Britain 1955 - Moss makes history 16 Jul 2003
At Aintree in 1955 Stirling Moss became the first British driver to win his home Grand Prix. However, to this day the Englishman remains unsure whether he took victory purely on merit, or was in fact gifted the win by his team mate, Juan Manuel Fangio.
Both men were driving for the mighty Mercedes-Benz team, which having returned to Grand Prix racing in 1954, was dominating the 1955 season. Their four cars all qualified in the top five, with only Maserati's Jean Behra able to split the straight-eight powered Silver Arrows.
Moss was on pole, with Fangio alongside him and it was the legendary Argentine who made the better start, immediately moving into the lead. Behra, meanwhile, got too much wheelspin off the line, allowing the other Mercedes of Karl Kling and Pierro Taruffi to move into third and fourth.
That didn't last long though, as Behra quickly recovered to lift his Maserati back into third. However, his charge was in vain as his Italian machine fell prey to an oil leak just nine laps in to the 90-lap marathon.
Meanwhile, at the front Moss had wrested the lead from his illustrious team mate, only for Fangio to quickly retake it. However, despite an apparently rigorous defence from the reigning champion, Moss was again ahead on lap 26, after which the pair ran nose to tail for the remainder of the race.
Only coming out of the final corner did Fangio mount an attack, drawing alongside Moss to ensure the pair crossed the finish line side-by-side, with the latter winning the race in front of an ecstatic home crowd by just 0.2 seconds.
Moss later described it his best British Grand Prix performance, though the more cynical have always maintained that Fangio was simply in a charitable mood. However, the Argentine would never admit it and when he passed away in 1995, what really happened that summer day at Aintree went with him to the grave.
Since then ten drivers have joined Moss on the list of British drivers to have triumphed in their home Grand Prix and between them they have won 20 of the 53 races to date. In chronological order, the winners were Moss, Tony Brooks (shared victory with Moss), Peter Collins, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, John Watson, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert and David Coulthard.