Stirling Moss: the Champion Without a Championship Title
There's no need to win championships in order to be included in the hall of fame of a particular sport. This is the case with Stirling Moss, the Formula One driver who never won a championship.
The achievements of athletes are not always fair and in many cases, they don’t reflect what’s really happening. The perfect example here is the discipline of Formula One, where the driver’s achievements don’t necessarily reflect their actions in the race. One of the most famous drivers affected by this is Stirling Moss.
When considering the best Formula One drivers, it’s not just about who has won the most races and championships. We also need to consider the accidents and the team’s performance because not all victories are the same.
In this article, we’ll review the career trajectory of one of the most famous English Formula One drivers, Stirling Moss. Many nicknamed him the winless champion because, despite his talent, he never won any world championships.
The seven-year fight for a world championship
Although Stirling Moss was always a very competitive driver, he never achieved the first place in a world championship. For seven consecutive years, he competed for the title, but for one reason or another, he never achieved it.
- 1955 season: Stirling Moss drove this season in a Mercedes Benz. And despite having great results for the whole year, in the last few races his competitor, Fangio, overplayed him and won.
- 1956 season: This year repeated the same series of events as the previous. The only difference is that Moss drove a Maserati
- 1957 season: Fangio won the championship for the third year in a row.
- 1958 season: This was the year when Moss was the closest he’d ever been before to winning a world championship. By the end of the season, he won the second place to Hawthorn, with only one point away.
- 1959 season: He achieved third place due to a large number of disqualifications that year.
- 1960 season: Not considering the great Monaco Grand Prix, his performance this year was considerably lower than previous ones. However, Stirling Moss achieved third place in the world championship.
- 1961 season: Before retiring from Formula One, Moss tried one last time to achieve that long-sought-after dream. He won two races, but in the end, he only managed to get to third place.
Stirling Moss was not the only winless champion
Despite being one of the most famous Formula One drivers who never won a world championship, he was not the only one. Many other drivers fell into limbo in the history of this sport, where they fought and performed well for a championship, but fell short of first place.
Here are some of the most famous drivers in Formula One, that most fans agree, deserved a world champion title:
- Gilles Villeneuve: this Canadian driver achieved second place in 1959. Additionally, he won 6 races throughout the six years that he competed. And, he might have gone on to achieve the title had he not died in an accident in Belgium in 1982.
- Rubens Barrichello: was Michael Schumacher’s partner for his Ferrari seasons. And so, his best moment in the sport was as a second driver. He later drove for BrawnGP, which, despite expectations, achieved the title of the most competitive vehicle.
- Jacky Ickx: this Belgian driver competed in Formula One for 14 years, where he won 8 victories, 25 podiums, but was never a world champion. Ickx worked with nine different teams. However, his best season was with Ferrari between 1969 and 1970 where he won second place.
And so, as we learned in this summary, it’s difficult to judge a driver just by his prizes. There are many other factors weighing in. And, Sterling Moss is one of the highest scoring, winless drivers in history.