Sir Stirling Moss did not need World Championship to be F1 great – Damon Hill
Damon Hill believes there should be no disputing Sir Stirling Moss’ place among the all-time greats in motorsport despite him never winning the Formula One World Championship.
Moss, who died peacefully aged 90 at his London home in the early hours of Sunday morning following a long illness, was regarded as the finest driver of his era by no lesser an authority than Juan Manuel Fangio.
The Argentinian, who pipped the Londoner to the F1 crown three times between 1955 and 1957, won five world titles and Hill insists Moss deserves to be recognised in such company.
Hill, the 1996 F1 world champion, told the BBC: “He’s right up there with the great names. He’s up there with (Jim) Clark and with Fangio and with (Jackie) Stewart and (Lewis) Hamilton and Niki Lauda and people like that.
“I don’t think anybody regarded him as anything less than one of the greats.”
Moss was runner-up in the championship standings four times and finished third on three occasions in a career during which he won 16 Grands Prix.
In an age when racing drivers competed in several different disciplines alongside F1, Moss won a total of 212 of the 529 races he entered in his career, competing in some 84 different makes of car.
Hill, whose father Graham raced against Moss during the late 1950s and early 1960s, admitted Moss’ inability to be crowned world champion may have rankled but added it does not affect his standing.
Hill said: “I’m sure it was a disappointment to him but he was so stoic, he was brought up to believe in taking it on the chin and I think he very much covered that up.
“But as far as every driver who knows anything about the sport and all the people who follow motorsport is concerned, and the British public, we regarded him as a great champion.
“Everyone regarded him as ‘the man’ frankly, he was the forerunner and one of the biggest names in the sport.
“He won 40 per cent of his races that he actually competed in, in all kinds of vehicles. Whatever he turned up and drove, he won in so that was an extraordinary talent he had.”