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Stirling Moss
Template:Country flagicon British
Formula One World Championship Career
Active years 19511961
Team(s) Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, Vanwall, Rob Walker Cooper & Lotus
Grands Prix 67 (66 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 16
Podium finishes    24
Career Points 185.64 (186.64)<ref name="droppedpoints">Up until 1990, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally (see list of pointscoring systems for more information). Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.</ref>
Pole positions 16
Fastest laps 19
First Grand Prix 1951 Swiss Grand Prix
1955 British Grand Prix | First win 1955 British Grand Prix |1955 British Grand Prix
1961 German Grand Prix | Last win 1961 German Grand Prix | 1961 German Grand Prix
Last Grand Prix 1961 United States Grand Prix

Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss, OBE (born 17 September 1929 in London) is a former racing driver from England. His success in a variety of categories placed him among the world's elite – he is often called "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship".<ref name="grandprixcom">{{#if: Sir Stirling Moss

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Moss, who raced from 1948 to 1962, won 212 of the 529 races he entered, including 16 Formula One Grands Prix. He would compete in as many as 62 races in a single year and drove 84 different marques of car over the course of his racing career, including Lotus, Vanwall, Maserati, Jaguar, Ferrari and Porsche. Like many drivers of the era, he competed in several formulae—very often on the same day.

Racing career

Moss is the son of Alfred E. Moss, who was placed 14th at the 1924 Indianapolis 500 in a "Fronty" Ford and Aileen (née Craufurd). His younger sister, Pat Moss, also took part in rallying; her widower is rally driver Erik Carlsson. Moss was educated at Clewer Manor Junior School and later at Haileybury and Imperial Service College. He was one of the first customers of the Cooper Car Company when he persuaded his father, Alfred Moss, to get him one of the new Cooper 500 cars. He quickly demonstrated his ability with numerous wins, at national and international level, and continued to compete in Formula Three, both in Coopers and Kieft cars long after graduating to the senior categories.

Moss was a pioneer in the British Formula One racing scene and placed second in the Drivers' Championship four times in a row from 1955 to 1958.

Moss finished second in the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally driving a Sunbeam-Talbot 90 with co-driver John Cooper. Cooper ran Moss in Formula One later in his career.

Moss's first Formula One win was in 1955 at his home race, the British Grand Prix at Aintree, driving the Mercedes-Benz W196 Monoposto for a convincing 1-2-3-4 win for the German marque. It was the first race where he finished in front of Juan Manuel Fangio, his teammate, friend, mentor and arch rival at Mercedes. It is sometimes debated whether Fangio, one of the all-time great gentlemen of sport, yielded the lead at the last corner to let Moss win in front of his home crowd. Moss himself asked Fangio repeatedly, "Did you let me win?" and Fangio always replied, "No. You were just better than me that day".<ref>Tremayne, David and Mark Hughes. The Concise Encyclopedia of Formula One. London: Dempsey Parr, 1998, p. 169. ISBN 1-84084-037-4.</ref>

One of his best remembered drives was in the 1955 Mille Miglia, the Italian 1597 km open-road endurance race, which he won in the record time of 10 hours, 7 minutes, and 48 seconds, finishing almost half an hour ahead of teammate Fangio in second place. His navigator in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR #722 (indicating the time of the start) was journalist Denis Jenkinson. As navigator, he supported Moss with navigational notes in the form of a Roller Map, which listed all the details of the long road trip, then an innovative technique. This assistance helped Moss compete against drivers who had a lot of local knowledge of the route. Jenkinson later wrote extensively about the experience.

In 1957 Moss won on the longest circuit to ever hold a Grand Prix, the daunting 25 kilometre Pescara Circuit, again demonstrating his skills at high speed, long distance driving. He beat Fangio, who started on pole, by a little over 3 minutes over the course of a gruelling 3 hour race.

