Sir Jackie Stewart speech
Walter Hayes Trophy
Silverstone, UK
November 6th 2016
courtesy of Sir Jackie Stewart

“So, if there was ever a man who’s been underpraised in this country of our’s, it’s Walter Hayes.

“An amazing man. I would not be standing here today if it weren’t for Walter Hayes. Because he picked me up for Formula 3 and got me a contract in Formula 3 for £500. And a Ford Zodiac, white with red upholstery and chrome wheels. It was in the turnstile at Earl’s Court in ’64, and this man came up beside me and said “Do you like the car?” I said “It’s a nice car, isn’t it”, because I was there trying to pick up the potential of the following year, as most young drivers did in those days. And he said “You don’t know who I am?” and I said “No, I don’t know” and he was getting awful close to me at the time. I thought hello?! It wasn’t even fashionable then.

“He said “I’m head of Ford Motor Company’s public affairs and from that he went from public affairs of Britain to public affairs of Europe to public affairs of the United States and then became pubic affairs for the Ford Motor Company around the world.

“Without Walter I wouldn’t be here and (addressing the drivers Tom McArthur, Oliver Askew, Niall Murray and Josh Fisher) neither would any of you. So congratulations to the winner from Ireland, we need a Formula 1 Grand Prix driver from Ireland, we certainly need one from America, because Formula 1 really lacks an American driver and, for an Englishman, you’ve done very well!

“So again, congratulations to the family of Walter and this lovey lady (Elizabeth Hayes) who’s been able to present this trophy. I’ve been here all the time, from the very beginning of this Formula Ford Walter Hayes Trophy so its great that it’s continuing and it’s great that its bringing along so many young drivers.

“One thing that I’d like just to finally say. A group of you down there no doubt have been very generous in giving some money to something called ‘Race against Dementia’. Very sadly Helen’s got dementia and I’ve just left her today in bed. She got out of hospital yesterday. But an amount of money has been contributed from an awful lot of people in the formative classes of Silverstone here so I thank you all for that, every penny helps.

“I am absolutely driven, the biggest challenge I’ve ever had in my life is to find preventive medicine for dementia. There is no cure and there is no preventive medicine, or any medicine to help you with dementia. That’s got to stop. I’m going to find an Adrian Newey of pharmaceuticals or medicine, and I’m going to find a young person somewhere in the world who’s going to find a cure for this in my lifetime. So I thank all of you who have given something and thank you to all that’s helped to do that on behalf not only of Helen, who was the best timekeeper in the pitlane for very many years. So thank you all for that, and again congratulations to all of you and may well this championship continue.”