Queen was wonderful driver who wouldnt let Jackie Stewart behind the wheel

The chance to be driven by a current Formula 1 world champion would be snapped up immediately by most people, but not Queen Elizabeth II.

The late monarch, who passed away last week at the age of 96, was an excellent driver and served in the military as a mechanic during World War II. Therefore, when her friend, F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart, offered to drive her to a barbeque at Sandringham in the 1970s, shortly after he had become world champion for the third time, she bluntly refused.

Stewart, who was Knighted by the Queen in 2001, having received an OBE in 1972, recalled the amusing tale in an interview with Sky Sports F1 ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix, where a minute’s silence was held in memory of Her Majesty.

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“At Sandringham, we were up shooting and sometimes we would go there for a barbeque,” explained Stewart. “The Queen loved barbeques. We used to wait for Her Majesty to arrive and go out in Range Rovers to the barbeque.

“It was the first time I’d been there on that particular exercise, to go out at night to a barbeque, and I said to Her Majesty, ‘would you like me to drive ma’am?’, because I had just won the World Championship for the last time [in 1973].

“She said, ‘absolutely not, I’ll drive, you can navigate if you like’.”

Stewart says Her Majesty would have made an excellent racing driver, adding: “She was a wonderful driver, a smooth, smooth driver. Everything was done in the right way, at the right time.

"It was a pleasure to sit beside her, driving in a manner that was so smooth. She would have been a very good racing driver.”

In another interview with GB News, Stewart recalled inviting the Queen to Silverstone for the day. Again, it was Her Majesty behind the wheel.

“I went to Windsor to pick her up,” he said. “She drove a race car at Silverstone. She also sat in a Formula 1 car. She drove very quickly around Silverstone as well. I was worried about that, I thought I was going to get in trouble with the management, so to speak!

“We just hit it off. She was a great friend.”


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