AGENCIES, London: One of the greatest and legendary motor racing drivers and one of the most recognised figures in the history of British sport, ‘closed his eyes’ in the early hours of Easter morning.
Sir Stirling Moss died at his Mayfair home at the age of 90 after a long illness. Moss’s wife Susie was with him toll the end and paid a very touching tribute: “He died as he lived, looking wonderful”.
The shy son of a prosperous dentist, Moss’s fame in racing was secured after the Second World War and it was his style and exceptional driving skills that earned him acclaim as the greatest all-round racer ever. He won 212 of his 529 races in various types of cars.
Moss never won the Formula One world title but historians say that it was his decision to remain loyal with British machinery and acts of conspicuous sportsmanship that denied him the chance. The hardcore patriotism in him meant he once refused to drive a Maserati out of the garage until two Union Flag transfers were stuck on to the livery.
Between 1955 and 1961, he was championship runner-up on four occasions and third three times.
Moss’s greatest victories were the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix, in a British Lotus he outclassed the faster Italian Ferraris, and the 1955 Mille Miglia – where he set a new course record in the famous 1,000-mile race around Italy.
After a terrible accident at Goodwood in 1962, his remarkable career came to an end but he kept himself active an busy with motoring events like Goodwood Festival of Speed among others. Moss may have declared his career over at age 32, but lived on to be known as ‘Mr Motor Racing’.
Tributes started pouring in on social media from all corners of the globe.
Commentator and former F1 driver Martin Brundle said: ‘RIP Sir Stirling Moss. A mighty racer and gentleman. He had a press on style on the track and in life. Remarkable man. Survived the most dangerous era of motorsport and died today aged 90. He had such great stories to tell, and it was a privilege to know him.’
Johnny Herbert wrote: ‘Sad sad news that legend Sir Stirling Moss has passed. World Champion in all our eyes.’