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  • Sir Stirling Moss: F1 legend and motor racing icon dies

    Stirling Moss

    Tributes have poured in for British Formula 1 legend Sir Stirling Moss, who has died aged 90 following a long illness.

    Moss is recognized as one of the greatest racing drivers of all time, despite never winning a Formula 1 world championship title.

    His wife, Lady Moss, confirmed the news to the British press on Sunday.

    Moss retired from public life in January 2018 to focus on his health and spend more time with his family. The London-born driver fell ill with a serious chest infection while holidaying in Singapore in December 2016. He spent 134 days in hospital as a result.

    Moss was knighted in 2000 in recognition to his services to motor racing.

    A racing icon, Moss tasted victory in 212 of the 529 races he entered across many categories throughout his career.

    Moss won 16 of the 66 Formula 1 races he competed in between 1951 and 1961. He also became the first Britain to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix on home soil at Aintree in 1955.

    Moss was a fantastic rally driver, too. His performance and victory during the 1955 Mille Miglia, the famous 1,000-mile race around Italy, is considered to be one of the best drives of all time.  

    He retired from top-level motorsport in 1962 after suffering a major accident at Goodwood. As a result of the crash, Moss was in a coma for a month and partially paralyzed for six months.

    Moss’ former team Mercedes led the tributes, saying the sporting world “lost not only a true icon and a legend, but a gentleman”.

    Six-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and former F1 world champion Damon Hill were among many from the motor racing community to post tributes.

    Moss: The Racing Icon

    The Briton raced throughout Formula 1’s most romantic years, across the 1950s and 1960s, alongside other greats such as Juan Manuel Fangio and Jim Clark. His rivalry with Fangio remains one of the greatest battles in the sport.

    However, a title ultimately proved elusive throughout an otherwise incredible racing career.

    During his F1 career, Moss finished runner-up in the world championship four times and third place three times.

    He was known for his insatiable desire and determination to win, as well as his preference to drive for English teams.

    More than that, he was known for his humility and sincere sportsmanship – especially in defeat. He came close several times to becoming an F1 world champion, most famously in 1958 and 1959.

    In 1958, he lost out to great rival, friend and countryman Mike Hawthorn by a single point – despite winning more races. Towards the end of the season at the Portuguese Grand Prix, Hawthorn faced disqualification for reversing on track. However, Moss’ passionate defense of his rival allowed the Ferrari driver’s second place to stand. In the final race of the season, which Moss won, Hawthorn drove tactically before Ferrari team-mate Phil Hill let him through to clinch the title.

    In 1959, mainly racing a Cooper for good friend Rob Walker, reliability issues once again saw him miss out on the title to Australia’s Jack Brabham.

    Moss raced for Lotus in the 1961 season – what was to be his final year in Formula 1. The Lotus was under-powered compared to the great Ferrari, but Moss’ skill ruled supreme. His victories at Monaco, the Nürburgring and Germany that season will always remain high in racing folklore.

    Moss is survived by third wife Susie, their son Elliot and daughter Allison from a previous marriage.

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