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.
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.
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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