Few people would be taken seriously after making such a statement. Comparing Lewis Hamilton to Jim Clark? Dangerous territory. But if anyone has a right to mention both in the same breath it’s Sir Jackie Stewart. It’s fair to say he knows what he’s talking about.
The three-time World Champion joins Nigel Roebuck in the April issue of Motor Sport to preview the forthcoming Grand Prix season, and does not shy away from bold claims, particularly about Hamilton’s potential. As ever, Stewart chooses his words carefully. He doesn’t state that the reigning World Champion is the equal, and certainly not better than his much-loved old friend. But he has no hesitation in making it clear what Lewis might become – that he “could be another Jim Clark”. Wow.
That’s a great deal for Hamilton to live up to. Clark is revered for good reason. But if Hamilton continues to perform as he has in his first two years as a Grand Prix driver, in time he will be too. Stewart’s words ring true.
No surprise there. Stewart might be 36 years retired as a racing driver, but his love for the sport remains undiminished – and despite what certain high-ranking officials in the sport might say, so does his instinctive understanding of racing in the modern era. Which is exactly why Nigel chose to preview the season with him once again. In our experience, Sir Jackie’s thoughts have always proved uncannily prescient.
The car on the cover of the April issue is one that will stir the blood of any sports car fan of the 1980s. The gorgeous Martini Lancia LC2 Group C car took the fight to Porsche and Jaguar during a wonderful era of endurance racing. We travelled to Germany, to Jan B Leuhn’s dealership, to photograph the car, while Gary Watkins tells the story of a fast but fragile beauty.
Simon Taylor’s ‘Lunch with’ series is always a treat, and this month is no exception. Eddie Jordan isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but he sure brought a lot of colour and excitement to Formula 1 during his time as a team owner. Now he is back as a BBC pundit and talks to Simon about his incredible past and his enthusiasm for the sport today.
All this, plus the introduction of a new irregular series by Doug Nye, Andrew Frankel’s test of the stunning Audi R8 V10 and the usual eclectic mix of the past and present, makes up what I hope you’ll agree is another great issue of the fastest growing car magazine in the UK (it’s been confirmed our readership figures for 2008 were up by 12.6 per cent – as usual, Motor Sport bucks the trend!).