Some Say

The Content Works

For years Ben Collins was the man in the white suit who didn't say anything, but now he's got his own podcast and it is all about truly fascinating car stories. Some say if you like cars and motorsport, you won't want to miss a single episode! read less


4: Tommy Byrne - F1's Lost Champion
Nov 14 2023
4: Tommy Byrne - F1's Lost Champion
Tommy Byrne is every driver’s worst nightmare: a natural born racer. Someone who has such an innate feel for driving that driving fast is second nature. In this interview Tommy reveals the truth behind why he didn’t stay in Formula 1 and dominate in the way that his abilities predicted. He also discusses his unique speed secrets and a career overlapping with Ayrton Senna. Tommy has something in common with pretty much every top level Champion I’ve studied from his era of racing. He was a factory driver at Van Diemen in Formula Ford in the 80's. That fact alone doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, but what it did guarantee was SHED LOADS of seat time – fine-tuning the chassis – and developing as a driver. Practice perfects the art. My impression from speaking to Tommy is that he’s a real seat-of-the-pants cowboy who drove the wheels off everything he sat in. Watching his racing footage, you can tell that his style is cavalier but perfectly balanced. There’s plenty of archive footage of his driving for you to decide for yourself. I’m always fascinated by what makes someone ludicrously fast and it’s every racing driver’s job to observe and poach as much information from other competitors as possible. In the era before data-logging it was much harder to do so and the only way to observe was to follow in their wheel tracks, gauge their lines and braking points, the shifting weight of the car at turn in and hear the throttle inputs. Maybe one day I can get on track with Tommy in identical cars and have at it !!!