Fire up the haggis and prepare a ‘wee dram’ – for tonight is Burns Night, a celebration of the life and poetry of Robert Burns, the author of many Scots poems and considered to be the national poet of Scotland. Burns was born on the 25th of January in 1759 and in his short 37 years of life, compiled and wrote some of Scotland’s best known verses. In fact, I can guarantee that you would know one of his most well known ditties, a little poem he penned called ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
Poetry, whiskey and haggis aside, Scotland has produced more than her fair share of exceptional racing talent over the decades, with an astonishing five world drivers championships won since the inception of Formula One. That’s no mean feat, with only thirty three drivers winning the sixty seven championships on offer to date, so it’s fair to say that per capita, Scotland produces some of the finest racers in Formula One.
Below, we pay tribute to every Scottish Formula One driver who has participated in (or at the very least, attempted to) a Formula One event since the inception of the championship.
Fergus Anderson (9 February 1909 – 6 May 1956)
Fergus Kenrick Anderson was a two-time Motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion and incredibly, his name appeared on the Nazis’ “most wanted” list drawn up prior to their intended invasion of Britain.
Anderson was one of the first riders from Great Britain to make his living racing motorcycles on the European continent. In 1950 he signed with Moto Guzzi and competed in the 250cc class. He convinced Moto Guzzi to build a 350cc bike, initially of 320cc but later a proper full 350. He raced to the 1953 world championship in the bike’s first year of competition. He repeated this feat as 350cc champion again in 1954. His 350cc world championship wins were the first by a non-British bike.
Anderson entered the 1950 Formula One BRDC International Trophy race driving an HWM-Alta. His race was cut short with a mechanical issue and he finished in fourteenth. He would not return to Formula One.
He retired from racing to become Moto Guzzi’s team manager, but quit over a dispute over having a freer hand at running the team. He returned to racing and was offered a ride by the BMW factory. He was killed in 1956 after being thrown from his bike at a race in Belgium at Floreffe.
John Colum Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute (26 April 1958 – )
The Earl of Dumfries, is a British peer and a racing driver, best known for winning the 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans. Crichton-Stuart does not use his title of the Earl and prefers to be known solely as John Bute, although he went under the name of Johnny Dumfries when competing.
Dumfries was the sensation of the 1984 F3 season, scoring 14 race victories on his way to winning, and completely dominating, the British Formula 3 Championship. In 1985, he graduated to the FIA International Formula 3000 Championship, initially competing for Onyx Race Engineering before switching to Lola Motorsport. It was a disappointing season, with a sixth-place finish in Vallelunga being the highlight of the year.
In 1986 he made his breakthrough into F1, and raced a single season for the JPS Team Lotus. He was a late addition to the team, apparently as a result of Ayrton Senna not wanting Derek Warwick as a teammate. He competed in 15 Grands Prix for Lotus (not qualifying at Monaco), which used the turbocharged Renault engines and scored 3 championship points.
He was replaced for 1987 by the Japanese driver Satoru Nakajima as part of Lotus’s deal to use Honda engines from that season onwards. During the most part of the 1986 season, he was usually one of the midfield drivers, on par with the Tyrrell drivers Martin Brundle and Philippe Streiff.
In 1988, Dumfries scored the biggest racing victory of his career when he won the Le Mans 24 Hours driving a Jaguar XJR-9 for Tom Walkinshaw’s Silk Cut Jaguar Team alongside Dutchman Jan Lammers and Englishman Andy Wallace.
Jim Clark (4 March 1936 – 7 April 1968)
James Clark, Jr OBE won two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965. Born into a farming family and the youngest of five children, Clark started racing in the domestic road rally series, dominating on the demanding circuits that he knew like the back of his hand. Local knowledge it seems, goes a long way.
On Boxing Day 1958, Clark raced against the man who would launch him to superstardom. Driving a Lotus Elite, he finished second to Colin Chapman in a 10-lap GT race at Brands Hatch. In 1959 he drove a Lotus Elite, finishing tenth at Le Mans partnered with John Whitmore, and the ex-Bruce Halford Lister Jaguar, winning the Bo’ness Hill Climb. Chapman was sufficiently impressed to give Clark a ride in one of his Formula Junior cars.
