi DNQ DNQ DNQ NC Ret DNPQ DNQ Ret Ret DNQ Ret Ret Ret DNQ
1983 TG183
United Kingdom Derek Warwick 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret 7 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 4 6 5 4
Italy Bruno Giacomelli Ret Ret 13 Ret DNQ 8 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 7 6 Ret
1984 TG183B
Hart 415T 1.5 L4 t P
Brazil Ayrton Senna Ret 6 6 DNQ Ret 2 7 Ret Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret Ret 3
Sweden Stefan Johansson 4 Ret 11
Venezuela Johnny Cecotto Ret Ret Ret NC Ret Ret 9 Ret Ret DNQ
Italy Pierluigi Martini DNQ
Italy Teo Fabi Ret Ret Ret 14 Ret Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret
Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani DNS Ret DNS Ret Ret Ret Ret


  1. ^ Hilton p.8
  2. ^ "8W - When? - 1983 Race of Champions". 10 April 1983. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Toleman Motorsport Profile - Teams - GP Encyclopedia - F1 History on". 10 March 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  4. ^ Craig Normansell (24 May 2011). "Top 5 Monaco Grand Prix". Badger GP. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Monaco Grand Prix 1984 - Interview Ickx". Sportscars TV. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  6. ^ "MCZ F1 Teams: Toleman Info Page". Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  7. ^ Australian Mini Challenge under new management

Further reading

  • Christopher Hilton: The Toleman Story: The Last Romantics in Formula 1 (2010) ISBN 978-1-845842-17-8

External links

1980 European Formula Two Championship

The 1980 European Formula Two season was contested over 12 rounds. Toleman driver Brian Henton clinched the championship title.

1981 San Marino Grand Prix

The 1981 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Imola on 3 May 1981.

The race was the first to bear the title "San Marino Grand Prix", although the Imola circuit is in Italy and several non-championship Formula One races and the 1980 Italian Grand Prix had previously been held at the circuit. The Acque-Minerali chicane had been widened from the year before and was faster; the chicane in its original narrow configuration in 1980 was unpopular with drivers because it was very slow.

The Lotus team withdrew their entries because the FIA upheld the ban on the Lotus 88 and team owner Colin Chapman felt the 81s were no longer competitive.Didier Pironi held the lead until late in the race and was passed by Nelson Piquet, who eventually won the race. As well as being Michele Alboreto's Grand Prix debut, the race is also notable for the recovery of Gilles Villeneuve to seventh place, after misjudgement of tyre selection for the conditions. While the team did not qualify for the race, it was the first race entered by Toleman, which is now Renault Sport F1.

1984 British Grand Prix

The 1984 British Grand Prix (formally the XXXVII John Player British Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 22 July 1984 at Brands Hatch, Kent, England. It was race 10 of 16 in the 1984 Formula One World Championship. The 71-lap race was won by Austrian driver Niki Lauda in a McLaren-TAG, with local driver Derek Warwick second in a Renault and Brazilian Ayrton Senna third in a Toleman-Hart.

1984 Dutch Grand Prix

The 1984 Dutch Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Zandvoort on 26 August 1984. It was race 13 of 16 in the 1984 Formula One World Championship. The 71-lap race was won by Alain Prost, driving a McLaren-TAG, with teammate Niki Lauda second and Nigel Mansell third in a Lotus-Renault. The 1-2 finish secured the Constructors' Championship for McLaren, their first since 1974.

Before the race, it was rumoured that Ayrton Senna would break his contract with the Toleman team and join Lotus for 1985. When this move was announced two days after the race, Toleman management were angered as Senna had not informed them of his intentions, and as a result they suspended him from the next race in Italy. It was also correctly rumoured that, with Jacques Laffite already known to be leaving Williams at the end of the season to return to Ligier, team owner Frank Williams had signed Mansell for 1985 alongside Keke Rosberg.

1984 Italian Grand Prix

The 1984 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monza on 9 September 1984. It was race 14 of 16 in the 1984 Formula One World Championship.

