Gasly “surprised how emotional Stewart was” over Cevert helmet tribute

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Alpine driver Pierre Gasly has described the special moment he had showing his Francois Cevert tribute helmet to Jackie Stewart at the United States Grand Prix.

Cevert died during qualifying for the 1973 edition of the race, held 50 years ago at the Watkins Glen circuit. He was Stewart’s team mate, and the three-times world champion chose not to compete in what would have been his final Formula 1 race in the wake of Cevert’s death.

Gasly wore a special helmet design to commemorate the anniversary of Cevert’s death in last weekend’s race at Circuit of the Americas.

“It was very emotional,” said the Alpine driver. “I was actually very surprised how emotional Jackie was when I opened the bag and he saw the helmet design, and it was my first proper time chatting with Sir Jackie Stewart.”

Cevert and Stewart were team mates at Tyrrell during the team’s heyday in the early seventies. Stewart was the team leader, and schooled the younger Cevert on how to improve his racecraft, before his untimely death at the 1973 season finale.

Stewart shared happy and sad memories of Cevert with Gasly
Gasly said Stewart shared “a lot of great stories about his time with Francois and the way that he taught [Cevert] his way in Formula 1 and the little tips he gave him to get the best out of himself.

“There were definitely some good chats and I’m glad we managed to make it and also for Francois’ family, I think they definitely appreciated the tribute and it shows he left a really good legacy in our sport.”

Five decades on from his death, the memory of Cevert is being kept alive, said Gasly. “In France he is definitely a big part of French history in F1 and motorsport.

“He had a very unique personality, character, was also very successful in a short time for the number of grands prix that he’s taken part and he had a very bright future ahead of him. So, I think it’s definitely important to recognise these champions and it was important for me to have this tribute after 50 years.”

Other French drivers have previously paid tribute to Cevert in the same way. Jean-Eric Vergne wore his helmet design at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2013, 40 years on from his death.

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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5 comments on “Gasly “surprised how emotional Stewart was” over Cevert helmet tribute”

  1. Beautiful.

  2. JYS is always very emotional talking about Cevert, he never shies away from it, but he always speaks passionately about Cevert both as a driver and as a man. JYS was his mentor, he was lining Cevert up to build on his own legacy and all his work (and that of Cevert) was taken in an instant. It’s such a great shame because Cevert could have had a long and successful career at the forefront of Grand Prix racing.

    1. You can tell the genuine love that Jackie has/had for Francois in his autobiography. Heartbreaking that both of their careers ended that way (JYS retiring one race early and not being able to hand over to his protege).

    2. So true @geemac

  3. “Champions forever” with extensive Cevert and Stewart interviews is still by far my favourite ever F1 documentary.

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