Issue # 11

Monday November 23

Every Monday 

P7 Jackie Stewart

The missing piece of the top ten

Stewart is alone among his peers in the top ten having never had a car that was the star of the field. Fangio and Hamilton's Mercedes, Schumacher's Ferrari, Prost and Senna with their McLarens ... Stewart won his titles and championships without that kind of advantage. For sure he had good cars but nothing categorically technologically superior to the cars he raced. With the exception of Graham Hill he blew his team mates away winning all his championships by comfortable margins. He retired well before we saw his best.

He drove in a deadly era. He'd attended too many funerals and decided his could be next. The cars had become faster and faster and faster but safety wasn't any more important in 1970 than it had been in 1950. 

Stewart changed that. 


At a soaking wet Spa in 1966 he crashed his BRM into a farmer's field where the car flipped upside down and trapped him underneath. He was stuck fast for 25 minutes being drenched in petrol pouring out of the ruptured fuel tank. F1 drivers were as likely to burn to death in a crash than die from the crash itself in those days. His team mate at the time, Graham Hill, borrowed a spanner from a spectator to remove the steering wheel and get him out. (This moment is behind steering wheels today being detachable.) Then he laid around for some time because there was no ambulance or doctor on scene. When an ambulance finally turned up it got lost on the way to the hospital. Sir Jackie didn't see the funny side. At all. He started the move to improve safety which continues today.

On the Sports Annual table he is in 7th position, splitting Senna and Prost. He is 8/100ths off Prost and just over a tenth down the road from Senna. The fight between these three drivers is the closest on the grid.

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THE COMPLETE TOP TEN

1st.  JM Fangio

2.125 rpw / 5.941 ppr

Gap to Lewis ---     

2nd. L. Hamilton

2.808 rpw / 5.314 ppr

Gap to Ascari ---

3rd. A. Ascari

2.461 rpw / 4.906 ppr

Gap to Clark --- 1.172

4th. Jim Clark 

2.880 rpw / 4.153 ppr

Gap to Schumacher --- 0.298

5th. M Schumacher

3.373 rpw / 4.348 ppr

Gap to Prost --- 0.646

6th A. Prost 

3.902 rpw / 4.231 ppr

Gap to Stewart --- 0.086

7th. J Stewart

3.666 rpw / 3.909 ppr

Gap to Senna --- 0.145

8th. Ayrton Senna

3.926 rpw / 4.024 ppr

Gap to Vettel ---  ​  

9th. Sebastian Vettel

4.792 rpw / 4.027 ppr

Gap to Moss ---   

10th. Stirling Moss

4.125 rpw / 3.090 ppr