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Moss picks up FIA Gold Medal 11 Dec 2006

Michael Schumacher and Sir Stirling Moss, who both collected FIA Gold Medals for Motor Sport at the annual FIA Gala awards in Monaco, December 8, 2006. © FIA

Sir Stirling Moss, one of the greatest all-round racing drivers of his generation, was honoured at the FIA Gala awards on Friday with the presentation of the FIA Gold Medal for Motor Sport.

The medal, which was presented to Moss in a VIP pre-awards ceremony at the Monaco Sporting Club, is awarded to an individual that, either through exceptional success, or outstanding effort, has made a substantial contribution to motor racing. The recipient is selected by the FIA Academy, which is made up of eight senior members of the FIA and its national automobile clubs.

“In my career I had numerous Grand Prix wins, 16 Formula One race victories and was runner-up in the world championship four times, but this is the first FIA award that I have ever won,” said a delighted Moss. “As such, this award means a lot to me and I am very proud to receive it.”

FIA President Max Mosley said: “There are few drivers in the history of motor sport who have been as deserving of this award as Sir Stirling. It is not just his remarkable success across all categories of racing that stands him apart but also his continuing contribution to the promotion of motor sport.”

Moss is arguably the best driver never to win the Formula One world championship, but it was his talents across all disciplines in motor sport, with famous sports car victories matching his Formula One achievements, which made him one of the greatest drivers of all time.

Nicknamed ‘Mr Motor Racing’ his early career rise was swift and soon he was driving works cars for Jaguar and HWM. In 1955, he was signed up by Mercedes-Benz to partner Formula One world champion Juan Manuel Fangio. That year he shadowed the great Argentine in most races, beating him to win the British Grand Prix. Incredibly, in the same year, he also won the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio and the Tourist Trophy - all legendary sports car races.

For four years he would finish runner-up in the Formula One world championship and went on to lead the Maserati and Vanwall teams. He also continued to race saloon and sports cars, driving more than 80 different types of car throughout his career.

In the late 50s and early 60s, he led the changeover to rear-engined Formula One cars, achieving the first victory for such a car at the 1958 Argentine Grand Prix. A near-fatal accident ended his career in 1962, but he never lost is passion for the sport. He has remained an ambassador for motor racing ever since and continues to promote the sport around the world.