Clark made his Formula One debut on 6 June, 1960 – midway through the season – at the Dutch Grand Prix held at Zandvoort. Suffering mechanical issues, he was forced to retire on Lap 49. He quickly put that behind him and worked with Chapman to create one of the most fearsome driver-team pairings on the grid, with Clark winning the 1963 title and followed it up again in 1965. Incredibly, Clark would have won the 1964 title too, had his Lotus not sprung an oil leak in the closing stages of the Italian Grand Prix. The victory – and the championship – going to John Surtees.
Clark was one of the most versatile drivers of his generation who competed in sports cars, touring cars and in the Indianapolis 500, which he won in 1965.
He was killed in a Formula Two motor racing accident in Hockenheim, Germany in 1968. At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races (25) and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions (33) than any other driver. In 2009, The Times placed Clark at the top of a list of the greatest-ever Formula One drivers.
David Coulthard (27 March 1971 – )
David Marshall Coulthard, MBE, known as DC, was runner-up in the 2001 Formula One World Drivers’ Championship, driving for McLaren.
Coulthard began karting at the age of eleven and achieved early success before progressing to car racing in the British Formula Ford Championship and the Formula 3000 series. He first drove in Formula One with Williams F1 in the 1994 season succeeding the late Ayrton Senna. The following year he won his first Grand Prix in Portugal, and then for the 1996 season he moved to McLaren. After winning two races in the 1997 season, he finished 3rd in the World Drivers’ Championship in the 1998 season.
He won five races throughout 1999 and 2000 before finishing 2nd in the Drivers’ Championship to Michael Schumacher in 2001. Two more victories followed between 2002 and 2003 before he left McLaren at the end of 2004. He moved to Red Bull in 2005 and secured their first podium a year later. Coulthard retired from Formula One racing at the end of 2008.
After retiring from Formula One Coulthard continued working with Red Bull as a consultant and joined the BBC as a commentator and pundit for their coverage of Formula One. He returned to active motorsports in 2010 joining Mücke Motorsport in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters and retired at the end of 2012. Coulthard has also participated in the Race of Champions, finishing runner-up in the Drivers’ Cup in 2008, and winning the competition in 2014. Since 2016 he has worked as a commentator and analyst for Channel 4 after they took over the BBC’s terrestrial television rights.
Jim Crawford (13 February 1948 – 6 August 2002)
Jim Crawford’s first motorsport experience came behind the wheel of a Mini that he drove in several rallies. After an unsuccessful stint in Formula Ford he landed a drive in Formula Atlantic, after showing great promise in a couple of Formula Libre races at Croft. He went on to spend a number of years driving at SDC Racing in Formula Atlantic and was spotted by Lotus Cars and offered a test drive.
He participated in two World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 19 July 1975 at the British Grand Prix, where he failed to finish. The Italian Grand Prix offered Crawford another chance to shine, however he could only manage thirteenth place by the end of the race. Ironically, Crawford is notable for being the 500th person to start a Formula One World Championship race.
Crawford moved to the USA in the early 1980s, finishing runner-up twice in the Can-Am series. He finished fourth on his CART debut at Long Beach in 1984 and went on to become a regular in the Indianapolis 500. It was there in 1987 that Crawford suffered a crash in practice which resulted in serious leg injuries. However, he recovered sufficiently to return to the 500 in 1988, leading the race for a few laps. A late race puncture dropped him from 2nd to 6th.
Crawford’s final 500 was in 1993, although he made unsuccessful attempts to qualify old cars in 1994 and 1995.
Paul di Resta (16 April 1986 – )
Like most F1 drivers of his generation, di Resta began the rise into the sport via karting, winning the 2001 British JICA Championship. He stepped up to single-seaters at the end of 2002, when he competed in the British Formula Renault Winter Series. He raced in British Formula Renault full-time in 2003 with the Eurotek Motorsport team, finishing seventh in the standings with one race win. He also entered some races of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with the Manor team and won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of The Year Award in 2004. The award had been won by his cousin Dario Franchitti in 1992.
Di Resta switched to the Formula Three Euroseries with Manor Motorsport in 2005, finishing tenth in the standings. For 2006 he moved to the ASM Formule 3 team, winning the championship with five wins, beating teammate and future Formula One World Drivers’ Champion, Sebastian Vettel.
