Champion of champions
Jackie Stewart and Mario Andretti competed with each other in F1 for several years in the late sixties and early seventies.
But while Stewart was reeling off wins and titles for Ken Tyrrell, Andretti’s F1 campaign was part-time at first as he concentrated his efforts on racing in America.
Stewart turned down the chance to make his F1 debut alongside Jim Clark at Lotus, preferring instead to drive for BRM in 1965. Regular points finishes and a win in Monza helped Stewart to third in the championship, seven points behind team mate Graham Hill.
He started 1966 with a win in Monaco but much of the rest of the season was blighted by unreliability. The following year was even worse, but Stewart finished on the podium on the two occasions that his H16-engined car saw the chequered flag.
A switch to Matra in 1968 saw him finish runner-up that year before clinching his first championship in 1969.
It was at Watkins Glen in 1968 that Andretti made his debut – from pole position. He made occasional starts for the team for two seasons, then March in 1970. In 1971 he occasionally drove for Ferrari, winning on his first appearance for them at Kyalami.
Stewart, meanwhile, began building a team around him. Tyrrell switched from chassis buyer to full-blown constructor, and although this inevitably meant there was some teething trouble, Stewart won with the car in 1970. That set up a tilt at the title the following year, which he delivered, with six wins sealing his second crown.
Another might have followed in 1972 but he was sidelined by an ulcer, which temporarily kept him out of the cockpit. Emerson Fittipaldi seized the initiative but Stewart gave notice of his intentions by winning the final two races of the year. Sure enough, with five wins supported by consistent points finishes he was champion once again in 1973.
Stewart retired at the end of the season. Andretti didn’t start any F1 races that year and made just two in 1974 with the Parnelli team. Colin Chapman enticed him back to Lotus for 1976 and at the end of the year he scored his long overdue second Grand Prix win.
His title chances were blunted by unreliability in 1977 but he won four of the seven races he finished. With an improved 78 the following year he bagged the title – but Lotus then fell into sharp decline.
Andretti hung around for two more years driving the dreadfully uncompetitive 80 and 81. After a poor 1981 with Alfa Romeo he quit the sport, only to make a couple of appearances as a substitute for Williams and Ferrari in 1982.
Which of these drivers should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions? Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.
|Jackie Stewart||Mario Andretti|
|Titles||1969, 1971, 1973||1978|
|Second in title year/s||Jacky Ickx, Ronnie Peterson, Emerson Fittipaldi||Ronnie Peterson|
|Teams||BRM, Matra, Tyrrell||Lotus, March, Ferrari, Parnelli, Alfa Romeo, Williams|
|Notable team mates||Graham Hill, Johnny Servoz-Gavin, Francois Cevert||Jacky Ickx, Clay Regazzoni, Ronnie Peterson|
|Wins||27 (27.27%)||12 (9.38%)|
|Poles||17 (17.17%)||18 (14.06%)|
|Modern points per start1||11.20||5.24|
|% car failures2||32.32||39.84|
|Modern points per finish3||16.55||8.71|
|Notes||Finished his first six races in the points and won his eighth start||Dabbled in F1 with different teams in late sixties/early seventies|
|Runner-up to Graham Hill in 1968 before winning three titles in five years||Six-year stint with Lotus yielded ’78 title|
|Retired on the eve of what would have been his 100th start after team mate Cevert was killed||Made brief return from retirement in 1982 with Williams and Ferrari|
|Bio||Jackie Stewart||Mario Andretti|
1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure
Which was the better world champion driver?
- Jackie Stewart (92%)
- Mario Andretti (8%)
Total Voters: 556
Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.
Have you voted in the previous rounds of Champion of Champions yet? Find them all here:
Champion of Champions
- Ayrton Senna voted Champion of Champions by F1 Fanatic readers
- Champion of Champions in stats
- Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher
- Ayrton Senna vs Juan Manuel Fangio
- Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost
- Ayrton Senna vs Jack Brabham
- Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart
- Alain Prost vs Niki Lauda
- Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher
- Jack Brabham vs Lewis Hamilton
Images © Ford.com (Stewart), Williams/Sutton (Andretti)