Sir Jackie Stewart is a British former Formula One racing driver from Scotland. His name is legendary, and he represents what every sportsperson should aspire to be like. Whether its winning three world championships, staying married for 60 years or being the sole carer for his dementia suffering wife, he epitomizes all that is good about sportsmanship.
Jackie Stewart won in 1969, 1971, and 1973. By the time of his retirement he had won 27 races, a record that would stand until finally being bettered by Alain Prost in 1987. He also raced in the American NASCAR sieries where he achieved severl podium finishes.
He is also a passionate advocate for safety and a founder of Race Against Dementia, a charity that supports research into finding a cure for the disease that affects his wife, Helen. Here are some facts about his life and achievements.
Jackie Stewart’s Childhood
Jackie Stewart was born on 11 June 1939 in Milton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, a village fifteen miles west of Glasgow.
His family were Austin, and later Jaguar, car dealers and had built up a successful business.
His father had been an amateur motorcycle racer, and his brother Jimmy was a racing driver who competed in the 1953 British Grand Prix at Silverstone
Jackie Stewart’s Schooling?
Jackie attended Hartfield primary school in the nearby town of Dumbarton and moved to Dumbarton Academy at the age of 12. He left school at the age of 16 without any qualifications due to his undiagnosed dyslexia.
Stewart suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia. Kids and teachers called him “dumb” and “thick” because they did not understand dyslexia.
He was unable to continue his secondary education past the age of 16 and began working in his father’s garage as an apprentice mechanic.
Specialists only diagnosed him with dyslexia in 1980. His oldest son Mark was diagnosed with the condition.
Jackie learnt that dyslexia can be genetically passed on. He saw very similar symptoms with his son that he had experienced himself as a child.
Jackie Stewart’s Family
Jackie Stewart married Helen McGregor in 1962, and they have two sons, Paul and Mark. Helen was his stopwatch during his racing career, timing his laps to the millisecond.
Jackie Stewart’s Wife
Doctors diagnosed Helen with dementia in 2014, and since then Jackie has devoted much of his time and energy to raising awareness and funds for research into finding a cure for the disease.
He founded Race Against Dementia, a charity that supports innovative and collaborative projects in neuroscience, engineering, and technology
Jackie Stewart’s Sons
Paul Stewart followed his father’s footsteps into motorsport, first as a driver and then as a team owner.
He co-founded Stewart Grand Prix with Jackie in 1997, which later became Jaguar Racing and then Red Bull Racing. He also survived cancer in 1999
Mark Stewart is a film producer and director, who has worked on documentaries such as
- Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman
- Chasing Perfect: The Frank Stephenson Story.
- He also helped produce the biographical film Jackie Stewart: Weekend of a Champion in 1972
How Did Jackie Stewart Get Into Motorsport?
Jackie Stewart got into motorsport through his family’s involvement in car dealing and racing.
His father raced motorcycles as a hobby, and his brother Jimmy raced cars for Ecurie Ecosse. Jimmy also introduced Jackie to Barry Filer, a customer of the family garage who ran a driving school at Oulton Park.
Filer invited Jackie to test one of his cars at the circuit. Jackie’s natural talent impressed him.
Jackie initially pursued a career in clay pigeon shooting, becoming Scottish champion at the age of 14 and aiming for the Olympics. However, he gave up shooting after failing to qualify for the 1960 Games due to illness.
He then focused on racing cars instead, starting with Formula Three in 1963. He won his first race at Snetterton in Norfolk, driving for Ken Tyrrell’s team.
How did Jackie Stewart get into F1?
Jackie Stewart got into F1 after impressing BRM team manager Alfred Owen during a test session at Goodwood in 1964.
Owen offered him a contract for the 1965 season alongside Graham Hill, who became Jackie’s mentor and friend1
Jackie made his F1 debut at the 1965 South African Grand Prix, where he qualified sixth and finished in the same position.
He scored his first podium at the Monaco Grand Prix, where he finished third behind Hill and Lorenzo Bandini.
Stewart then won his first race at the Italian Grand Prix, where he led from start to finish and set the fastest lap. He ended his rookie season third in the championship, behind Hill and Jim Clark.
Jackie Stewart Nascar
Jackie Stewart also competed in Nascar in 1966 and 1967, driving for Holman Moody.
The team that was supported by Ford. He made his debut at the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he qualified second and finished 15th after suffering engine problems.