A call to DTM followed where di Resta finished runner-up in the 2008 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season. In 2009, he finished third overall, behind Scheider and compatriot Gary Paffett. In 2010, he won three races in a row on the way to winning the championship.
It was a natural progression to Formula One as di Resta was backed by Mercedes and in 2010 he was named as Test and Reserve Driver at Force India, being promoted to the fulltime drive in 2011. He remained with the Silverstone based squad for three seasons, amassing 121 career points from 59 race starts. After a disappointing 2014, he was dropped from Force India and became the Reserve and Development Driver with Williams in 2016. He appeared on the grid at the 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix, filling in for an unwell Felipe Massa.
Di Resta has returned to the DTM Series, where he last year finished 11th in the Championship.
Ron Flockhart (16 June 1923 – 12 April 1962)
Flockhart was born in Edinburgh and started competing in 1951 in a Joe Potts Formula 3 car. He purchased the famous ERA R4D from Raymond Mays and in 1953 had a very successful season, beating one of the works BRMs at Goodwood. He achieved podium finishes at Goodwood, Charterhall, Snetterton and Crystal Palace, as well as several hill climb successes.
In 1956, driving for the Scottish team Ecurie Ecosse, he won the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans, sharing an ex-works Jaguar D-type with Ninian Sanderson. The following year he won again for the same team, this time sharing with Ivor Bueb, setting a distance record of 2,732.8 mi (4,398.0 km).
During his time in Formula One, Flockhart drove for Maserati, BRM, Connaught, Cooper and Lotus with his highest ever finish being on the last step of the podium – third at the 1956 Italian Grand Prix.
He was killed when he crashed an aircraft, attempting to break the record for flying between Sydney and London in 1962.
Allan McNish (29 December, 1969 – )
McNish was born in Dumfries, Scotland and began his career in karting like fellow Dumfries and Galloway driver David Coulthard. McNish and Coulthard both were recognised with a McLaren/Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award having moved up to car racing. In 1988 he won the Formula Vauxhall Lotus championship and in 1989 finished runner up to David Brabham in a close fought British Formula 3 Championship. During the late 1980s McNish shared a house with teammate Mika Häkkinen.
Tipped as a future Formula One driver, he tested with both McLaren and Benetton, whilst also competing in F3000, then the recognised second tier of European motorsport, in 1990–1992. When a Formula One drive failed to materialise, he returned to F3000 in 1995 with Paul Stewart Racing (run by the son of Sir Jackie Stewart who went on to form Stewart Grand Prix). While he was arguably the fastest driver of the year, a series of mishaps saw him well beaten by Super Nova drivers Vincenzo Sospiri and Ricardo Rosset in the title race.
After a spell in sports cars, McNish finally found an opening into Formula One in 2001, when the newly formed Toyota F1 team required a development driver. Given his link with the Toyota sports cars program, he was an obvious choice for this role, and after impressing in testing he was hired to race for the season. He did not score any points during the season’s 17 races, and he and teammate Mika Salo were replaced with a new line-up of Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta for 2003.
David Murray (28 December 1909 – 5 April 1973)
Murray participated in five Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 13 May 1950, and also founded the Ecurie Ecosse Scottish motor racing team, based at Merchiston Mews in Edinburgh.
Murray was a chartered accountant by profession and raced an ERA and subsequently a Maserati 4CLT both domestically and in European events, before forming Ecurie Ecosse in 1952. He also participated in rallies and hill-climbs. After just one World Championship event, for Ecosse, Murray retired as a driver to concentrate on running the team. Ecurie Ecosse won the Le Mans 24 hour race in both 1956 and 1957 each time with a Jaguar D-Type.
Murray moved abroad and was killed in a road accident in the Canary Isles on 5 April 1973.
Archie Scott Brown (13 May 1927 – 19 May 1958)
William Archibald Scott Brown, known as Archie, had a prodigious racing ability despite only having one hand. He became known as motorsport’s first disabled hero and battled considerable adversity (including having his licence revoked) to participate in, and win, the most prestigious races of his day.
After being discovered and championed by Brian Lister, he enjoyed great success racing Lister Cars, winning the British Empire Trophy in 1957. In his short career, he scored a total of 71 race victories, 15 of which came from international competition. He participated in one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix on 14 July 1956, scoring no championship points. He also attempted to qualify for the Italian Grand Prix in the same year, but was excluded due to his lack of the required International Licence, his disability precluding the granting of such a licence at the time.
