Definitions

pro-tested

Jackie Stewart

For other people of this name see Jackie Stewart (disambiguation).

Sir John Young Stewart, OBE (born 11 June 1939 in Milton, West Dunbartonshire), better known as Jackie, and nicknamed The Flying Scot, is a Scottish former racing driver. He competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers' Championships. He also competed in Can-Am. He is well-known in the United States as a commentator of racing television broadcasts, and as a pitchman for Ford, where his Scottish accent made him a distinctive presence. Between 1997 and 1999, in partnership with his son, Paul, he was team principal of the Stewart Grand Prix Formula One racing team.

Early life

Jackie's early involvement with cars was in the family business, Dumbuck Garage, in Milton, where he worked as an apprentice mechanic. His family were Jaguar dealers and had built up a successful practice. Jackie's father had been an amateur motorcycle racer, and Jackie's brother Jimmy was a racing driver with a growing local reputation. Jimmy drove for Ecurie Ecosse and competed in the 1953 British Grand Prix, until he went off at Copse Corner in the wet. It was only natural Jackie would soon become involved in motor racing.

After his brother was injured in a crash at Le Mans, the sport was discouraged by their parents and Jackie took up shooting. In skeet shooting Stewart made a name for himself, only just missing the team for the 1960 Summer Olympics. (He chose racing over it in 1964.)

He took up an offer from Barry Filer, a customer of his family business, to test in a number of his cars at Oulton Park. For 1961, Filer provided a Marcos, in which Stewart scored four wins, and competed once in Filer's Aston DB4GT. In 1962, to decide if he was ready to turn pro, tested an E-type at Oulton Park, matching Roy Salvadori's times in a similar car the year before. He won two races, his first in England, in the E-type, and David Murray of Ecurie Ecosse offered him a ride in the Tojeiro EE Mk2, then their Cooper T49, in which he won at Goodwood. For 1963, he earned fourteen wins, a second, and two thirds, with just six retirements.

In 1964, he again signed with Ecurie Ecosse. More important, Ken Tyrrell, then running the Formula Junior team for Cooper, heard of the young Scotsman from Goodwood's track manager and called up Jimmy Stewart to see if his younger brother was interested in a tryout. Jackie came down for the test at Goodwood, taking over a new, and very competitive, Formula Three T72-BMC Bruce McLaren was testing. Soon Stewart was besting McLaren's times, causing McLaren to return to the track for some quicker laps. Again, Stewart was quicker, and Tyrrell offered Stewart a spot on the team. This would be the beginning of a great partnership that would see them reach the pinnacle of the sport.

Racing career

In 1964 he drove in Formula Three for Tyrrell. His debut, in the wet at Snetterton on 15 March, was dominant, taking an astounding 25 second lead in just two laps before coasting home to a win on a 44sec cushion. Within days, he was offered a Formula One ride with Cooper, but declined, preferring to gain experience under Tyrrell; he failed to win just two races (one to clutch failure, one to a spin) in becoming F3 champion.

After running John Coombs' E-type and practising in a Ferrari at Le Mans, he took a trial in an F1 Lotus 33-Climax, in which he impressed Colin Chapman and Jim Clark (who, needless to say, were not easily impressed); Stewart again refused a ride in F1, but went instead to the Lotus Formula Two team. In his F2 debut, he was second at the difficult Clermont-Ferrand circuit in a Lotus 32-Cosworth.

While he signed with BRM alongside Graham Hill in 1965, a contract which netted him £4,000, his first race in an F1 car was for Lotus, as stand-in for an injured Clark, at the Rand Grand Prix in December 1964; the Lotus broke in the first heat, but he won the second. On his F1 debut in South Africa, he scored his first Championship point, finishing sixth. His first major competition victory came in the BRDC International Trophy in the late spring, and before the end of the year he won his first World Championship race at Monza, fighting wheel-to-wheel with teammate Hill's P261. Stewart finished his rookie season with three seconds, a third, a fifth, and a sixth, and third place in the World Drivers' Championship. He also piloted Tyrrell's unsuccessful F2 Cooper T75-BRM, and ran the Rover Company's revolutionary turbine car at Le Mans.

