7. Francois Cevert
Before his death, he was lined up as Sir Jackie Stewart’s replacement at leader of the Tyrrell team. It wasn’t a maybe, it was a definite. Sir Jackie claims that Cevert was faster than he ever was and just needed to refine himself a little bit and he would be a true great. He had won a race, he scored points and many podiums, and he is inarguably and objectively the most attractive man to have ever raced in Formula One. He finished 2nd six times in 1973 alone. Stewart was to retire at the end of 1973, Cevert to get the #1 spot. The stage was set, Cevert would be the next Tyrrell World Champion.
Then, at Stewart’s final Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in 1973, documentary footage caught Stewart and Cevert debating whether to use 3rd or 4th gear through the Esses. Stewart chose 4th gear, less response but the car would be less nervous and easier to control. Cevert chose 3rd, higher revs and quicker response. He crashed in qualifying, Stewart retired on the spot, and Tyrrell never won another World Championship. Formula One and the world was robbed of another great gentleman and driver.
8. Sir Jackie Stewart
For those balking at JYS’ inclusion, you’ve got to contemporise, man. Firstly, just look at that hair. Secondly, three world title. Fourthly, he was simultaneously the last of the gentleman drivers to win the world titles, but the first of the consummate professionals. Finally, that fucking hair, man. He was the coolest you could be in the era, he was beyond talented. His wet win at the Nurburgring could arguably rival Fangio’s great win as one of the greatest drives of all time.
Jackie, Jackie and Piers.
Drivers at the 1966 Mexican Grand Prix. Fiver if you can name ‘em all.
Jim and Jackie, Spa Francorchamps, 1965.
Jimmy, Colin and Jackie in his pre-tartan days.
Nice bunch of lads there.
Mark Webber’s pass on Alonso through Eau Rouge was an example of when a grand prix driver has really come of age, racing against another grand prix driver that he has sufficient confidence in. And Alonso would have to be given the credit for being someone that Mark Webber had such trust and confidence in - because trust and confidence is not always the same thing - to be able to execute that manoeuvre, and it was the manoeuvre of the year for me.