Moss believed the manner in which the battle was fought was as important as the outcome. This sporting attitude cost him the 1958 Formula 1 World Championship. When rival Mike Hawthorn was threatened with a penalty in the Boavista Urban Circuit in Porto, Portugal, Moss defended Hawthorn's actions. Hawthorn was accused of reversing in the track after spinning his car. Hawthorn went on to beat Moss by one point, even though he had only won one race that year to Moss's four, making Hawthorn Britain's first World Champion.

Moss was as gifted at the wheel of a sports car as he was in a Grand Prix car. For three consecutive years (1958–1960) he won the grueling 1000 km race at Germany's Nürburgring, the first two years in an Aston Martin (where he won almost single-handedly) and the third in the memorable "birdcage" Maserati.

For the 1961 F1 season, which was run under 1.5-litre rules, Enzo Ferrari rolled out his state-of-the-art Ferrari 156, also known as Sharknose. Moss was stuck with an underpowered Coventry-Climax-powered Lotus, but managed to win the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix by 3.6 seconds, and later also the partially wet 1961 German Grand Prix. Some observers have noted that, while taking nothing away from Moss' superlative performances in these races, there were other factors at play. At Monaco, the tight circuit negated the horsepower advantage of the powerful but heavy and ill-handling Ferraris; and at the Nürburgring, Moss and manager Ken Gregory made a risky but inspired decision to fit super-soft rain tyres on the Lotus after a pre-race shower had soaked the track. Had the skies cleared and the track dried, the decision would have been disastrous for Moss. But when rain returned, Moss was able to drive away from the Ferraris of Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips (while nursing rapidly deteriorating tyres) to take the win.

In 1962, Moss was badly injured in a crash at Goodwood while driving a Lotus in the Glover Trophy. The accident put him in a coma for one month and partially paralyzed the left side of his body for six months.<ref name="motorsportshalloffame.com">Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref> He recovered but decided to retire from racing after a private test session in a Lotus 19 the next year. During this session, he lapped a few tenths slower than before, and did not feel he had the command of the car to which he was accustomed. Many racing and medical observers have speculated that Moss simply tried to return too soon—that another six months of recovery and training would have allowed him to regain most of the physical acuity that distinguished him. He made a brief comeback in the British Touring Car Championship in 1980 with Audi alongside Martin Brundle, the BBC's Formula One commentator, and in recent years has continued to race in historic cars, racing his OSCA FS372 during the 2009 season.

During his career, Moss drove a private Jaguar, and raced for Maserati, Vanwall, Cooper, and Lotus, as well as Mercedes-Benz. He preferred to race British cars stating "Better to lose honorably in a British car than win in a foreign one".<ref name="motorsportshalloffame.com"/> The British cars were often uncompetitive and this was considered the reason he never won the drivers' championship. At Vanwall, he was instrumental in breaking the German/Italian stranglehold on F1 racing (as was Jack Brabham at Cooper). Moss remained the most successful English driver in terms of wins until 1991 when Nigel Mansell overtook him, after competing in many more races.

Complete Formula One World Championship results

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 WDC Points<ref name="droppedpoints" />
1951 HW Motors HWM 51 Alta Straight-4 SUI
8
500 BEL FRA GBR GER ITA ESP NC 0
1952 HW Motors HWM 52 Alta Straight-4 SUI
Ret
500 NC 0
ERA Ltd ERA G type Bristol Straight-6 BEL
Ret
FRA GBR
Ret
GER NED
Ret
Connaught Engineering Connaught Type A Lea-Francis Straight-4 ITA
Ret
1953 Connaught Engineering Connaught Type A Lea-Francis Straight-4 ARG 500 NED
9
BEL NC 0
Cooper Car Company Cooper Special Alta Straight-4 FRA
Ret
GBR GER
6
SUI ITA
13
1954 Equipe Moss/AE Moss Maserati 250F Maserati

