Sir Jackie Stewart: It was harder to be champion in my time, we had 65 races

“When I became world champion for the first time in 1969, we only competed in 11 grands prix"

by Sead Dedovic
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Sir Jackie Stewart: It was harder to be champion in my time, we had 65 races
© Victor Blackman / Hulton Archive

Sir Jackie Stewart is a well-known name to older F1 fans. During the 60s and 70s of the last century, Stewart was one of the best drivers who broke many records. In that period, Stewart won the championship three times and was written in golden letters in the history of this sport.

Max Verstappen is close to achieving the same success. However, this former F1 driver believes that it is now much easier to win the championship. “Because there are a lot more races,” -Steward told Bild. “When I became world champion for the first time in 1969, we only competed in 11 grands prix.

This year the calendar consisted of 24 races [although two were cancelled]. Given the number, you can afford to have a bad weekend and still have a chance of winning the title afterwards. But that is only half the truth”.

Sir Jackie Stewart on his career

Sir Jackie Stewart mentioned some of the reasons why he had a much more difficult job than F1 drivers have now. In that period, there was much less money and more races, considering that Stewart was also active in other motorsports.


"All they do all year long is compete for their team. Back then I still had to drive in rally, IndyCar, touring championships and many other competitions to earn enough money. While drivers now drive 24 races a year, I had 65 when I was at my peak.

This meant that we travelled a lot more back then. My record for most Atlantic crossings in one year is 61!" The three-time champion believes that today's drivers have a much easier job. It seems that it was much more difficult to achieve fame back then..

“Don't forget: There were no private jets back then, I flew regular flights. This is unimaginable for most drivers today”.

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