Scott Brown was killed competing at a sports car race at Spa Francorchamps, less than a week after his 31st birthday.
Ian Stewart (15 July 1929 – 19 March 2017)
Regarded by Jim Clark as a highly-strung individual who “at the wheel was as relaxed as anyone”, Stewart’s only appearance in a World Championship Grand Prix came at the 1953 RAC British Grand Prix, in which – due to ignition failure – he failed to finish in his Ecurie Ecosse-entered Connaught-Lea Francis A.
Stewart made a name for himself racing a Jaguar XK120 in British national events, winning 23 races in just three seasons, including the Jersey International and the Wakefield Trophy. During this period, he was one of three Ecurie Ecosse drivers for the team’s debut race at Charterhall, which resulted in a second place for Stewart. It was with the Merchiston team that Stewart won most of his races. This success led to some works outings for the Jaguar marque at Le Mans.
Ian Stewart retired from racing following a crash in the 1954 Argentinian 1000k sports car race to tend to his family’s agricultural and public house businesses in Perth and Kinross and died at the grand age of 87 in 2017.
Jackie Stewart (11 June, 1939 – )
The ‘Flying Scot’ was born in Milton, Dunbartonshire, into a family of car dealers who had built up quite a successful series of businesses. Jackie’s father had been an amatuer motorcycle racer and is said to have given ‘the bug’ to his sons.
Stewart left school at the age of sixteen (courtesy of undiagnosed dyslexia) and began working in his father’s garage as an apprentice mechanic. He took up an offer from Barry Filer, a customer of the family business, to test in a number of his cars at Oulton Park. For 1961, Filer provided a Marcos, in which Stewart scored four wins, and competed once in Filer’s Aston DB4GT.
In 1962, to help decide if he was ready to become a professional driver, he tested a Jaguar E-type at Oulton Park, matching Roy Salvadori’s times in a similar car the year before. He won two races, his first in England, in the E-type, and David Murray of Ecurie Ecosse offered him a ride in the Tojeiro EE Mk2, and their Cooper T49, in which he won at Goodwood. For 1963, he earned fourteen wins, a second, and two thirds, with six retirements.
In 1964, he again signed with Ecurie Ecosse. Ken Tyrrell, then running the Formula Junior team for the Cooper Car Company, heard of the young Scotsman from Goodwood’s track manager and called up Jimmy Stewart to see if his younger brother was interested in a tryout. Jackie came down for the test at Goodwood, taking over a new, and very competitive, Formula Three T72-BMC which Bruce McLaren was testing. Soon Stewart was bettering McLaren’s times, causing McLaren to return to the track for some quicker laps. Again, Stewart was quicker, and Tyrrell offered Stewart a spot on the team.
Stewart signed with BRM alongside Graham Hill in 1965, and on his World Championship F1 debut in South Africa, he finished sixth. His first major competition victory came in the BRDC International Trophy in the late spring, and before the end of the year he won his first World Championship race at Monza, fighting wheel-to-wheel with teammate Hill’s P261.
Stewart finished his rookie season with a win, three seconds, a third, a fifth, and a sixth, and third place in the World Drivers’ Championship. He also piloted Tyrrell’s unsuccessful F2 Cooper T75-BRM, and drove the Rover Company’s revolutionary turbine car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Graham Hill.
After his promising start the previous year, 1966 was a poor year for Stewart; the 3-litre H16 BRMs were unreliable, although Stewart did win the Monaco Grand Prix in a 2-litre engined car. The most significant event in that year was his accident at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, which sparked his campaign to improve safety in F1.
Stewart had some success in other forms of racing during the year, winning the 1966 Rothmans 12 Hour International Sports Car Race and almost winning the Indianapolis 500 on his first attempt, in John Mecom’s Lola T90-Ford, only to be denied by a broken scavenge pump while leading by over a lap with eight laps to go. However, Stewart’s performance, having had the race fully in hand, sidelined only by mechanical failure, won him Rookie of the Year honours despite the winner, Graham Hill, also being an Indianapolis rookie.
BRM’s fortunes did not improve in 1967 and Stewart came no higher than second at Spa, despite having to drive one-handed while holding the car in gear with the other.
