British racing legend Sir Stirling Moss has died aged 90

12 April 2020, 10:58

British racing legend Sir Stirling Moss has died
British racing legend Sir Stirling Moss has died. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

British Formula One and racing legend Sir Stirling Moss has died at the age of 90.

The motor-racing hero was one of the most iconic figures in British sporting history, winning 212 of his 529 races in his 14-year career.

His wife, Lady Sterling, told the Daily Mail: "He died as he lived, looking wonderful.

"He simply tired in the end and he just closed his beautiful eyes and that was that."

He was widely considered to be the greatest driver to never win the world championship after finishing as runner-up on four separate occasions between 1955 and 1961.

Sir Stirling was nursed through a long illness by his wife at their Mayfair home and "closed his eyes" peacefully in the early hours of Easter morning.

Lady Moss added: "It was one lap too many."

Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the biggest car brand on the planet, described Moss as the greatest driver in the world. Five-time champion Juan Manuel Fangio called Moss the best of his era.

Sir Stirling Moss was unfortunate to never win the world championship
Sir Stirling Moss was unfortunate to never win the world championship. Picture: PA
Sir Stirling Moss with Lewis Hamilton
Sir Stirling Moss with Lewis Hamilton. Picture: PA

He was a driver who defined the very essence of style, sophistication, but bravery too in an age where death was synonymous with the sport.

The racing legend, who began racing professionally in 1948, won 16 Grands Prix in his illustrious career but missed out on the world title.

In 1958, sportsmanship cost him the championship after he defended the actions of his rival Mike Hawthorne following a spin at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Doing so spared Hawthorne of a six-point penalty, who then went to beat Moss in the season by just a single point.

Sir Stirling Moss in action in a Cooper
Sir Stirling Moss in action in a Cooper. Picture: PA

His first Grand Prix victory came in the 1955 British Grand Prix at Aintree, which saw him become the first Brit to win the event.

One of Sir Stirling's finest moments - while competing in a number of different disciplines alongside F1 - was winning the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix, where he triumphed in his British Lotus over faster Ferraris.

He then retired in 1962 after a heavy crash at Goodwood which left him in a coma for a month. Despite his official retirement, Moss continued to race until he was 81.

Born in London in 1929, Moss was the son of amateur racing driver Alfred and his wife Aileen. He was knighted in the New Year Honours list in 2000 for services to motor racing.

He raced in every sort of car, with one of his most famous victories coming in the 1955 Mille Miglia in which he covered 1,000 miles of open Italian roads at an average speed of 97.96mph in 10 hours, seven minutes and 48 seconds.

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