The 51-lap race was won by Austrian Niki Lauda, driving a McLaren-TAG, with local drivers Michele Alboreto and Riccardo Patrese second and third in a Ferrari and an Alfa Romeo respectively. With teammate Alain Prost retiring, Lauda opened up a 10.5-point lead over the Frenchman in the Drivers' Championship.

1984 San Marino Grand Prix

The 1984 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Imola on 6 May 1984. It was race 4 of 16 in the 1984 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The 60-lap race was won by Alain Prost, driving a McLaren-TAG. René Arnoux finished second in a Ferrari, while Elio de Angelis was third in a Lotus-Renault, despite running out of fuel on the last lap.

A dispute between the Toleman team and tyre suppliers Pirelli resulted in Ayrton Senna failing to qualify, the only time this would happen in the Brazilian's F1 career.

Benetton B186

The Benetton B186 was the Formula One car built and raced by the Benetton team for the 1986 Formula One World Championship. It was the first car to be constructed and raced by Benetton, which had bought the Toleman team at the end of 1985 after several years of sponsoring it and other teams, including Alfa Romeo and Tyrrell.

The B186 was a competitive car: in the hands of drivers Gerhard Berger and Teo Fabi, it set two pole positions, three fastest laps, and was victorious at the 1986 Mexican Grand Prix.

The B186, along with the Brabham BT55, Arrows A9 and other BMW-engined cars in 1986 are the most powerful Grand Prix cars ever built. The B186 in particular, being the most competitive of the BMW engined cars that season could produce 1,350+ hp in qualifying trim, and about 900 hp in race trim.

Brian Henton

Brian Henton (born 19 September 1946 in Castle Donington, Leicestershire) is a former racing driver from England. He won both 1974 British Formula Three Championships and the 1980 European Formula Two Championship. He participated in 38 Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 19 July 1975, but never scored any championship points.

Henton (nicknamed "Superhen" in the British racing press) came from a modest council house background and did not start racing until he was 23. On winning the minor British Formula Vee championship in 1971, ever-conscious of the value of public relations, he announced that he was going to be World Champion. This aim eluded him, but he enjoyed a successful career in Formula Three and Formula Two.

Henton's F1 debut came in 1975 for Lotus, theoretically a good drive but the team was in turmoil with the Lotus 72 finally uncompetitive and its replacement the Lotus 76 a failure, so nothing concrete was achieved. Between 1975 and 1978 he mixed Formula One and Formula Two drives (including a spell in a private March for his own British Formula One Racing Team), never quite establishing himself in either category, but clinched the 1980 F2 championship for Toleman, who took him into F1 for 1981. The first Toleman-Hart was something of a disaster, overweight and underdeveloped, and Henton only managed to qualify once. Unfruitful outings for Arrows and Tyrrell in 1982 led to no more success.

Perhaps fittingly, his last Formula One outing was at the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in April 1983, which also turned out to be the last non-championship F1 race in the modern era.Following his retirement from the sport, he returned to running a car dealership and later moved into property development and in recent years has diversified into other areas, notably engineering. He has occasionally driven at historic events and holds equestrian events at his home in Ingarsby Hall, Leicestershire.

Derek Warwick

Derek Stanley Arthur Warwick (born 27 August 1954) is a British former racing driver from England, who lives in Jersey. He raced for many years in Formula One, collecting four podiums but never winning a Grand Prix. He did, however, win the 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans and 1992 World Sportscar Championship.

In 2005 and 2006 he raced in the inaugural season of the Grand Prix Masters formula for retired Formula One drivers. He has served as the fourth steward for three Grands Prix in 2010 and 2011. He is president of the British Racing Drivers Club, succeeding Damon Hill.

Formula One Constructors' Association

The Formula One Constructors' Association (FOCA) was an organization of the chassis builders (constructors) who design and build the cars that race in the FIA Formula One World Championship. It evolved from the earlier Formula 1 Constructors Association (F1CA; the name was changed due to unfortunate connotations in some languages) and came to be dominated by Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley (originally a co-founder of March Engineering). Frank Williams, Colin Chapman, Teddy Mayer, Ken Tyrrell were also significant members. FOCA served to represent the interests of their privately owned teams – usually against the race organisers and later against the manufacturer-owned or supported teams such as Ferrari, Matra and Alfa Romeo. Ecclestone became the organisation's chief executive in 1978, with Mosley taking on the role of legal advisor.