1966 saw him almost win the Indianapolis 500 on his first attempt, in John Mecom's Lola T90-Ford, only to be denied by a broken scavenge pump while leading by over a lap with eight laps to go; however, Stewart's performance, having had the race fully in hand and sidelined only by mechanical failure, won him Rookie of the Year honours, the only occasion to date in race history a rookie winner (Hill, team mate at Indianapolis as well, and final leader after Stewart) was deemed surpassed in performance by another rookie.

Also, in 1966, a crash triggered his fight for improved safety in racing. On lap one of the 1966 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, when sudden rain caused many crashes, he found himself trapped in his overturned BRM, getting soaked by leaking fuel. Any spark could cause a disaster. The marshals had no tools to help him, and it took his teammate Hill and Bob Bondurant, who had both also crashed nearby, to get him out. Since then, a main switch for electrics and a removable steering wheel have become standard. Also, noticing the long and slow transport to a hospital, he brought his own doctor to future races, while the BRM supplied a medical truck for the benefit of all. It was a poor year all around; the BRMs were notoriously unreliable, although Stewart did win the Monaco Grand Prix. Stewart had some success in other forms of racing during the year, winning the 1966 Tasman Series and the 1966 Rothmans 12 Hour International Sports Car Race.

BRM's fortunes did not improve in 1967, during which Stewart came no higher than second at Spa, though he won F2 events for Tyrrell at Karlskoga, Enna, Oulton Park, and Albi in a Matra M5S or M7S. In Formula One, he gambled on a switch to Tyrrell's team, where he drove a Matra MS10-Cosworth for the 1968 and 1969 seasons. Skill (and improving tyres from Dunlop) brought a win in heavy rain at Zandvoort. Another win in rain and fog at the Nürburgring, where he won by a margin of four minutes, is considered as one of the finest ever, even though his rain tyres were probably better than those of the competition. He also took Watkins Glen, but missed Jarama and Monaco due to an F2 injury at Jarama, had the car fail at Mexico City, and so lost the driving title to Hill.

With wins at Kyalami, Jarama, Zandvoort, Silverstone, and Monza, Stewart became world champion in 1969 in a Matra MS80-Cosworth. Until September 2005, when Fernando Alonso in a Renault became champion, he was the only driver to have won the championship driving for a French marque and, as Alonso's Renault was actually built in the UK, Stewart remains the only driver to win the world championship in a French-built car.

For 1970, Matra (just taken over by Chrysler) insisted on using their own V12 engines, while Tyrrell and Stewart wanted to keep the Cosworths as well as the good connection to Ford. As a consequence, the Tyrrell team bought a chassis from March Engineering; Stewart took the March 701-Cosworth to wins at the Daily Mail Race of Champions and Jarama, but was soon overcome by Lotus' new 72. The new Tyrell 001-Cosworth, appearing in August, suffered problems, but Stewart saw better days for it in 1971, and stayed on. Tyrrell continued to be sponsored by French fuel company Elf, and Stewart raced in a car painted French Racing Blue for many years. Stewart also continued to race sporadically in Formula Two, winning at the Crystal Palace and placing at Thruxton; a projected Le Mans appearance, to co-drive the muscular 4.5 litre Porsche 917K with Steve McQueen, did not come off, for McQueen's inability to get insurance. He also tried Can-Am, in the revolutionary Chaparral 2J, managing to beat the juggernaut McLarens at St. Jovite and Mid-Ohio.

Stewart went on to win the Formula One world championship in 1971 using the excellent Tyrrell 003-Cosworth, winning Spain, Monaco, France, Britain, Germany, and Canada. He also did a full season in Can-Am, in a Lola T260-Chevrolet. and again in 1973. In the 1972 season he missed Spa, due to gastritis which was developed following frequent travelling, and had to cancel plans to drive a Can-Am McLaren, but won the Argentine, French, U.S., and Canadian Grands Prix, to come second to Emerson Fittipaldi in the drivers' standings. Stewart also competed in a Ford Capri RS2600 in the European Touring Car Championship, with F1 teammate François Cevert and other F1 pilots, at a time where the competition between Ford and BMW was at a height. Stewart shared a Capri with F1 Tyrrell teammate François Cevert in the 1972 6 hours of Paul Ricard, finishing second. He also earned the OBE.

Entering the 1973 season, Stewart had decided to retire. He nevertheless won at South Africa, Belgium, Monaco, Holland, and Austria. His last (and then record-setting) 27th victory came at the Nürburgring with a convincing 1-2 for Tyrrell. After the fatal crash of his teammate François Cevert in practice for the 1973 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, Stewart retired one race earlier than intended and missed what would have been his 100th GP.

