F1: Top 5 French Drivers of all time
#4 François Cevert
Like Bianchi, François Cevert was a driver whose career was cut short in tragic circumstances. Cevert was Sir Jackie Stewart's hand-picked successor at the Tyrrell team and was mentored by the Flying Scotsman during the early 1970s.
The handsome Parisian finished in third place overall during his first full season of F1 racing in 1971, winning his only Grand Prix at the final race that year in the USA. In addition to being fast, Cevert was also a gentleman; when Stewart made a mistake at Zandvoort in 1973, Cevert didn't pass his teammate, despite having a clear opportunity to do so.
When Stewart asked why he did not, Cevert replied that he felt that it was unfair and wanted to overtake his teammate on merit, a level of respect we don't see today.
One victory may not seem that impressive, but Cevert was back-up to Stewart's title-winning campaigns in '71 and '73 and would've gone on to have more success had he made it to 1974.
When judging drivers, the opinions of the true greats have to be considered and Sir Jackie rated Cevert very highly. Sadly - as was common in this era - Cevert passed away at the end of the '73 season due to a tragic accident at Watkins Glen, the site of his only win two years prior, he was only 29-years-old.Published 05 Jun 2019, 22:21 IST