Tributes pour in for the late F1 legend Stirling Moss
Stirling Moss, the British racing driver who ranks as one of the all-time Formula One greats despite never winning the world championship, died yesterday at the age of 90 after a long battle with illness.
"He died as he lived, looking wonderful," his wife Susie told the Daily Mail newspaper. "He simply tired in the end and he just closed his beautiful eyes and that was that."
A teammate at Mercedes to Argentine five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio, the Briton survived one of the deadliest eras of motorsport with 16 grand prix wins in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Moss was a four-time championship runner-up, and third overall on three occasions. No other driver has won as many races without taking the title.
He was also the first Briton to win his home grand prix, beating Fangio at Liverpool's Aintree circuit for Mercedes in 1955, with his name becoming a byword for speed for a generation of fans.
News of his passing was mourned across the world of motorsport, with Formula One hailing a "legend" and "one of the true greats".
"A prodigious competitor, supremely talented racer, and consummate gentleman, he leaves an indelible mark of greatness on the history of international motorsport," said McLaren, offering their condolences.
Former racer and television commentator Martin Brundle hailed "a mighty racer and gentleman".
But for his sense of sportsmanship, Moss could have been Britain's first ever world champion in 1958 instead of Mike Hawthorn.
He lost the title by a single point that year after asking stewards to reinstate his disqualified compatriot at the Portuguese Grand Prix, even giving evidence on his behalf.
Moss ended his professional career after an accident at Goodwood in 1962 left him unconscious for a month and paralysed for six months. - REUTERS