Straight-6

ARG 500 BEL
3
FRA GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
13th 4 1/7
Officine Alfieri Maserati SUI
Ret
ITA
10
ESP
Ret
1955 Daimler Benz AG Mercedes W196 Mercedes-Benz Straight-8 ARG
4 †
MON
9
500
BEL
2
NED
2
GBR
1
ITA
Ret
2nd 23
1956 Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 ARG
Ret
MON
1
500
BEL
3 *
FRA
5 *
GBR
Ret
GER
2
ITA
1
2nd 27 (28)
1957 Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 ARG
8
2nd 25
Vandervell Products Ltd Vanwall 57 Vanwall Straight-4 MON
Ret
500 FRA GBR
1 ‡
GER
5
PES
1
ITA
1
1958 Rob Walker Racing Team Cooper T43 Climax Straight-4 ARG
1
2nd 41
Vandervell Products Ltd Vanwall 57 Vanwall Straight-4 MON
Ret
NED
1
500 BEL
Ret
FRA
2
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
POR
1
ITA
Ret
MOR
1
1959 Rob Walker Racing Team Cooper T51 Climax Straight-4 MON
Ret
500 NED
Ret
GER
Ret
POR
1
ITA
1
USA
Ret
3rd 25½
British Racing Partnership BRM P25 BRM Straight-4 FRA
DSQ
GBR
2
1960 Rob Walker Racing Team Cooper T51 Climax Straight-4 ARG
3 џ
3rd 19
Lotus 18 MON
1
500 NED
4
BEL
DNS
FRA GBR
POR
DSQ
ITA
USA
1
1961 Rob Walker Racing Team Lotus 18 Climax Straight-4 MON
1
NED
4
3rd 21
Lotus 18/21 BEL
8
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
1
USA
Ret
Lotus 21 ITA
Ret
Ferguson P99 GBR
DSQ
† Indicates shared drive with Hans Herrmann and Karl Kling.
* Indicates shared drive with Cesare Perdisa.
‡ Indicates shared drive with Tony Brooks.
џ Indicates shared drive with Maurice Trintignant, no points scored.
Note

After his racing career

In recent years, Moss has been an outspoken critic of Michael Schumacher, but in October 2006 Moss ranked Schumacher joint fourth (with Tazio Nuvolari) in the pantheon of all-time great drivers, behind Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark.<ref>The Stirling Moss Website - News</ref>

Honours

In 1990, Moss was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

In the New Year Honours 2000 List, Moss was made a Knight Bachelor for services to Motor Racing. On 21 March 2000, he was knighted by Prince Charles, standing in for the Queen who was on an official visit to Australia. As Moss drove his Mercedes away from Buckingham Palace after the ceremony, he was stopped by a palace guard who joked: "Who do you think you are? Stirling Moss?" Moss smiled and replied "Sir Stirling Moss, actually."<ref name="independent.co.uk">{{#if: Stirling Moss receives knighthood

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In June 2005, while appearing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Moss signed the bonnet of his 1955 Mille Miglia winning Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR which was to be its last year of public appearances it made over numerous years, before retiring to the newly built Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart.

He received the 2005 Segrave Trophy.

In 2006, Moss was awarded the FIA gold medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to motorsport.<ref>Legend Moss receives FIA honour</ref>

In December 2008, McLaren Mercedes unveiled their final model of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. The model has been named in honour of Stirling Moss, hence, Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss, which has a top speed of 217 mph (349 km/h) with wind deflectors instead of a windscreen.

His 80th birthday, on 17 September 2009, fell on the eve of the Goodwood Revival, Lord March celebrated Stirling's birthday by having the 80/80 parade on each of the three days of the Revival, comprising 80 cars, one for each of his 80 years. Stirling drove different cars on each of three days, the Mercedes W196 Monoposto, the Lotus 18 he had used to win the 1961 Monaco GP, and the Aston Martin DBR3.

On 7 March 2010 Moss broke both ankles, broke four bones in a foot, chipped four vertebrae and suffered skin damage in an accident at his home when he fell down a lift shaft.<ref>{{#if: Stirling Moss falls down lift shaft

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Moss' biography

In 1963, noted motorsports author and commentator Ken Purdy published a biographical book entitled All But My Life about Stirling Moss (first published by William Kimber & Co., Ltd., London), based on material gathered through interviews with Moss.

