the perfect partnership
coincidentally, the relationship
between Jackie stewart and
Ken tyrrell (aBOVe) also yielded
25 grand prix victories. and
arguably it was even stronger
than clark and chapman’s. .
“Ken was always focused
and never looked back,”
stewart says. “We never lost
the depth of our friendship.
i had trust in him when i
joined in ’ 68. the ford engine
was so simple, and in f2 the
Matra chassis was seamless
silk. i knew Ken had the right
people. i knew going with him
Most of the time they got
along well, although tyrrell
admitted that the warm-up
for the ’ 68 German Gp on the
foggy nurburgring was the
only time he forced a driver to
run. “i thought it was unsafe,”
says stewart. “the fog was
ridiculous and the rain really
heavy. i never did a lap of the
nurburgring that i didn’t have
to do, but Ken said: ‘no, you’ve
got to go out so you’ll know
where the water is.’ and he was
absolutely right. he convinced
me it was the right thing to do.”
that trust was crucial.
stewart won by four minutes.
“Ken was quite a bully,” says
stewart. “We had terrible
arguments. there were no
RACING’s top doublE ACts
six of dale Earnhardt’s seven
NAsCAR titles were earned with
team owner Richard Childress.
petty (lEFt) and Inman grew up
together at the race track, then
formed a legendary partnership.
subtleties.” the “tyrrell
froth-job,” as it was known,
was like a hurricane, yet blew
over as quickly as it brewed,
and afterwards there was an
endearing lack of animosity.
“Ken was an absolutely
straight shooter, that was his
greatest strength,” stewart
smiles. “he and i never
needed a contract for f1. We
had a handshake. he was a
beacon of integrity.”
to find similar chemistry in
U.s. racing, perhaps the long
and successful relationship
between nascar legend
richard petty and his cousin/
crew chief is the best example.
after Dale inman joined
petty enterprises full time in
1963, the pair won 180 races as
driver/crew chief, plus all seven
of petty’s championships.
inman left the team in 1981, but
later returned as a consultant.
the modern benchmark is Chad
Knaus/Jimmie Johnson, with six
titles for the duo...and counting.
only one star in Chapman’s orbit.
“Chapman had protected Jimmy from
almost everything,” Jackie says. “He could
depend on Colin to do everything for him,
fix his racing cars, do his travel, because
Lotus did that. When Jimmy moved to Paris
he had [journalist] Jabby Crombac and a
guy called Michel Fanquel. Jabby was his
racing and Chapman link, but Michel was
a totally different animal, more social. He
opened the world to Jimmy, who was
suddenly not the border farmer depending
on Colin Chapman; he was living in Paris,
the most sophisticated city in the world.”
And Stewart believes that would have
created tensions that had not hitherto
existed in Clark’s relationship with Chapman.
“I saw the change,” he says. “I mean,
“What might have
Jimmy was a different man. And we had
spent a lot of time together. In 1964 we
had shared John Whitmore’s flat in
London’s Mayfair. But the man I would go
to Paris to see when I was on business
there with Elf was just totally different.
“He was more independent, more vocal
about what he wanted. And I think Colin
was going to have more and more trouble
with him, if you know what I mean.
Because until then Jimmy asked Colin
about everything, and Colin told Jimmy
how it was going to be because Jimmy
needed that leadership, he needed that
figure there. But he was changing…”
What might have happened had Clark
not died at Hockenheim will forever remain
academic, but it’s interesting that the 1960
split with his friend Ian Scott Watson, the
man who probably did the most to promote
his talent in his formative years, may have
come because Scott Watson committed
the cardinal sin of pushing him too hard
– something for which Chapman was well
known. Whether their mutual trust would
have been sufficient to weather the
occasional storms that Stewart foresaw is
something else we’ll never know.
Perhaps Chapman would have
accommodated his star, for whom he
had such great fondness. When he hired
Emerson Fittipaldi in 1970, he told the
Brazilian: “No offence Emerson, but
I don’t want to get too close to you.
After Jimmy I just can’t allow that.”
happened had Clark not
died at Hockenheim will
remain forever academic”
(lEFt) Jim Clark’s
lotus 49 leads the
1967 british Gp on
route to his final
home win. (bElo W)
Victory in the 1965
Indy 500 cemented
beyond Formula 1.