He then raced at the Riverside 500, where he qualified fourth and finished second behind Dan Gurney.
In 1967, he returned to Riverside for the Motor Trend 500, where he qualified third and finished fourth behind Gurney, Parnelli Jones and Cale Yarborough.
He also raced at the Daytona 500, where he qualified 11th and finished 18th after being involved in a multi-car crash. He then raced at the Atlanta 500, where he qualified fifth and finished seventh behind Richard Petty
Jackie Stewart Net Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Jackie Stewart’s net worth is estimated to be $50 million as of 2021. This is based on his earnings from his racing career, his endorsements, his media work and his business ventures.
Heineken Commercial Jackie Stewart
Jackie Stewart starred in a Heineken commercial in 2016, as part of the beer brand’s campaign to promote responsible drinking.
The commercial showed Jackie turning down offers of champagne after winning races throughout his career, with the tagline “When you drive, never drink”. The commercial also featured a cameo by his son Paul, who handed him a bottle of Heineken at the end.
Jackie Stewart Wife
Jackie Stewart’s wife is Helen McGregor, whom he married in 1962. They met when they were both 18 years old, at a dance hall in Glasgow.
Helen was studying to be a nurse, and Jackie was working as a mechanic. They have been together for over 60 years, and have two sons, Paul, and Mark.
Helen was diagnosed with dementia in 2014. Since then Jackie has been her primary carer and supporter.
He founded Race Against Dementia, a charity that funds research into finding a cure for the disease. He also wrote a book called Winning Is Not Enough: The Autobiography, which is dedicated to Helen.
Jackie Stewart Car Collection
Jackie Stewart has an incredible car collection that represents a testament to his own journey. Some of the cars he owns or has owned include:
- A Jaguar E-Type that he bought in 1961 with his first racing earnings.
- A Ford GT40 that he raced at Le Mans in 1966 and 1967.
- A Matra MS80 that he drove to his first world championship in 1969.
- A Tyrrell 003 that he drove to his second world championship in 1971.
- A Tyrrell 006 that he drove to his third world championship in 1973.
- A Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren that he bought in 2004 as a gift for Helen.
- A Ferrari F40 that he bought in 1988 as an investment.
Jackie Stewart Lewis Hamilton
Jackie Stewart has praised Lewis Hamilton as one of the greatest drivers of all time but has also criticized him for some of his actions and comments.
In 2018, Stewart said that Hamilton was “the best driver that’s ever been” after he won his fifth world championship. He also said that Hamilton had “raised the bar” for F1 drivers with his talent and charisma.
In 2020, Stewart said that Hamilton was “not quite” in the same league as Juan Manuel Fangio or Jim Clark, because they raced in more dangerous and competitive eras.
He also said that Hamilton’s dominance was partly due to having the best car and team.
When did Jackie Stewart win the Formula 1 F1 World Championship?
Stewart won his first Formula One World Championship in 1969, driving for Matra. He repeated the feat in 1971 and 1973, driving for Tyrrell, his own team that he co-founded with Ken Tyrrell.
He was also the runner-up in 1968 and 1972, making him one of the most consistent performers of his era.
Jackie Stewarts Formula 1 statistics
Stewart competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, entering 100 races and starting 99 of them. His achievements are summarized below.
- He scored 359 points (360 under the current system)
- He had 27 wins
- 43 podiums
- 17 pole positions
- 15 fastest laps.
- He had an average finish of 4.42 and a win rate of 27.27%.
He also set several records that still stand today, such as:
- The most wins in a season with a single car number (9 wins with car number 5 in 1969)
- The most consecutive podium finishes (17 between 1968 and 1970)
- The most podium finishes in a season without winning the championship (11 in 1968)
When Was Jackie Stewart Knighted?
Stewart was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001 for his services to motor racing and charity. He is also an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) since 1972, and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) since 1996. He has received many other honors and awards, such as:
- The BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1973
- The International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction in 1990
- The Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016
Jackie Stewart Hat
Jackie Stewart loved his hat.
It was a flat cap made of Stewart Racing tartan, a special version of his clan’s pattern that he had designed himself. He wore it to every race, as a symbol of his pride and identity.
Why did he choose this particular hat? The answer was simple: it was a tribute to his mother. She had given him the cap when he was a young boy, and he never forgot her love and support.
He once said, “The cap is part of me. It’s like a lucky charm.”