Byrne's McLaren test—later he would learn McLaren hadn't given him full throttle!
Photo: John Townsend
I was approached by Theodore after the ’82 British Grand Prix. I’d begun the season not even knowing if I was going to make it to F3, and here I was being offered an F1 drive—for three years, starting the next weekend. It sounds good on paper doesn’t it? But no one was deluding themselves that this was a top drive; it wasn’t. Everyone who had driven the Theodore that year had struggled in it; it was miles off the pace of the serious teams’ cars, but it was an opportunity I might not get again.
I was unsure of what to do and asked a lot of people whose opinion I respected. Most said I had to go for it. John McCambridge was one of the few who said I shouldn’t, that being down the wrong end of the grid might hurt my reputation.
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