Top drivers "desperately missing" coaches – Stewart

Three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart says top drivers are "desperately missing" coaches, which he believes is "absolutely wrong".

Top drivers "desperately missing" coaches – Stewart

It is common for modern racing drivers to seek professional help with their physical preparation and conditioning, through the likes of personal trainers and nutritionists.

Stewart, who has long been an advocate of the benefits of coaching behind the wheel and mentally, believes modern F1 drivers are not making the most of other avenues of support.

He told Motorsport.com that using coaches is "one of the things that's desperately missing".

Stewart said: "I simply don't understand it to this day. Racing drivers are so clever that they don't need coaches. [It is] absolutely wrong.

"There is not a single driver at the highest peak of his skills who would not be assisted by wisdom and observations that he probably had never thought of.

"You go to skiing, golf, tennis, equestrian, anything you like to think of – and coaching is just one of the most important things.

"Now they [F1 drivers] are fit and they have coaches to help them with their physical condition, but not their mental ability. And I think that's completely wrong."

Stewart, world champion in 1969, 1971 and 1973, made his debut in 1965 with BRM.

He finished on the podium in only his second start and finished third in the championship.

Stewart spent his first two seasons alongside Graham Hill but said he was mentored by rivals as well as his two-time world champion teammate.

"I was so hungry to learn from other people and I was lucky I had Jim Clark to talk to," said Stewart. "He was the best racing driver I ever raced with.

"Because we shared an apartment together and we spent time together, I was never not trying to find things out that he would know and I couldn't possibly have been aware of at that stage in my career.

"And I had Graham Hill, and Graham never once didn't answer the question in full that I would have asked him, whether it was for a setting on the car or whether it was where do you brake or what gear are you in.

"The telemetry today is so clear, you can actually have somebody go out there.

"If they're listening to what the coach might be telling them, they can see the difference."

Stewart said it was important that drivers do not underestimate the value they could find in someone who does not have a successful CV themselves.

"[Legendary downhill skier] Franz Klammer's coach was not a top skier, he wasn't as quick as Franz ever was, but he knew the techniques and knew the emotional issues in what he had to do and how he had to get his head together before he left, on a downhill.

"Yet we're all so clever that we didn't need a coach. It's completely wrong. And even more important today because they've got the telemetry to discuss it."

Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Bottas advised by M-Sport's Suninen ahead of rally debut
Previous article

Bottas advised by M-Sport's Suninen ahead of rally debut

Next article

Kubica "didn't show his best" in first Williams tryout

Kubica "didn't show his best" in first Williams tryout
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021