Racing safety advocate

During Stewart's F1 career, the chances of an F1 driver who raced for five years being killed in a crash were two out of three.

At Spa-Francorchamps in 1966, he ran off the track while driving 165 mph in heavy rain, and crashed into a telephone pole and a shed before coming to rest in a farmer's outbuilding. His steering column pinned his leg, while ruptured fuel tanks emptied their contents into the cockpit. There were no track crews to extricate him, nor were proper tools available. There were no doctors or medical facilities at the track, and Stewart was put in the bed of a pickup truck, remaining there until an ambulance finally arrived. He was first taken to the track's First Aid center, where he waited on a stretcher, which was placed on a floor strewn with cigarette butts and other garbage. Finally, another ambulance crew picked him up, but the ambulance driver got lost driving to a hospital in Liége. Ultimately, a private jet flew Stewart back to the UK for proper treatment. It has been well documented that without the help of the United Kingdom Air Ambulance, Stewart may well have died at the track.

After his crash at Spa, Stewart became an outspoken advocate for auto racing safety. Later, he explained, "If I have any legacy to leave the sport I hope it will be seen to be an area of safety because when I arrived in Grand Prix racing so-called precautions and safety measures were diabolical.

Stewart continued, commenting on his crash at Spa:

"I lay trapped in the car for twenty-five minutes, unable to be moved. Graham and Bob Bondurant got me out using the spanners from a spectator's toolkit. There were no doctors and there was nowhere to put me. They in fact put me in the back of a van. Eventually an ambulance took me to a first aid spot near the control tower and I was left on a stretcher, on the floor, surrounded by cigarette ends. I was put into an ambulance with a police escort and the police escort lost the ambulance, and the ambulance didn't know how to get to Liège. At the time they thought I had a spinal injury. As it turned out, I wasn't seriously injured, but they didn't know that."

"I realized that if this was the best we had there was something sadly wrong: things wrong with the race track, the cars, the medical side, the fire-fighting, and the emergency crews. There were also grass banks that were launch pads, things you went straight into, trees that were unprotected and so on. Young people today just wouldn't understand it. It was ridiculous."

In response, Stewart campaigned with Louis Stanley (BRM team boss) for improved emergency services and better safety barriers around race tracks. "We were racing at circuits where there were no crash barriers in front of the pits, and fuel was lying about in churns in the pit lane. A car could easily crash into the pits at any time. It was ridiculous." As a stop-gap measure, Stewart hired a private doctor to be at all his races, and taped a spanner to the steering shaft of his BRM in case it would be needed again. Stewart pressed for mandatory seat belt usage and full-face helmets for drivers, and today a race without those items is unthinkable. Likewise, he pressed track owners to modernize their track, including organizing driver boycotts of races at Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring, until barriers, run-off areas, fire crews, and medical facilities were improved.

Stewart's work was not appreciated by track owners, race organizers, some drivers, and members of the press. "I would have been a much more popular World Champion if I had always said what people wanted to hear. I might have been dead, but definitely more popular." However, his race wins, combined with his popularity with the public and his business savvy, prevented his message from being silenced. Certainly, after his victory in the 1968 German GP at the 187-corner Nordschleife -- in a torrential rain, driving with a broken wrist, winning by more than four minutes -- no one dared question his bravery as Stewart pushed for better safety standards.

Today, Stewart's legacy as a safety advocate in auto racing is as great as his legacy as a race winner.

