July 2022: Jackie Stewart happily walks through the paddock of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Two months later, Jacky Ickx watches the Italian Grand Prix in Monza with great interest in the Ferrari pits. What connects the two? These famous racing drivers finished first and second in the 1969 World Drivers’ Championship. At the time, both were regarded as pioneers for more safety on the race tracks. And their passion for racing is still unbroken today.
Let’s go back 53 years. There were just eleven Formula 1 races in the world championship; in 2023 there would be 24! At that time, the world’s fastest racing drivers had time on their weekends off for other races: Formula 2, sports prototypes, racing touring cars. This gives the racing gentlemen a change of pace and a tidy bit of extra income. Jackie Stewart drove in Formula 2 in 1969, Jacky Ickx competed for the John Wyer team in the World Sports Car Championship on the weekends off from Grand Prix racing and won the closest Le Mans finish of all time against Porsche works driver Hans Herrmann in 1969 with the Gulf-Ford GT40. Jo Siffert is also very busy: Formula 1, World Sports Car Championship with Porsche, Formula 2 factory racing for BMW.
»How are you, Jackie?«
The answer is easy to guess, Mr. Stewart had just won the British Grand Prix.
It is only consistent that the fifth volume of the “Car Racing” books focuses not only on GrandPrix racing, but on the whole variety of motorsport. Racing became more dazzling, Formula 1 began to smoke, Lotus sacrificed the traditional British Racing Green for the red and gold Gold Leaf livery. In terms of fashion, Jackie Stewart and his Helen cited the hippie outfit with long hair and short skirts. The world champion team, of course, was cut from a different cloth, the timber merchant Ken Tyrrell prepared and constructed such good racing cars that Jackie Stewart became champion in 1969, 1971 and 1973 with a great overview in the cockpit.
“Car Racing 1969” with texts by motorsport expert Alain Pernot and former racing driver and photographer Manou Zurini is the fifth volume in the series that begins with the year 1965. The illustrated book is published by Éditions Cercle d’Art.
With the third title, Stewart voluntarily stepped down. Many of his companions were not granted this during his active time. They left their lives on the race track, like Jim Clark, Bruce McLaren, Jochen Rindt, Piers Courage, Joseph Siffert or François Cevert, who was chosen as Stewart’s successor at Tyrrell.
And Jacky Ickx? Won the 24 Hours of Le Mans five more times after his Formula 1 career and also took first place in the 1983 Paris-Dakar Rally, with an extremely robust Mercedes-Benz 280 GE.
The photos in this story come from “Car Racing 1969”, the fifth illustrated book in a yearbook series published by Cercle d’Art. The work, with texts by motorsport expert Alain Pernot and former racing driver and photographer Manou Zurini, was produced in collaboration with the French photo agency DPPI and the watch brand Richard Mille.
The manufacturer of “racing machines for the wrist” is strongly rooted in motorsport due to the car passion of its eponymous founder. With numerous sponsorships in various racing series and the founding of an initially all-women’s team in Le Mans, Richard Mille rewards himself, as he says.
You can order the book “Car Racing 1969” here: https://www.cercledart.com/produit/car-racing-1969/