Sir Jackie Stewart’s place in the pantheon of F1 greats is assured, the Scot certainly up there as one of the most naturally gifted drivers to ever sit in a Formula 1 car.
But as Sir Jackie reveals to presenter Tom Clarkson in this week’s episode of the official F1 podcast – Beyond The Grid, presented by Bose – he was fortunate to have access to one of the finest motor racing teachers you could hope for, in the form of his one-time London flat mate, double world champion Jim Clark.
“More people, I think, died in Lotuses than any other racing car. But Jim Clark didn't stress a Lotus. He was so smooth and so gentle, he just drove the car with such ease, and the car loved it.
“He was a very nervous man. People don't realise that. Jim Clark hardly had any fingernails. He ate his fingernails, right down to blood sometimes. And yet when he got into a car, he was absolutely at home in the fullest sense.
“Jim Clark was the man. I learned more from Jim Clark than I did from anyone else."
The three-time champion goes on to reveal who he rates as the sport’s greatest ever driver (no spoilers here!), explains how lessons learned in his early shooting career helped pave the way for Formula 1 success, as well as considering where newly-crowned five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton ranks among the F1 giants.
As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also be treated to a potted history of Stewart Grand Prix (“I was talked into it!”), discover why $6 million wasn’t enough to lure Sir Jackie back into the cockpit, and find out why, if you wanted to get out of a circuit quickly back in the day, you needed to make friends with the ambulance drivers…
Triumph, tragedy and tenacity, it’s all there in this fascinating edition of Beyond The Grid. To listen, subscribe now via Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast app, or simply enjoy it in the player above.
And to check out all the episodes to date, including conversations with the likes of Martin Brundle, Alain Prost and Jacques Villeneuve, click here.