Stewart (Stewart Grand Prix) PDF Print E-mail

Stewart (Stewart Grand Prix)

Active 1986-2001
Grand Prix entries 260
Grand Prix driven 260
Grand Prix driven - all cars 519
Wins 27
Pole Positions 15
Fastest race laps 36
Led races 56
Points 861,500

First entry Grand Prix of Brazil 1986
with Gerhard Berger / Teo Fabi
entered cars: Benetton-BMW B186
First start Grand Prix of Brazil 1986
with Gerhard Berger / Teo Fabi
entered cars: Benetton-BMW B186
Last entry Grand Prix of Japan 2001
with Jenson Button / Giancarlo Fisichella
entered cars: Benetton-Renault B201
Last start Grand Prix of Japan 2001
with Jenson Button / Giancarlo Fisichella
entered cars: Benetton-Renault B201
First point(s) Grand Prix of Brazil 1986
with Gerhard Berger
entered cars: Benetton-BMW B186
Last point(s) Grand Prix of Belgium 2001
with Giancarlo Fisichella
entered cars: Benetton-Renault B201

Stewart Grand Prix was formed by three times Formula One champion Jackie Stewart and his son Paul Stewart. The team competed in the category for only three years, as the Ford works-supported team, achieving one win and one pole position. At the end of 1999 Ford bought the team outright and it was renamed Jaguar Racing. In 2004 Jaguar Racing was sold to energy drink company Red Bull and became Red Bull Racing.

Origins of the team
Although the new team was formed from scratch, a considerable amount of previous experience went into it. Three times world champion Jackie Stewart had both a wealth of experience in Formula One and excellent connections high up in the Ford Motor Company that helped the new team gain the works engine deal for its first season. Paul Stewart had a moderately successful driving career in Formula 3000 and lower categories and had experience in running Paul Stewart Racing, which by the time the Formula One team was created was a well established and respected outfit in Formula Three and Formula 3000.

Racing History
With backing from Ford, they entered the 1997 Australian Grand Prix with drivers Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen. The only success of their first year came at the rain-affected Monaco Grand Prix where Barrichello finished an impressive second. Magnussen in the second car finished just outside the points in 7th. Overall it was an impressive first season from Stewart, as teams often struggle badly with the pace of Formula One.

1998 was a great struggle for the team, with neither driver able to step onto the podium. Indeed, points were hard to come by, and after a number of poor drives Jan Magnussen was replaced by Dutchman Jos Verstappen, ironically the race after gaining his first and only Formula One points at the accident hit Canadian Grand Prix. In the end the driver change did not seem to make a great difference as Jos also struggled with the car but did push Barrichello harder than Magnussen. Verstappen left the team at the end of the season after Johnny Herbert joined but was less than happy with the set up of Stewart and blasted it for its favouritism to Barrichello and accused it of being unable to run more than one car.

After Ford acquired Cosworth in July 1998, they risked designing and building a brand-new engine for 1999. It paid off. The SF3 was quick out of the box, however embarrassingly for Stewart both cars over-heated on the grid of the first race, the Australian Grand Prix, after qualifying competitively. This put Herbert out instantly and made Barrichello start from the pit lane. Barrichello drove a blinding race and was unfortunate not to win, as all the cars who were ahead of him on the grid failed to finish the race. Had he not started from the pit lane and unluckily gained a stop-go penalty he could have had more than 5th place. The car was consistently competitive throughout the season, however the engine initially proved fragile as both cars blew their engines at the Brazilian race which meant the engine was rarely run at full power. Stewart's competitiveness was affirmed by running first in Brazil for a long spell of the race and qualifying on pole for the French Grand Prix with Barrichello. Johnny Herbert inherited a popular victory at the rain soaked European Grand Prix at the new Nürburgring after other leading contenders crashed off the track or lost time in the pits changing tyres[1]. Barrichello finished third, in a result most observers indicated that Stewart deserved given their strength over the season. Johnny Herbert also became unwittingly influential in the championship at the next and penultimate race, the Malaysian Grand Prix. Running 3rd behind the Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine a mistake in the closing laps allowed Mika Häkkinen to slip past and claim the final podium position which gave the championship contender vital points. The Ferraris were disqualified for car irregularities and the win allowed Häkkinen to gain his second championship. The Stewarts as a result finished 2nd and 3rd in the race. However Ferrari won an appeal and the initial result was reinstated. Häkkinen however went on to win the championship and Stewart came 4th in the Constructors Championship beating illustrious teams such as Williams and Benetton. Stewart's last race was the Japanese Grand Prix of 1999.

After Ford increased its commitment by buying the team out, it became known as Jaguar Racing for the 2000 season.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 May 2007 12:33

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