Jackie Lewis is a British former racing driver who recorded nine starts in the Formula One World Championship in 1961 and 1962, managing to score points in the 1962 Italian Grand Prix with a fourth-place finish. Lewis was more successful in the Formula 2, winning numerous races and taking the British F2 Championship title in 1960.
Born on November 1, 1936, in Stroud, Gloucestershire, Lewis started his racing career in 1958, participating first in motorcycle races and then in Formula 3 races with Cooper-Norton car he bought from Grand Prix driver Ivor Bueb. In his debut season, Lewis participated in thirteen races, winning three times.
British Formula 2 champion in 1960
In 1959, Lewis progressed to Formula 2, driving a Cooper T45-Climax. His first F2 victory came at Montlhery circuit near Paris. In 1960, he became regular race winner and captured the British Formula 2 Championship title, beating Jack Brabham, who won his second F1 World Championship title that year.
Besides winning the championship, Lewis scored some non-championship Formula 2 wins, such were at Coupe de Salon, Lombank Trophy or Frontieres Grand Prix.
Jackie Lewis during the 1961 Italian Grand Prix
Fourth place at Monza as a career's highlight
After a successful year in Formula 2 competitions, it was a time to try a luck in the Formula 1 Grand Prix races. Lewis purchased Cooper T53-Climax directly from a factory, making his F1 debut in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa in June 1961. Driving under the banner of H&L Motors, what was a name of his father's motorcycle dealership, he finished ninth, one lap behind race winner Phil Hill (Ferrari).
He recorded two DNFs in the French Grand Prix at Reims and British Grand Prix at the Aintree Circuit, then finishing ninth in his debut at Nürburgring Nordschleife. In September, at Monza, he finished fourth in the Italian Grand Prix, scoring three championship points behind Phil Hill, Dan Gurney and Bruce McLaren.
Jackie Lewis was driving Cooper T53-Climax in F1 Grand Prix races
Four more Grand Prix starts in 1962
For the 1962 F1 season, Lewis had been listed as a Grade A driver because he was, aside of Stirling Moss, the only independent driver to score points in the previous year. He formed his own team Ecurie Galloise (Welsh Racing Team, because he was a Welshman).
He finished 8th in a Cooper in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. He then bought a BRM P48/57, finishing third in the non-championship Pau Grand Prix. He was using a BRM at Monaco Grand Prix, where he didn't qualify for the race, and he returned a car to a factory after that. He recorded three more Grand Prix starts in his old Cooper, retiring in the French Grand Prix, finishing 10th at Aintree and retiring at Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Although he had a promising racing career, Lewis decided to quit racing at the end of 1962.