Tyrrell’s 1987 car, the DG016, had been the class of the non-turbo field and the team had won the Colin Chapman trophy at a canter with Jonathan Palmer winning the Jim Clark Cup for drivers. Those trophies turned out to have been a one-off and the 3.5l category was much wider in 1988. Ken Tyrrell & co would hope that a year’s experience of the Ford DFZ engine would stand them in good stead and the new car, the 017 (Data General had reduced their sponsorship and no longer got their initials on the chassis) was a development of the DG016 and looked good in its smart black livery.
Palmer stayed at the team for a second season off the back of a fine fourth place in Australia. He was joined by rookie Julian Bailey, which remarkably made up the first all-British driver line up in the team’s long history.
3. Jonathan Palmer
Now in his fifth full season of F1 racing, Palmer had never really had a car to match his talents, but the 1987 Tyrrell had at last given him something of an opportunity to shine, even if only by being “fastest of the slowest”, and he will at the very least always be a pub trivia question as the only winner of the Jim Clark Cup. Could he continue his good form in 1988 and perhaps attract the notice of a better team?
4. Julian Bailey
Born in Woolwich but raised on the island of Menorca, Bailey entered motorsport once back home in England and ran well in Formula Ford 1600, including winning the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch. He lingered longer than ideal in Formula Ford while he tried to attract finance to move up to Formula 3, finally convincing Cavendish Finance to back him into Formula 3000 instead for 1987. He won his third ever race – and became the first British driver to win in the new F3000 formula, which brought him to Ken Tyrrell’s notice. Still, with plenty of pay-drivers around, Bailey had to remortgage the house and take loans to pay for his drive – hopefully the investment would pay off if he could hit the big time.