Sir Jackie Stewart, who was knighted in 2001 for services to motor racing, enjoyed an outstanding Formula One career, winning the World Drivers’ Championship three times, in 1969, 1971 and 1973. Instantly recognisable by his trademark black, Breton-style cap and long hair, Stewart was blessed with charisma, eloquence and no little bravery, in a era when Formula One was still incredibly dangerous. He was widely recognised as the first truly modern professional racing driver and became an international celebrity.
Born John Young Stewart in Milton, Dunbartonshire on June 11, 1939 – hence his nickname, the ‘Flying Scot’ – Stewart formed a close relationship, personal and professional, with the late Ken Tyrell, who provided him with his first opportunity in the British Formula Three Championship in 1964. Driving a Cooper T72, Stewart won seven of the ten rounds to walk off with the BARC Championship.
Four years later, in 1968, Tyrrell achieved his dream of moving to Formula One and Stewart teamed up with him again, with no little success. En route to his first World Drivers’ Championship in 1969, Stewart won five of the first six rounds and may well have won six out of six, but for retiring from the Monaco Grand Prix when fully half a minute in the lead. In 1971, Stewart won six times, clinching his second championship with three races to spare and, in 1973, won five times – setting a world record for the most Grand Prix wins, 26, in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, and improving upon it in the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring the following month – to take the title for the third and final time.