It was almost as if Formula 1 itself - rather than just Ken Tyrrell and Jackie Stewart - had groomed Francois Cevert to be Stewart's successor as the sport's standard-bearer. Glamorously good-looking, articulate, intelligent, cultured, charismatic and open - and by 1973 pretty much as fast and composed in the car as Stewart - he would have made a fabulous poster boy for the sport in the years ahead.
The relationship between Stewart and Cevert certainly had an element of master and pupil, sorcerer and apprentice, but was actually much more than that. It was an incredibly rare and warm relationship for two men competing in the same arena. As Stewart said at the time: "He's more than a friend; he's part of the family."
Over their four seasons as team-mates Stewart was essentially downloading everything he knew to Cevert, a blank circuit board when he arrived in F1 in 1970, maximising Tyrrell's chances of sustaining its success when Jackie decided to call it a day - as he considered doing at the end of '71 and finally did two years later.
To continue reading this feature, subscribe to Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus subscription includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.