In the early 1980s, the organization fell out with the sport's governing body – the FISA. The eventual resolution of this conflict saw Ecclestone take a more significant role in the running of the sport with the formation of FOA (Formula One Administration).

Following the disqualification of Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg from the 1982 Brazilian Grand Prix, numerous FOCA-aligned teams including McLaren, Williams and Brabham boycotted the San Marino Grand Prix. Four FOCA-aligned teams – Tyrrell, Osella, ATS and Toleman – broke their stated boycott and started the race anyway.

Hart Racing Engines

Brian Hart Ltd., also known as Hart and Hart Racing Engines, was a motor racing engine manufacturer that participated in 157 Formula One Grands Prix, powering a total of 368 entries.

Founded in 1969 by British engineer Brian Hart, Hart initially concentrated on servicing and tuning engines from other manufacturers for various independent British teams at all levels of motorsport. Hart found particular success with developments of Ford's FVA engine, eventually leading the large multinational company to approach the small independent to develop the Ford BDA 1.6 L engine for the 2.0L class. The European Formula Two title was won in both 1971 and 1972 with Hart-built Ford engines, and the 2.0 L BDA engine powered the majority of Ford's 1970s rallying successes.

With Ford's withdrawal from F2 in the mid-1970s, Hart began to concentrate on building their own designs. The first engine to bear the Hart name alone was the twin-cam, four-cylinder Hart 420R F2 unit, which appeared in 1976 and powered race-winning cars until the end of the decade. In 1978, the Toleman team agreed to a partnership program, with Toleman providing finance to develop further Hart engine designs. The fruits of this collaboration resulted in Toleman taking a one-two finish in the 1980 European F2 Championship.

For 1981 Hart followed Toleman into Formula One, with an inline four-cylinder 1.5 L turbo engine named the 415T. However, the year was a disaster, with Brian Hart's small operation failing to keep pace with better-funded outfits. Toleman cars only qualified to race twice. Hart persisted though, with the best result from the five-year relationship with Toleman coming when Ayrton Senna took second place at the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix and Toleman claiming 7th in the 1984 Constructors Championship. Teo Fabi also took pole position in a Toleman-Hart at the 1985 German Grand Prix, the first of only two F1 poles by a Hart-powered car.

During this period, Hart turbos were used by three other teams – RAM (1984–85); Spirit (1984–85); and the Haas Lola team (1985–86). While none of their teams performed that well, Hart gained a reputation for excellent work on a small budget.

After 1984 companies like Renault, Honda, BMW, TAG-Porsche, and Ferrari were able to develop their engines to receive much higher turbo boost than the Hart 415T. This resulted in Brian Hart stopping development of the engine. The last time it was used was by the Haas Lola team at the 1986 San Marino Grand Prix, with Patrick Tambay qualifying 11th but retiring with engine troubles after just five laps.

At its peak in 1986, the Hart 415T produced a reported 750 bhp (559 kW; 760 PS) at 11,000 rpm.Following this and the outlawing of turbocharged engines in Formula One after the 1988 season, Hart did freelance work. The company mainly tuned Cosworth DFR V8s for a number of F1 teams, including Footwork Arrows in 1990 and 1991, Tyrrell in 1990, Larrousse in 1991 and AGS in 1991.

Hart returned with an in-house 3.5 L V10 in 1993 named the 1035, signing a two-year deal with the Jordan team. This culminated in a successful 1994 season, with Rubens Barrichello finishing third at the Pacific Grand Prix and taking the engine company's last F1 pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix.

With the introduction of the 3.0 L formula in 1995, Hart switched to a V8 engine named the 830, and these were used by the Arrows team in 1995 and 1996; Gianni Morbidelli took third at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix. For 1997, these engines were taken over by the Minardi team, while Brian Hart himself designed a new V10 engine, the 1030, although the funds to build it were not available.