Complete Formula One results

(F1 driver results legend 2) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 WDC Points
1965 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P261 BRM V8 RSA
6
MON
3
BEL
2
FRA
2
GBR
5
NED
2
GER
Ret
ITA
1
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
3rd 33 (34)
1966 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P261 BRM V8 MON
1
BEL
Ret
FRA
GBR
Ret
NED
4
GER
5
7th 14
BRM P83 BRM H16 ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
1967 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P83 BRM H16 RSA
Ret
NED
Ret
BEL
2
GBR
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
9th 10
BRM P261 BRM V8 MON
Ret
FRA
3
BRM P115 BRM H16 GER
Ret
CAN
Ret
1968 Matra International Matra MS9 Ford Cosworth DFV RSA
Ret
ESP
MON
2nd 36
Matra MS10 BEL
4
NED
1
FRA
3
GBR
6
GER
1
ITA
Ret
CAN
6
USA
1
MEX
7
1969 Matra International Matra MS10 Ford Cosworth DFV RSA
1
ESP
1
1st 63
Matra MS80 MON
Ret
NED
1
FRA
1
GBR
1
GER
2
ITA
1
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
4
1970 Tyrrell Racing Organisation March 701 Ford Cosworth DFV RSA
3
ESP
1
MON
Ret
BEL
Ret
NED
2
FRA
9
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
ITA
2
5th 25
Tyrrell 001 CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
1971 Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 001 Ford Cosworth DFV RSA
2
1st 62
Tyrrell 003 ESP
1
MON
1
NED
11
FRA
1
GBR
1
GER
1
AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
1
USA
5
1972 Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 003 Ford Cosworth DFV ARG
1
RSA
Ret
ESP
Ret
FRA
1
GBR
2
GER
11
2nd 45
Tyrrell 004 MON
4
BEL
Tyrrell 005 AUT
7
ITA
Ret
CAN
1
USA
1
1973 Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 005 Ford Cosworth DFV ARG
3
BRA
2
1st 71
Tyrrell 005 RSA
1
ESP
Ret
BEL
1
MON
1
SWE
5
FRA
4
GBR
10
NED
1
GER
1
AUT
2
ITA
4
CAN
5
USA
WD

Consultant, commentator and team owner

Subsequently he became a consultant for the Ford Motor Company while continuing to be a spokesman for safer cars and circuits in Formula One.

Stewart covered NASCAR races and the Indianapolis 500 on American television during the 1970s and early 1980s, and has also worked on Australian TV coverage. As a commentator, he was known for his insightful analysis, Scottish accent, and rapid delivery, once causing Jim McKay to remark that Stewart spoke almost as fast as he drove.

In 1997 Stewart returned to Formula One, with Stewart Grand Prix, as a team owner in partnership with his son, Paul. As the works Ford team, their first race was the 1997 Australian Grand Prix. The only success of their first year came at the rain-affected Monaco Grand Prix where Rubens Barrichello finished an impressive second. Reliability was low however, with a likely 2nd place at the Nürburgring among several potential results lost. 1998 was even less competitive, with no podiums and few points.

However, after Ford acquired Cosworth in July 1998, they risked designing and building a brand-new engine for 1999. It paid off. The SF3 was consistently competitive throughout the season. The team won one race at the European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring with Johnny Herbert, albeit somewhat luckily, while Barrichello took three 3rd places, pole in France, and briefly led his home race at Interlagos. The team was later bought by Ford and became Jaguar Racing in 2000 (which became Red Bull Racing in 2005).

Stewart is also the head sports consultant/ patron for RBS.

Honours

Stewart received Sports Illustrated magazine's 1973 "Sportsman of the Year" award, the only auto racer to win the title so far, and in the same year he also won BBC Television's "Sports Personality Of The Year" award, and was named as ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year in which he was shared with American pro football legend O.J. Simpson. In 1990, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

In 2001 Stewart received a knighthood.

In 2002 he became a founding patron of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame, and an inaugural inductee.

In 2003 The World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities presented Sir Jackie Stewart the Sport Shooting Ambassador Award The Award goes to an outstanding individual whose efforts have promoted the shooting sports internationally.

See also

Trivia

  • Stewart appeared in several UPS commercials in 2002 and 2003 as a consultant for Dale Jarrett to convince Jarrett to "race the Big Brown truck".
  • Stewart rather anachronistically appears in a cameo in a 1977 episode of "Lupin III" as a competitor in the 1977 Monaco Grand Prix.
  • Stewart was subject in the Roman Polanski-produced film "Weekend of a Champion", in which Polanski shadows Sir Jackie throughout a race weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix.
  • George Harrison, a good friend of Jackie's, released a single, "Faster", in 1979 as a tribute to Jackie, Niki Lauda, Ronnie Peterson and fellow Formula 1 race car drivers.
  • Stewart once appeared on the UK motoring program Top Gear as a driving instructor for host James May.
  • Jackie overcame dyslexia to achieve success.
  • His family motto is "Integrity and Care".
  • Stewart was featured in the video to the song "Supreme" by British singer, Robbie Williams.

References

External links

Search another word or see pro-testedon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;