Nickname ‘The Flying Scot’, Jackie Stewart was one of Britain’s greatest Formula One racing drivers and won three World Championships during an eventful career.
Born in Milton, Dunbartonshire, in 1939, the young Jackie worked as an apprentice mechanic at his father's garage. He was also a talented marksman, winning the British, Irish, Welsh and Scottish skeet shooting championships and the ‘Coupe de Nations’ European championship (twice) before narrowly missing out on a place at the 1960 Olympics.
But cars were his first love, and he began racing in 1961, notching up enough wins to come to the attention of the Tyrrell Formula Three team. Making his F3 debut in 1964, his natural talent saw him cruise to the championship in his first season.
He then stepped up to Formula One with British Racing Motors in 1965, finishing sixth on his debut in South Africa and enjoying his first Grand Prix victory in Monza. A frustrating couple of seasons followed, including an accident at 165mph at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, which sparked his long-running campaign to improve driver safety.
He had better luck away from Formula One, winning the 1966 Rothmans 12-Hour International Sports Car Race and almost winning the Indianapolis 500 on his first attempt, only to be denied by a broken pump while leading by over a lap with eight laps to go.
However, after rejoining Tyrrell in 1968, he went on to enjoy amazing Formula One success, finishing runner-up in 1968 and claiming the World Championship in 1969, 1971 and 1973. Sporting the distinctive Royal Stewart tartan on his white helmet, he often dominated the opposition, winning by more than two laps on one memorable occasion.
By the time he retired in 1973, Jackie had won 27 Formula One races out of 99 starts – a record at the time. He’d also successfully pressed for mandatory seat belts and full-face helmets, and pressed track owners to modernise their tracks.
After a global broadcasting career, he launched the Stewart Grand Prix Formula One team in 1997 with his son, Paul. It was sold to the Ford Motor Company in 2000 and re-named Jaguar Racing, later to become Red Bull Racing.
Away from the track, he received an OBE in 1972 and was both BBC Sports Personality of the Year and Sports IllustratedSportsman of the Year in 1973. He was knighted in 2001.
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