“Montjuïch was a fantastic circuit, very demanding,” says Stewart. “One of the great circuits in the world in my opinion, because it had both slow corners, fast corners, good long straights. Ups and downs, I mean a real difference in altitude. Barcelona, you know, really lived it. It was a very exciting place to race.”
Watching the race would have quickened the heart-rate too, as the Tyrrell vs Ferrari battle began in earnest.
“Stewart was hounding Ickx mercilessly and got by on lap six, but his lead was negligible,” wrote Denis Jenkinson in the Motor Sport race report. “For the whole race these two battled it out, lapping faster and faster, and Stewart was on the limit all the time, with Ickx driving equally as hard and keeping Stewart right on his toes.
“Diving, twisting and turning round the park these two kept at it in a masterly display of driving, leaving all the opposition behind, and lapping all the slower cars, some of them twice.”
It must have been a blast to drive.
“No,” says Stewart. “I removed emotion. If you got emotional you made a mistake. You learn how to be clinical. If you overdrive you make mistakes. The more relaxed you become, the faster you go.”
Stewart won’t admit to even a grin behind his helmet as he darted through the Barcelona parkland, with Ickx in hot pursuit.
And with Ken Tyrrell in charge in the pitlane, race weekends were businesslike for the team from Ockham, Surrey.
“There was no celebration,” says Stewart. “Really, not at all. Ken Tyrrell, all he did was clap his hand, and then rub his hands round in circles and then say, ‘Right, you get this box done you get that box done so let’s get home’.