Later that year, Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) bought out Brian Hart Ltd., and merged it into their Arrows Formula One team. The 1030 V10 was built and raced in 1998–1999 as the Arrows T2-F1 V10, with Mika Salo taking a fourth place at the 1998 Monaco Grand Prix. Frustrated with the lack of development, Brian Hart left Arrows.

Piercarlo Ghinzani

Piercarlo Ghinzani (born 16 January 1952 in Riviera d'Adda, Lombardy) is a former racing driver from Italy. He currently manages his own racing team, Team Ghinzani, which was created in 1992 and is currently involved in several Formula Three championships.

Pierluigi Martini

Pierluigi Martini (born 23 April 1961) is an Italian former racing driver. He won the 1999 24 hours of Le Mans and participated in 124 Formula One Grands Prix (with 119 starts) between 1984 and 1995.

Stefan Johansson

Stefan Nils Edwin Johansson (born 8 September 1956) is a Swedish racing driver who drove in Formula One for both Ferrari and McLaren, among other teams. Since leaving Formula One he has won the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans and raced in a number of categories, including CART, various kinds of Sports car racing and Grand Prix Masters.

He is also the manager of New Zealander Scott Dixon ( winner of the 2008 Indianapolis 500), fellow Swede Felix Rosenqvist (winner of the 2015 European Formula 3 Championship), Canadian Zachary Claman DeMelo and Ed Jones.

Teo Fabi

Teodorico Fabi (born 9 March 1955) is an Italian former racing driver. He competed in Formula One and sports car racing, and claimed pole position in his rookie year at the 1983 Indianapolis 500. Teo is the older brother of former Formula One driver Corrado Fabi.

At the 1984 Indianapolis 500, Fabi became the last active Formula One driver to race at the event until Fernando Alonso in 2017.

Toleman TG181

The Toleman TG181 is a Formula One car that was used in the 1981 Formula One season. It was also the first car used by Toleman in F1.It was a generally poor car, with its drivers, Derek Warwick and Brian Henton, only getting through qualifying once each, with Henton's tenth place at Monza the only finish for the car.

Evolutions of the car, the Toleman TG181B and Toleman TG181C, were used the following year, to better effect.

Toleman TG183

The Toleman TG183 was a Formula One racing car designed by Rory Byrne and built and raced by Toleman Motorsport. The car first raced in the last two races of the 1982 Formula One season driven by Derek Warwick. In the 1983 Formula One season an updated version of the car, designated TG183B, was introduced and Warwick was joined at Toleman by Bruno Giacomelli. The car also raced in the first four races of the 1984 Formula One season when Ayrton Senna made his debut in the Formula 1 championship alongside former FIM 350cc and Formula 750 motorcycle World Champion Johnny Cecotto from Venezuela.

The TG183 was distinctive in that it had twin rear wings and front wing mounted radiators. Unfortunately the front wing configuration caused the front of the car to move about at high speed and was eventually replaced by a more conventional front wing set up.

The TG183B's last race meeting, the 1984 San Marino Grand Prix saw the only time that Ayrton Senna would fail to qualify for a Grand Prix. After a dispute with tyre supplier Pirelli which saw the team switch to Michelin, Toleman sat out the first day of qualifying rather than use the Italian rubber. In the second, wet qualifying session Senna's Hart 415T engine suffered a fuel pressure problem at the Tosa section of the Imola circuit, the furthest part of the track from the pits. He was unable to get back to the pits in time to record a time.

The TG183B was replaced after four races of 1984 by the Toleman TG184.

Toleman TG184

The Toleman TG184 is a Formula One racing car designed by Rory Byrne and Pat Symonds and was used by Toleman Motorsport during the majority 1984 Formula One season. It was first raced at the French Grand Prix at Dijon. Like its predecessor, the TG183B, the TG184 was powered by the 4cly turbocharged Hart 415T engine which produced approximately 600 bhp (447 kW; 608 PS) in 1984.

