One of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time reached his final chequered flag. In the early hours of Sunday 12th April, after a long illness, Sir Stirling Moss died at his home in London’s Mayfair, with his wife, Lady Susie Moss, at his bedside. She said that he was as wonderful at the end, as in life.
Tributes have poured in, including from Damon Hill, Sir Jackie Stewart, Eddie Jordan, and Lewis Hamilton. Many racing drivers have Stirling Moss to thank for their careers.
The legendary dashing racing driver won 16 of the 66 F1 races in which he competed from 1951 to 1961, and was the first British driver to win a home Grand Prix at Aintree in 1955. He achieved 212 victories, before retiring from top-level motorsport in 1962. He has been described as the greatest driver never to win the World Championship.
In 1962 he was involved in a serious accident at Goodwood on Easter Monday. It took 40 minutes to cut him free, his nose broken, cheekbone crushed, arm broken, leg fractured and brain battered. His life was saved by Nurse Annie Strudwick from Emsworth, with her pathologist husband Jim, manning the ambulance. Nurse Strudwick removed chewing gum lodged in his airway, burning her hands, while the seriously injured Stirling Moss was still in the burning car. He spent a month in a coma, bringing to an end his racing career at the age of 32.
In the 1959 New Year Honours, he was appointed OBE, and then in the 2000 New Year Honours, the Queen awarded Stirling Moss a Knight Bachelor for services to motor racing. He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1961, and was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990.
The motor racing megastar retired from public life in 2018. Over the years, he inspired many a policeman to question speeding drivers “Who do you think you are, Stirling Moss?”.
In 1963, he said that he had taken a very great deal out of motorsport, but had put a lot back in. Sir Stirling Moss was a motor racing aficionado, a lover of the sport and a lover of driving. He gave the sport all but his life.