Race of my life: Jackie Stewart on the 1973 Italian GP

As Autosport launches the latest episode in its Race of My Life podcast series, we take a look back at Sir Jackie Stewart's choice for the race of his life - the 1973 Italian Grand Prix, and the day he won his third and final F1 title

Race of my life: Jackie Stewart on the 1973 Italian GP

Race: 1973 Italian Grand Prix, Monza

Car: Tyrrell 006

"We'd had a very good season at Tyrrell and I was leading the world championship going into Monza, which was the last grand prix in Europe. I knew I could secure the title before flying away, but then one of the rear tyres began to deflate during the race...

"Although I didn't win the race it meant something to me that was more than just winning because I came from so far back to finish fourth and I broke the lap record many times in that race. I think I had a good day!

"I always had my mirrors focused on the rear tyres because in those days we had a lot more punctures, so I saw it looking concave and I came in.

"It wasn't like today when they do a 2.6- or a 4.6-second pitstop, we were in there for ages changing the tyre. We started with one set of tyres and full tanks and we didn't have the equipment to do any type of fast stop.

"Because it was the beginning of the race it meant that we were hugely behind, and I mean properly behind. There was nobody in sight on the longest straight, it must have been about a 30-second pitstop and I lost time on the in-lap, although the tyre wasn't falling apart as I had caught it early.

"Although I didn't win the race it meant something to me that was more than just winning because I came from so far back to finish fourth and I broke the lap record many times in that race" Jackie Stewart

"I think Ken [Tyrrell] thought that from that point on I was going to lose interest. We knew we had a bit of speed and we were catching everybody and I started doing some very good lap times, but I think he thought I might start getting bored so he started giving me pit signals like '-45 Fangio!' It was all quite funny.

"I was picking people off lap-by-lap and breaking the lap record time after time, and I kept on passing people. The last person I passed was my team-mate Francois [Cevert] and I ended up in fourth. I even thought I might get on the podium.

"Everyone was jumping up and down when I came in but I wasn't sure if we had won the championship. I said three times 'are you sure?' Then the crowd came flowing in and because I wasn't on the podium they mobbed me.

"I ended up going into a toilet with my wife Helen and everyone was thrashing at the door so we opened the window and climbed out and into the paddock, but they found us there, too.

"My first grand prix win had come at Monza in '65 so it was somewhere I got a huge amount of satisfaction from.

"The crowd are such aficionados and the PA system is good too, the place is so alive.

"The car felt good that day and so did I. It is possible to even win a race sometimes even if you haven't driven your very best and you know that you've made a few mistakes.

"Monza '73 was one of those days where I felt really satisfied with my own driving."

shares
comments
Why the reversed-grid races proposal won't go away
Previous article

Why the reversed-grid races proposal won't go away

Next article

The day Irvine showed he was more than Schumacher's subordinate

The day Irvine showed he was more than Schumacher's subordinate
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022