Track Torque with Sir Stirling Moss, part twoby Rob Widdows on 28th October 2015
There are a great many reasons why Stirling Moss is still the most famous racing driver on the planet, this despite Lewis Hamilton’s unstinting efforts to establish himself as what is known these days as a ‘global superstar’.
Being the most famous is not the same as being the greatest. David Beckham is a ‘global brand’, arguably the world’s most famous footballer, but few would judge him to the greatest.
So, when looking at the pantheon of multiple champions – as we are, following Hamilton’s third title – it is still premature to judge him as one of the greatest. What we do know, however, is that Stirling Moss is not only famous the world over but he is also undoubtedly a true great – despite not winning a single Formula 1 World Championship.
No racing driver should be judged solely on his tally of titles and no driver of the modern era can be compared to Moss because the man won countless races in such a huge variety of disciplines. His ability to win in so many different types of car set him apart not only from most of his peers but also from the modern grand prix driver.
Our web editor Ed Foster tells me that a great many of you have enjoyed the first part of Mike Lawrence’s comprehensive interview with Moss, recorded for my Track Torque radio show nearly 40 years ago. The conversation amounts to the man’s life story, a journey that takes us from his early days in 500cc Formula 3 car to his brief return to the track following his accident at Goodwood on Easter Monday 1962.
This week the Motor Sport sound archive launches the second part of this remarkable story, reminding us not only of a unique talent but also of a type of sportsmanship that is missing from today’s top level motor racing.
Stirling has always maintained that his friend, team-mate and rival Juan Manuel Fangio was the greatest racer the world has ever seen and who are we to argue? Comparisons, and assessments of greatness, are largely fruitless in any sport and are made more complex in motor sport by who had what kind of equipment, and when. So often Moss would win against the odds, not always in the best car, and that goes some way to explaining why his name is missing from the list of world champions.
So, in a week that sees another British driver on top of the world, let’s just sit back and savour the strikingly honest words of one truly exceptional racing driver who will never be forgotten. Tune in and download right here on the Motor Sport website. I dare to say that even the great man himself would consider £1.99 to be good value for his life story...