In an exclusive interview with Eurosport’s Full Throttle podcast, motor racing great Mario Andretti has shared his memories of the late Sir Stirling Moss, right back to his first sight of him in the legendary 1955 Mille Miglia road race.
Moss passed away at the age of 90 on Easter Monday, leaving behind a huge legacy. ‘Mr. Motor Racing’ competed in saloon cars, sports cars, rallying and F1 where he is generally regarded as the greatest driver never to win the world title; he finished runner-up four times and was third on a further three occasions.
“It was a big shock when I learned of his passing,” Andretti, 1978 F1 World Champion who has also won the Indy 500 and Daytona 500, explains to Eurosport’s Greg Haines. “It was like losing a family member; you can never prepare for it. It was tough to lose somebody like him, larger than life. Individuals like that should never die – but he will never die in our hearts.
“As a teenager, my brother Aldo and I were following motorsport still living in Italy. We had Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo all involved in Formula 1. The Millie Miglia was the first race we got to be really close to, when we went to watch. I remember Stirling flying by! He was part of that group of drivers of that era who inspired me tremendously. Later on, once I was more involved in the international scene, I got to meet him. We were once in Argentina and I was with he and Fangio together; we got into a conversation and they were surprised how much I knew about their careers. I said, ‘Oh, yes! I probably remember more situations than you do!’. We really engaged, which was really nice because, every time after that, we would meet and have something to say.
“Stirling was forever present at so many events, both modern and classic. He stayed close to the sport forever, ever after his accident (at Goodwood in 1962). Everybody always revered him and rightly so.”
Join Mario Andretti on this week’s Full Throttle podcast, available now for download here on the Eurosport website as well as on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.