Tyrrell 003 Ford-Cosworth 1972
Think of Jackie Stewart and you think of a blue Tyrrell notching up win after win, you think of sunglasses and sideburns, but you also think of a champion with a business brain. Stewart made a splash at the beginning of his Formula One career — winning the 1965 Italian Grand Prix at Monza in just his 8th race for BRM, finishing the season 3rd, behind Jim Clark and Graham Hill — and an even bigger one when he suddenly retired eight years later on the eve of his 100th race at the United States GP at Watkins Glen, distressed at the ill-fated qualifying death of his Tyrrell teammate and protégé Francois Cevert. In between, Stewart won the F1 World Championship three times (including 1973, his final season), finished second twice, broke Clark’s record for career GP wins and almost single-handedly ushered in the modern era of F1 driver safety.
Some of this was self-preservation, as Stewart’s crash in the 1966 Belgian GP ended with him trapped in the cockpit with fuel pouring over him, and later driven in the back of a pick-up truck to non-existent hospital facilities littered with cigarette butts. But Stewart also witnessed the tragic deaths of Clark, Jochen Rindt and many other friends and colleagues in the dangerous pursuit that was 1960s open-wheeled F1 racing. And as safety improved, so too did the financial rewards and commercial opportunities available to Formula One drivers. Although it would be 14 years, until Alain Prost’s 1987
Any waiter who has ever been up on his tiptoes, leaning forward, off-balance and hurtling down a narrow aisle carrying a tray filled with hot coffee has a rough idea of what it was like to drive a race car through the Masta Kink. This was a quick left and right S bend which you go through at such high speed, and with so little control, that you feel as if you are not much more than a helpless passenger. To get through in the fastest possible time you must firmly conquer your instincts to even squeeze gently on the brake pedal. . . . You come out of the Masta Kink feeling as if you had climbed Everest.
— Jackie Stewart (1970) —
victory at Estoril, before another F1 pilot surpassed his 27 victories, in that time Jackie Stewart became synonymous with Formula One world-wide from his roles as F1 commentator and Ford Motor Co. spokesman. With his aviator glasses and Scottish cap, Stewart cut a trend-setting profile on the streets of Monaco, a race he won twice.
Stewart spent six of his nine F1 years driving for Ken Tyrrell, who moved from entering Matra customer cars to constructor in fashioning the Elf-sponsored Team Tyrrell around Stewart. This photo is of Stewart in the Tyrrell 003 Cosworth in 1972. Jackie Stewart’s greatest race may have been in the 1968 German GP at the 14-mile, 187-corner Nürburgring, where in the mist and torrential rain (and driving with a broken wrist) he outpaced the field to win by just over four minutes from Hill. Stewart himself said “I can’t remember doing one more balls-out lap of the ‘Ring than I needed to. It gave you amazing satisfaction, but anyone who says he loved it is either a liar or wasn’t going fast enough.”
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