World champion 1969, 1971, 1973
The thing that I, along with probably all racing enthusiasts, am looking forward to this year is seeing some closer racing. Whether we get it or not… well, we will have to wait and see.
I think the worst outcome would be another year of Mercedes dominance. You can’t blame Mercedes for that – they are just working within the rules, they want to be the best.
Also, you could argue that F1 has always had periods of dominance by a certain team, whether that was Ferrari with Michael Schumacher or Red Bull when they won four in a row. And historically there have been times when one team dominated, too, going right back to the Silver Arrows of the 1930s. So, in some ways it’s an unfair dream to want closer racing, but I think that is what the sport needs.
People will also be talking about the halo. I know some people say it is ugly but they said that about Colin Chapman’s wing cars! You have to have it.
I remember in the 1968 Indianapolis 500, I didn’t drive because I had hurt my wrist, but Mike Spence stood in and a wheel came off and hit him in the head. I visited him in hospital and there wasn’t a mark on his body but his head injury was fatal. We have to prevent injuries rather than treat them and the halo does that.
The key battle will be Lewis against Seb, although Red Bull has two very fine drivers, too. I see the Mercedes and Ferrari battle as being very technical and don’t know whether Ferrari has the team or the one person in the team – like a Schumacher or Ross Brawn character who the team can get around.
If you ask me who I am rooting for, it’s not that I don’t want Lewis to win a fifth title, but I think it would be positive for the sport and attendances around the world as well as television and electronic media for another team and driver to have a chance.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a dream team of Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen and Alonso all driving the same cars with the same engine. Christian Horner as boss.
Sir Jackie Stewart is founder of Race Against Dementia. Visit www.raceagainstdementia.com