Former F1 team owner Ted Toleman passes away at 86

The founder of the Formula 1 team that has evolved into the current Alpine entry — Ted Toleman — has died in Manila at the age of 86 after a long illness.

Coleman promoted a successful family transportation business through powerboat and circuit racing. After winning the Formula 2 championship in 1980, Toleman decided to enter Formula 1 with his eponymous team, building its own car and turbocharged engine in collaboration with Hart.

While it took multiple attempts to even qualify for races in 1981 with drivers Derek Warwick and Brian Henton, the small outfit based in the British Cotswolds soon began punching above its weight. Warwick scored its first points in 1983 with fourth place at the Dutch Grand Prix, going on a run of four straight point-scoring finishes.

But it’s as the man who gave Ayrton Senna his F1 debut in 1984 that Toleman is best remembered, with Senna announcing himself to the world with a stunning second place in the Monaco Grand Prix that year, a race that Toleman was sure Senna would have won but for it being red flagged due to heavy rain as he closed in on leader Alain Prost.

Senna picked up two further podiums that season — in Great Britain and Portugal — before moving to Lotus the following year.

1985 proved to be the last season for Toleman as major sponsorship from Benetton that year turned into a full takeover for the 1986 season, with Benetton going on to become the Renault factory team, Lotus Renault and now Alpine.

Ted Toleman is survived by his wife, Maiti, and his son Michael.

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