Popular culture

For many years during and after his career, the rhetorical phrase "Who do you think you are, Stirling Moss?" was supposedly the standard question all British policemen asked speeding motorists. Moss relates he himself was once stopped for speeding and asked just that; he reports the traffic officer had some difficulty believing him. People in Britain continue to use 'Stirling Moss' as a nickname for family and friends who are known to be faster than usual behind the wheel.

As related in the book The Life and Times of Private Eye, Moss was the subject of a less than respectful cartoon biography in the magazine Private Eye. The cartoon, drawn by Willie Rushton, showed him continually crashing, having his driving licence revoked and finally "hosting television programmes on subjects he knows nothing about". It also made reference to the amnesia Moss suffered from as a result of head injuries sustained in the crash at Goodwood in 1962. According to the book, Moss responded by offering to buy the original of the cartoon, an outcome the book describes as "depressingly common" for its satirical cartoons about famous people.

In March 1958, Moss was a guest challenger on the TV panel show "What's My Line?" (episode with Anita Ekberg).

Moss was one of the celebrities who made cameo appearances in the 1967 version of the James Bond film Casino Royale. He played Evelyn Tremble's (Peter Sellers) chauffeur.

Moss is the narrator in the popular children's series Roary the Racing Car which stars Peter Kay.

He is one of the few drivers of his era to create a brand from his name for licensing purposes, which was launched when his website was revamped in 2009 with improved content.

Quotes

"I certainly had an appreciation of the danger which to me was part of the pleasure of racing. To me now racing is - the dangers are taken away: if it's difficult, they put in a chicane. So really now the danger is minimal - which is good, because people aren't hurt. But for me the fact that I had danger on my shoulder made it much more exciting. It's rather like if you flirt with a girl, it's more exciting than paying for a prostitute, because while you know you're gonna get it, the other one you don't. And I think with driving a motor car, the danger is a very necessary ingredient. Like if you're cooking, you need salt. You can cook without salt, but it doesn't have the flavour. It's the same with motor racing without danger. For me."<ref>Monaco - Race of Kings, (IMC Vision, 2008)</ref>

On older drivers: "You don't know how many years they've driven causing accidents! I'm not quite as urgent as I was... I know that my knowledge of road signs, there's some that I might not know which I should know... The other thing I find as i get older I'm less inclined to check the oil and check the tyres and so on which is very important,"<ref>BBC - Stirling Moss on elderly drivers</ref>

See Also

Template:12 Hours of Sebring winners Template:Mercedes Grand Prix

External links

Commonscat.jpg
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Preceded by:
None
Monaco Formula Three
Race Winner

1950
Succeeded by:
Michael May
Preceded by:
Alberto Ascari
Winner of the Mille Miglia
1955 with:
Denis Jenkinson
Succeeded by:
Eugenio Castellotti
Preceded by:
Peter Collins
BRDC International Trophy winner
1956
Succeeded by:
Jean Behra
Preceded by:
Innes Ireland
BRDC International Trophy winner
1961
Succeeded by:
Graham Hill
Preceded by:
Hans Herrmann</b>
26 years, 131 days
(1954 French GP)
Youngest driver to set
Fastest Lap in Formula One

24 years, 303 days
(1954 British Grand Prix)
Succeeded by:
Bruce McLaren</b>
21 years, 322 days
(1959 British GP)
Preceded by:
Harry Schell
56 entries, 56 starts
(1950 - 1960)
Most Grand Prix entries
67 entries, 66 starts
(1951 - 1961),
57th at the 1960 Portuguese GP
Succeeded by:
Maurice Trintignant
84 entries</b> (82 starts),
68th at the 1961 French GP
Preceded by:
David Broome
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
1961
Succeeded by:
Anita Lonsbrough
Preceded by:
Jack Brabham
Hawthorn Memorial Trophy
1961
Succeeded by:
Graham Hill