Auto racing books about the career of Jody Scheckter
Among our offerings are several books about or discussing the career of world champion Jody Scheckter
Jody Scheckter had a very unusual Formula 1 career, full of surprises. He literally burst into the scene, a very fast, unruly driver in his first outings with McLaren in 1972 and 1973, proving extremely crash prone. He had a famous come together with Emerson Fittipaldi in France, while leading, caused a pile up in the first stages of the race at Silverstone, plus crashed in Canada. His mount was great, a first year McLaren M23, and he could have scored quite a few points. After all, smooth driver Jacky Ickx in fact scored a podium at the Nurburgring in his first try.
Then Jody was hired by Tyrrell for 1974. He was obviously not a first pick. Tyrrell was indeed a very conservative type of guy, at the time very much used to constant success. Unfortunately, things went from excellent to bad at the end of 1973. Tyrrell won the driver's title at Monza, then lost both Francois Cevert and Jackie Stewart at Watkins Glen, one dead, the other retired. I find it unusual that Tyrrell would hire two relatively inexperienced drivers for 1974, but that is what he did, after Chris Amon failed to strike Ken's fancy.
Suriprisingly, the explosive Jody became a very sedate driver, in fact, he was not that fast in the early 1974 races. Only after the new 007 came onboard the results appeared, and by the end of the year he became quite the opposite of the 1973 Jody, a reliable driver who was expected to score points. The transformation was amazing, but quite a lot of the speed was gone - forever.
A couple of years more with Tyrrell proved inconclusive, then he was surprisingly hired by Wolf, for 1977, and more surprisingly still, won the first time out. A third surprise, he continued on the pace for the rest of the year, becoming runner up to Niki Lauda.
Then another surprise in 1978. He continued at Wolf, and all that pace and reliability disappeared. At the end of the year he was hired by Ferrari.
At Ferrari, he picked up the pace again, although he had a very tough internal battle, as his teammate was the extremely talented and fast Gilles Villeneuve. On the strength of reliability, a favorable scoring system and some luck (Williams did not debut its new challenger FW07 before), Jody finally became world champion, although not a dominating one.
Then good ole Jody sprung yet another surprise in 1980. All the fire was gone, his performance was pathetic, although, admittedly, that year's Ferrari was no piece of cake. By the end of the season he failed to qualify for a race, ending up with the worst year-after performance by a current world champion. Not surprisingly, Jody retired, although he claimed he still had plenty of offers.
He retired before reaching 30 years of age, never racing again.
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