For 1968 Stewart switched to Tyrrell’s Matra International team, where he drove a Matra MS10-Cosworth. After a promising start in South Africa with the Matra MS9 development mule he missed Jarama and Monaco due to an F2 injury at Jarama and his first win of the season was in heavy rain at Zandvoort. Another win in rain and fog at the Nürburgring followed, where he won by a margin of four minutes. He also won at Watkins Glen but his car failed at Mexico City, and so he lost the drivers’ title to Hill.
In 1969, driving the Matra MS80-Cosworth, Stewart had a number of races where he completely dominated the opposition, such as winning by over 2 laps at Montjuïc, a minute in front at Clemont-Ferrand and more than a lap at Silverstone. With additional wins at Kyalami, Zandvoort, and Monza, Stewart became world champion.
Stewart went on to win the Formula One world championship again in 1971 using the Tyrrell 003-Cosworth, winning Spain, Monaco, France, Britain, Germany, and Canada. He also did a full season in Can-Am, driving a Carl Haas sponsored Lola T260-Chevrolet. During the 1971 season, Stewart was the only driver able to challenge the McLarens driven by Denny Hulme and Peter Revson. Stewart won two races; at Mont Tremblant and Mid Ohio, and finished 3rd in the championship.
The stress of racing year round and on several continents eventually caused medical problems for Stewart. During the 1972 Grand Prix season he missed the Belgian Grand Prix at Nivelles due to gastritis, and had to cancel plans to drive a Can-Am McLaren, but won the Argentine, French, U.S. and Canadian Grands Prix, to come second to Emerson Fittipaldi in the drivers’ standings. Stewart also competed in a Ford Capri RS2600 in the European Touring Car Championship, with F1 teammate François Cevert and other F1 pilots, at a time where the competition between Ford and BMW was at a height. Their best result was at the 6 Hours of Paul Ricard, finishing second. 1n 1972 Stewart also received the OBE.
Entering the 1973 season, Stewart had decided to retire. He nevertheless won at South Africa, Belgium, Monaco, the Netherlands, and Austria. His last and then record-setting 27th victory came at the Nürburgring with a 1–2 for Tyrrell. After the fatal crash of his teammate François Cevert in practice for the 1973 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, Stewart retired one race earlier than intended and missed what would have been his 100th Grand Prix. Stewart had already won the Drivers’ Championship at the Italian Grand Prix two races previously; this was a race where Stewart had to come into the pits to change a flat tyre, and he drove from 20th to finish 4th.
Stewart held the record for most wins by a Formula One driver (27) for 14 years until Alain Prost won the 1987 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the record for most wins by a British Formula One driver for 19 years until Nigel Mansell won the 1992 British Grand Prix.
Stewart would go on to form his own Formula One Team and be an outspoken advocate of driver and road safety. He still attends Formula One races in his role as a brand ambassador for Rolex.
Jimmy Stewart (6 March 1931 – 3 January 2008)
James Robert Stewart, elder brother of Jackie Stewart, participated in a single Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, driving for Ecurie Ecosse. Driving the Bristol Straight 6 powered Cooper T20, Stewart lined up for the 1953 British Grand Prix, having qualified in fifteenth position. Despite holding his own against some fierce competition, a lapse in concentration saw Stewart spin off on lap 79. Unable to get his Cooper restarted, his race was over.
An accomplished hill climb racer, Stewart’s talent saw him attract the attention of the Edinburgh-based businessman and racing driver David Murray, who owned the Ecurie Ecosse team. His performances led to opportunities in single-seaters, with a Formula Two Connaught drive and he raced for Aston Martin in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1954. A serious crash saw him thrown from the DB3S coupe and sustain a badly broken arm and when he injured the same arm again in 1955 following a crash driving for Ecurie Ecosse in the Nurburgring 1000km sportscar race, he decided it was time to retire.
Leslie Thorne (23 June 1916 – 13 July 1993)
Thorne raced in hill-climbs pre-war from 1936 to 1938, exclusively in Scotland, then had a few brief races between 1953 to 1955. He participated in just one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, 1954 British Grand Prix, where he finished 14th and scored no championship points. Thorne also competed in several non-Championship Formula One races but soon found his interest in the sport dwindling.
After his motor-racing career he settled back down into his career as a chartered accountant.