Jackie Stewart aka The Flying Scot is a renowned Formula One driver from the ’60s and ’70s. Stewart took home 3 world titles and participated in the Can-Am championship. After his career as a race car driver ended he went on to become a popular commentator, consultant and team owner.
Sir John Young Stewart, OBE was born on 11 June 1939 in West Dunbartonshire. Stewart’s interest in cars was piqued at an early age as his family owned Dumbuck Garage in Milton. His father had previously been a motorcycle racer and his brother Jimmy was an increasingly popular race car driver. In 1953 he competed in the British Grand Prix with team Ecuri Ecosse. Although his parents discouraged their sons from racing after Jimmy was injured, Jackie accepted an offer by Barry Filer to test his cars at Oulton Park. During the test runs Jackie Stewart left a major impression on the spectators. Ken Tyrrell of Cooper soon heard of Jackie and quickly contacted his brother to organize a tryout. Tyrrell was suitably impressed by Stewart’s fast times and asked him to join the team in 1963.
In 1964 Jackie Stewart took part in Formula Three and had his first win at Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit. In 1965 he joined BRM so as to compete in Formula One. He debuted in South Africa and later gained a victory at the BRDC International Trophy. Unfortunately in 1966 he would have won the Indianapolis 500 had it not been for a mechanical problem and thus he was given the honor of Rookie of the Year. During the Belgian Grand Prix of 1966 Stewart was involved in a terrible crash due to rainy weather. The marshals were unable to help him, so his teammate Graham Hill rescued him. Because of this event Jackie Stewart began a campaign to improve safety in motor racing. Removable steering wheels and a main electrics switch became mandatory and BRM provided a medical truck.
In 1968 and 1969 Stewart drove F1 for Ken Tyrrell. Behind the steering wheel of a Matra MS80 Jackie Stewart became the 1969 World Champion. He once again became World Champion in 1971 and 1973. During his racing career, Jackie Stewart received great recognition including the Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year” award and BBC’s “Sports Personality Of The Year” in 1973. In 2001 Stewart received the title Sir. Even after retiring as an F1 driver Jackie Stewart, The Flying Scot, has gone on to exert an influence on the sport.