The car's potential was evident early on with a second place in only its second grand prix scored by then rookie driver Ayrton Senna in the rain affected Monaco Grand Prix. Senna, who started 13th, sliced through the field with precision until he caught and passed race leader Alain Prost (McLaren-TAG) just before the start/finish line on lap 32 as Clerk of Course Jacky Ickx showed the red flag to stop the race due to adverse conditions. However, the rules stated that positions must be taken from the lap prior to the flag being shown. This saw Prost win and Senna finish second with only half points given due to the race not going past 50% of the scheduled distance. It was widely perceived that Ickx had denied Senna, Toleman, and engine supplier Hart their first Grand Prix win, although the team later revealed that Senna's TG184 had suffered suspension damage which they estimated would only have lasted another 3 or 4 laps in any case.Underlying his future as a World Champion, more podiums came for Senna during the 1984 season with 3rd placings at both the British Grand Prix and the season ending Portuguese Grand Prix where Senna also placed 3rd in qualifying, the highest for the car. The podium finish at Monaco was the first for what is now Renault Sport F1.

Others to drive the TG184 during 1984 were former FIM 350cc and Formula 750 motorcycle World Champion Johnny Cecotto from Venezuela and up and coming F1 drivers Stefan Johansson of Sweden and Pierluigi Martini from Italy. Unfortunately for Cecotto, the TG184 was his last F1 drive after he badly broke both of his ankles in practice for the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. He recovered from his injuries but never again raced in Formula One, instead going on to a successful career as a touring car driver.

The TG184 was replaced in 1985 by the TG185.

Toleman TG185

The Toleman TG185 was a Formula One racing car designed by Rory Byrne and was used by Toleman Motorsport during the majority 1985 Formula One season. The car was powered by the 800 bhp (597 kW; 811 PS) Hart 415T Straight 4 turbocharged engine. The car was late in arriving for the 1985 season for no other reason than a lack of tyres. In 1984 Toleman started the season using tyres supplied by Italian company Pirelli. Part way through the season though the team pulled out of their tyre contract with Pirelli and started using the French Michelins instead. However, when Michelin pulled out of F1 at the end of 1984, the team were unable to come to an agreement to use Goodyear rubber. They were also unable to get a deal with Pirelli who were reluctant to supply tyres for the team. It was only after team sponsor Benetton bought Spirit Racing and transferred their Pirelli contract to Toleman that the team were able to run in 1985.

The car was fundamentally unchanged from the TG184 apart from a revised suspension to deal with running different rubber and revised rear bodywork. The car was initially driven by former Brabham driver Teo Fabi of Italy. He was joined in the team from the 10th race (Austria) by fellow Italian Piercarlo Ghinzani. Fabi gave the Toleman Team its first and only pole position at the German Grand Prix which was held at the new Nürburgring circuit. Fabi set his time in the Friday qualifying session and as it rained on the Saturday no one else could beat his time. He got a bad start in the race due to a slipping clutch and was only 10th going into the first corner. The clutch would be the cause of the car's retirement from the race on lap 29.

The TG185 was the last F1 car for Toleman Group Motorsport. From the 1986 season the team was bought out by main sponsor Benetton and renamed Benetton Formula Ltd. Fabi's pole in Germany was the highlight of the year. After finishing 1984 in 7th place in the Constructors' Championship with 16 points (including 3 podiums by rookie driver Ayrton Senna), the team failed to score a point in 1985. In fact, the TG185 proved almost totally unreliable with only 2 finishes all season when Fabi finished 14th in France and 12th in Italy, while Ghinzani failed to finish a race.

Following the acquisition of Toleman the planned 1986 car, dubbed the "TG186", was simply renamed the Benetton B186. That car, powered by the 1,400 bhp (1,044 kW; 1,419 PS) BMW M12 engine went on to become the team's first ever Grand Prix winner when Gerhard Berger drove it to victory at the 1986 Mexican Grand Prix.

One TG185 remains fully operational as of 2018, having been rebuilt during 2016 by Tour-De-Force Power Engineering. It is often seen in historic F1 demonstrations in the UK and Europe. It retains the original Hart 415T engine and Hewland derived gearbox.

United Kingdom Toleman Motorsport
Formula One cars
2019 season


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