|1997||Ford||RG Barrichello, JE Magnussen||17||33||0||1||8||2||0||0||0||3||0||6||9|
|1998||Ford||RG Barrichello, JE Magnussen, J Verstappen||16||31||0||0||12||5||0||0||0||5||0||5||8|
|1999||Ford||RG Barrichello, J Herbert||16||31||1||4||20||1||0||1||1||1||0||36||4|
|First race||Australian Grand Prix||Albert Park||March 9, 1997||Race results|
|Last race||Japanese Grand Prix||Suzuka||October 31, 1999||Race results|
Jackie Stewart and Sir Jack Brabham won three Formula One World championships apiece. And they both formed their own grand prix teams. Here, though, the similarity between the Scot and the Australian ends.
For "Black Jack" started his own team when he was still a racer, indeed clinching his final crown in one of his own cars, back in 1966. In contrast, Jackie waited after he hung up his helmet at the end of 1973 until 1997 to take the plunge, and Formula One had come a long, long way in the interim. Stewart, however, was ready for this, as he had spent the intervening years as a successful businessman.
The main tenet in Stewart's life is that if you do something, you do it properly. And no one is more meticulous than Jackie Stewart. Indeed, he was effectively the first professional Formula One driver. Not because he was the first to be paid for his services, but because he was the very first to embrace the practices and principals that we still regard today as being truly "professional".
It is not entirely correct to say that Stewart Grand Prix had been formed from scratch, though, for Jackie and his elder son Paul had been running Paul Stewart Racing since 1987, moving up very successfully through the ranks from Formula Ford via Formula Three and Formula 3000, fielding the likes of David Coulthard, Gil de Ferran and Jan Magnussen.
For the team's maiden season, it had a tidy chassis penned by former Footwork designer Alan Jenkins, power from Ford's best V10 engine, promisingly competitive tyres from Bridgestone and fine drivers in Rubens Barrichello and Magnussen. However, these ingredients did not come together as the team Stewart would have wished.
High points included Barrichello finding a new lease of life after rather losing the plot at Jordan and stunning everyone by qualifying fifth in Argentina. The flip-side of this was that Magnussen seemed to suffer all of the team's misfortune.
The team was given hope by the way that its Bridgestones appeared to have an advantage over the teams racing on Goodyears whenever it was wet. And so it proved in Monaco, when Barrichello drove an inspired race to not only finish for the first time that year, but to finish second. The wet track became wetter still as the Stewarts cried their eyes out.
Success in Formula One is not a one-year project, though, and the Stewarts were well aware of this. One only has to compare their approach to entering the big time with Lola's flawed bid - which also kicked off at the 1997 Australian Grand Prix - to see that you have to arrive with everything in place.
To start beating the established teams is another matter altogether, though, and the early races of 1998 showed that the corner had yet to be turned. Anxious for some progress, Magnussen was shown the door after scoring a point for the first time, in Canada. Barrichello was fifth that day, just as he had been in Spain.
Replacement Jos Verstappen failed to do any better and it became clear that much work would have to be done to push the team up the grid in 1999, with Johnny Herbert being signed in place of Verstappen for this purpose.
Progress was made through 1999, with Barrichello claiming third place in the San Marino Grand Prix. The Brazilian then claimed pole in the wet at Magny-Cours, but only by dint of setting a quick time before the rain came down harder, then raced to third in the wet-dry race. However, the team's day of days came at the Nurburgring, when Herbert and Barrichello read the changing conditions and kept out of trouble to be first and third, enabling the team to edge past Williams to rank fourth overall.
The team was then sold to Ford and rebranded as Jaguar for 2000.
Reproduced from The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Formula One published by Carlton Books
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