Sir Stirling Moss: Motor racing legend dies aged 90 after long illness

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Sir Stirling Moss

British motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss has died at the age of 90 following a long illness.

He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time, even though he did not win the World Championship.

Moss retired from public life in January 2018 because of ongoing health problems.

“It was one lap too many, he just closed his eyes,” said his wife Lady Moss.

  • Obituary: ‘Sir Stirling Moss – the man who personified motorsport’

Moss previously spent 134 days in hospital after suffering a chest infection while on holiday in Singapore in December 2016.

He won 16 of the 66 F1 races he competed in from 1951 to 1961.

He became the first British driver to win a home grand prix in 1955 at Aintree.

Moss famously lost out on the F1 title in 1958 to compatriot Mike Hawthorn after vouching for his rival and preventing him being disqualified when he was accused of reversing on track in the late-season Portuguese Grand Prix.

Four times a runner-up in the F1 drivers’ championship, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1961 and was knighted in 2000.

Together with his fine F1 career, Moss was regarded as a motor-racing all-rounder and racked up a total of 212 victories in all competitions.

He was an outstanding rally driver and in 1955 set a new course record in winning the famous Mille Miglia, a 1,000-mile race around Italy.

Moss was effectively forced to retire from top-level motorsport in 1962 after a crash at Goodwood left him in a coma for a month and partially paralysed for six months.

However, he continued to race in historic cars and legends events until the age of 81.

The British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) said “no-one could have been prouder” to be part of the organisation than Moss, who was its longest-serving member.

“In the history of motor racing, not just in his home country but also wherever he raced around the world, Sir Stirling held a unique status, which continued throughout his life, long after he retired from his front line racing career,” said the BRDC.

“He was universally recognised, following the retirement of the great Juan Manuel Fangio in 1958, as the racing driver who set the standards by which all other drivers were judged, whether in Formula 1 or international sports car racing.

“His versatility and competitive instincts made him a formidable competitor in any race.”

Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn
Moss adjusts the helmet of his friend and 1958 title rival Mike Hawthorn
Stirling Moss and Peter Collins
Moss pictured with fellow British driver Peter Collins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1956. The pair came home in second place overall, one of two runners-up finishes for Moss in 10 attempts at the famous endurance race
Sir Stirling Moss
Moss claimed victory at the 1955 British GP at Aintree after a race-long battle with Mercedes team-mate Juan Manuel Fangio

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