The Queen refused to let F1 champ drive car and ‘would have made a good racing driver’

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SIR JACKIE STEWART has opened up on what it was like to be driven by the Queen after Her Majesty died on Thursday.

Italian Grand Prix: Preview lap of Formula One track

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Sir Jackie Stewart has revealed the Queen refused to let him drive her Range Rover after winning the 1973 F1 world title. But, the British F1 star added the Queen would have made a “very good racing driver” as he praised her smooth abilities behind the wheel.

The three-time champion made the admission after he was asked if had ever taken the Queen for a drive over the course of his career. 

Stewart responded: “No I didn’t. But at Sandringham where we were up shooting and sometimes we would go up there for barbecues. The Queen loved barbecues. We used to wait for Her Majesty to arrive and we would go out in Range Rovers to the barbecue. 

“It was the first time I had been there for a barbecue and I said to Her Majesty ‘would you like me to drive Ma’am?’ Because I’d just won the world championship for the last time. And she said ‘absolutely not I’ll drive, but you can navigate if you like’.

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The Queen refused to let F1 champ drive car and 'would have made a good racing driver'

Jackie Stewart has opened up on his memories of the Queen (Image: Sky Sports F1 / Getty)

“She was a wonderful driver, a smooth smooth driver, everything was done the right way, the indicators went up at the right time. It was just impressive for me to sit beside the Queen driving in a manner which was so smooth, she would have been a very good racing driver.”

His tribute comes after Her Majesty passed away on Thursday evening aged 96. Messages have come in from dozens of drivers with F1 holding a minute’s silence ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. 

Stewart also revealed the sovereign had attended his 80th birthday party at the Royal Automobile Club (RAC). He added: “That was quite an amazing thing for me and for a lot of the people that were there. 

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The Queen refused to let F1 champ drive car and 'would have made a good racing driver'

Jackie Stewart met the Queen on several occasions (Image: Getty)

“The Royal Automobile Club, the chairman, had invited Her Majesty to come because of my birthday and hoped she would be able to attend. But the Palace had a message going back a week or two later saying unfortunately Her Majesty would be unable to attend. 

“As it just happened thereafter I was at Sandringham, we were shooting and we were having afternoon tea and I said to the Queen ‘I’m very sorry Ma’am you were unable to come to my birthday party’ at the RAC. [The Queen responded] ‘what birthday party’. 

 “And I said ‘well it’s my 80th birthday party and the Royal Automobile Club, of which you are President, had hoped you might be able to attend. ‘Oh let me look at it’. Two days later there was a message which came through from the Palace that her Majesty would be very pleased to attend.”


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