'You're going to catch me', Stewart tells Hamilton

Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:28pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Jackie Stewart, Britain's only triple Formula One world champion, knows his record is on borrowed time after Lewis Hamilton's storming victory in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Forty two years have passed since the Scot, now 75, won his third and final title in 1973 but Mercedes' double world champion is well on the road to joining him after a third triumph in four races.

Stewart was on hand to conduct the post-race podium interviews at the Sakhir circuit, congratulating Hamilton on the 'hell of a season you're having.'

He has not always been complimentary in the past, questioning the Englishman's mind management skills, as well as career and lifestyle choices, but Hamilton accepted the praise gratefully.

"It's always positive to have other real champions appreciate what you do. So it feels nice," he told British reporters.

"He said something to me in the room afterwards... he always talks about me catching him. He said 'You're going to catch me, but I'm fine with it'."

Hamilton was already Britain's most successful driver in terms of race wins -- Bahrain making 36 for his career compared to Stewart's 27 and Nigel Mansell's 31, although it is unfair to compare eras.

This season, however, he has hit a new level of performance.   Continued...

Former Formula One driver Jackie Stewart and his wife Helen arrive at the world premiere of Rush at a cinema in Leicester Square, central London, September 2, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville