Jackie Stewart and his struggle to make F1 a safer sport for all | Giles Richards

The three-times world champion witnessed the death of more than 50 of his fellow drivers and campaigned successfully to reduce the chance of such events happening again

Two days after Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, Sir Jackie Stewart, the driver who was instrumental in shaping modern Formula One, will celebrate his 80th birthday: a milestone for the three-times world champion in the year that also marks the 50th since he won his first world title in 1969. The difference between F1 then and now could not be more marked.

Death stalked racing in Stewart’s day and that the sport is relatively safe now owes a huge debt to the Scot. His role in pressing for change is well known, but perhaps less so is the huge emotional toll the deaths inflicted and just how difficult it had been trying to force through better safety standards for drivers.

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