Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart
Country: 
Full Name: 
Sir John Young Stewart
Birth Date: 
10 June, 1939
Birth Place: 
Dumbarton, Scotland, Great Britain
Driver Status: 
Former
Driver Height: 
166cm

3
Championship Titles

104
Races
27
Wins
17
Poles
3
Titles

Jackie Stewart Biography

Jackie Stewart F1 Career Overview

With three F1 World Championship titles to his name, Jackie Stewart remains today one of the sport’s most undisputed greats that dominated his generation.

While fellow triple title winners Alain Prost, Niki Lauda and Ayrton Senna perhaps overshadow his achievement owing to the occasionally controversial manner in which they achieved their successes, Stewart’s more conventional routes nonetheless rank as some of the most comprehensive in the history of the sport.

Winner in 1969, 1971 and 1973, Stewart three world titles were achieved dominantly, with the last of these going on to signal his retirement from the sport on a high.

Stewart is renowned as the driving force behind numerous and important upgrades in terms of car and circuit safety during his time in F1, reckoning during the earlier stages of his career that drivers who competed for five years had a two-thirds chance of being killed in a crash.

In the years following his retirement he founded Stewart Grand Prix in 1997 with his son Paul, which had found success in the lower formulas. Despite a difficult three year stretch before partners Ford upgraded its involvement and rebranded it Jaguar Racing for 2000, it did enjoy one win in the 1999 European Grand Prix.

Jackie Stewart F1 Career - Team-by-Team

BRM: 1965-1967

Almost swerving a racing career altogether after just missing out on a place in the British team for the 1960 Summer Olympics competing in clay pigeon shooting, Stewart focused his career on racing instead and after taking in numerous sportscar and F3 competitions, made his F1 debut in the 1964 Rand Grand Prix (a non-championship round).

This spun out into a full-season deal for 1965 with BRM, champions three years earlier with Graham Hill, who was to be Stewart’s team-mate in his rookie campaign. 

Up against his illustrious countryman, Stewart provided an excellent foil for Hill even if both were comprehensively out-performed by Jack Clark in the Lotus. A podium winner in only his second outing, at the Monaco Grand Prix, Stewart continued to notch up the podiums before scoring his maiden win in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, one of only three races Clark didn’t win.

Ending the year third overall, Stewart and HIll stayed on board for 1966 but it was a trickier campaign for the BRM team and though Stewart won the opener in Monaco, barely scored again for the remainder of the year.

Undeterred, Stewart entered into his third season with BRM, this time as team leader in the wake of Hill’s exit, but results were to be much the same and success was limited to a pair of podiums in Belgium and France amid nine DNFs.

Matra: 1968-1969

Taking a relative punt on joining the new Tyrrell Racing team - initially competing under the Matra name following a tie up with the French automaker - Stewart began what was a hugely successful period with the plucky Anglo-French concern.

Despite Matra’s relative inexperience, it brought with it technical innovation with an aviation-inspired structural fuel tank that made the cars lighter, though the FIA eventually banned it for 1970 deeming it unsafe.

Success came quickly in Stewart’s hands, winning three races at Zandvoort, the Nordschleife and at Watkins Glen to finish runner-up to former team-mate Hill in the Lotus.

Though Matra scaled back its formal involvement for 1969, the MS80 took a step forward in development and Stewart was the man to beat from the off, winning six of the opening eight races to all but put the title out of his rivals’ reach by the mid-way point in the year. He would wound up with a clear 26 point advantage over runner-up Jacky Ickx.

Tyrrell: 1970-1973

Matra wanted to remain involved for the team’s title defence in 1970 but its insistence on using its own V12 engine saw Tyrrell spin off into an independent constructor and conspired to build its own car, based on the March 701. 

Stewart enjoyed moderate success using the March chassis, despite it having been overhauled by Lotus in the development race by this stage, and notched up a victory in Round 2. The Tyrrell 001-Cosworth only appeared with three rounds to go but while it was waylaid by technical issues, there was clearly promise in the approach

That promise was duly rewarded when Tyrrell and Stewart came out fighting for the 1971 F1 season, again launching a crushing run of form in the first part of the season with five wins from the first seven races.  In a compact 11 round season, Stewart scored six wins and was double the points clear of runner-up Ronnie Peterson.

Again his title defence didn’t go as planned and Stewart - still with Tyrrell - couldn’t muster a fight against Emerson Fittipaldi, a bid complicated further when he missed a race due to gastritis, which he considered the debilitating effect of crossing the Atlantic Ocean 186 times due to media commitments having emerged as the first driver most aware of the commercial opportunities succeeding in F1 presented. 

He was runner-up again and Stewart headed into the 1973 F1 season knowing it would be his last. Eager to give Tyrrell a fitting swansong, he again started well with two podiums before the introduction of the Tyrrell 006-Cosworth led to three wins from four races out of the box. 

With Fittipaldi’s form stalling in the middle of the year, two more wins for Stewart meant he was crowned champion for a third time with two races in hand. He would go on to withdraw from what would have been his 100th and final start when promising young team-mate Francois Cevert - who was set to succeed the Scot as team leader in 1974 - was killed during qualifying at the season ending United States Grand Prix.

Jackie Stewart - Beyond F1

A strong and influential advocate for driver safety in F1, Stewart was the man behind a number of introductions that - though frustrating some drivers at the time who felt it dampened the ‘danger’ appeal of the sport - set the foundation for a more modern age of racing

This - logically - included the use of full face helmets and mandatory seatbelts, plus encouraging circuits to fit a pit wall to separate the racing from the people and fuel located in the pit lane. He also organised boycotts of certain venues at Zandvoort and Spa-Francorchamps, plus he forced owners of the Nordschleife to upgrade its safety features.

Having developed close relations with Ford during his time at Tyrrell (through the use of Cosworth engines), the American giant backed his and son Paul’s foray into team ownership with the formation of the brand-new Stewart Grand Prix team. 

A seamless step for the family having found success in F3 and F3000 under the Paul Stewart Racing guise, Stewart Grand Prix was a full-factory Ford effort in all but name. However, while the car showed flashes of promise in the three years it competed under that moniker, it became known for its horrendous reliability with only 16 finishes from 72 starts across two years.

Even so, this did include a surprise run to second with Rubens Barrichello in its first season at the weather-affected Monaco Grand Prix. The team remained a solid mi-fielder amid the breakdowns and Barrichello was a wise choice to lead development so when the SF3 proved impressively quick in 1999 the Brazilian was able to bring home solid results, including two podiums, plus a maiden pole in France.

However, it was Johnny Herbert that went on to bring the team its greatest success by out-lasting his rivals in a topsy-turvy dry-wet-dry European Grand Prix to claim victory, with Barrichello third. It brought the team fourth in the constructors’ standings and with it the opportunity for Ford to take the team over entirely and rebrand it Jaguar Racing for 2000 without Stewart’s involvement.