Tyler Alexander one of the founding members of the McLaren Formula 1 team has died aged 75.
The American was drafted in by Bruce McLaren to help form the team in 1963 and enjoyed an association with the outfit for more than 40 years.
Alongside McLaren and fellow countryman Teddy Mayer, Alexander began working as chief mechanic before progressing to become chief engineer and company director.
In the late 1960s Alexander moved to his native America to run McLaren’s CanAm and IndyCar programs before returning to the F1 squad in 1979.
Alexander left the team in 1983 to join Mayer to work on an IndyCar project before teaming up to form the Beatrice F1 operation.
However, McLaren boss Ron Dennis re-signed Alexander in 1989 to work as special projects engineer at the Woking outfit where he remained until his retirement in 2008.
“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,” said Dennis.
“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.
“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.”