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McLaren pay tribute to former boss Mayer 01 Feb 2009

Teddy Mayer (USA) McLaren Team Owner makes setup notes from the pit wall for driver John Watson (GBR). Formula One World Championship, c. 1980. World © Phipps/Sutton

Teddy Mayer, former McLaren team principal and one of the original founders of the team along with Bruce McLaren in 1963, has passed away. Mayer, who died on Friday, was 73.

“Teddy was one of motor racing’s few truly great men,” said current team principal Ron Dennis, as he paid tribute to the American, who ran the team between McLaren’s early death and Dennis’s subsequent arrival, steering them to F1 titles with Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt.

“Bruce died tragically young in 1970, having won Grands Prix but no world championships with his fledgling team,” said Dennis, “but when I bought into the team in 1980 Teddy had built on the foundations laid by Bruce, Tyler Alexander and himself and had already achieved a lot - two Formula One world championships, as well as huge success in the States.”

Mayer sold his stake in McLaren in 1982 and headed to the US to form the successful Mayer Motor Racing Champ Car team. He later made a brief but less fruitful return to Formula One racing with the short-lived Beatrice Haas squad and the latter years of his motorsport career were spent with Penske back in the States.

“I would like to pay tribute to Teddy’s enormously valuable contribution, and to his immortal legacy, and to extend the sympathies of all at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to his family and many friends at this very sad time,” added Dennis.