Stirling Moss (center) is pictured with Mercedes Benz teammates Karl Kling (left) and Juan Manuel Fangio at Mercedes’ test track in Stuttgart. Lifelong friends, Moss still contends that Fangio was the greatest, both on and off the track.
Juan Manuel Fangio was special. Not only as a racing driver but also as a human being. He was the kindest, most gentle and humble person I have ever met, yet he had the talent and grit to win the Formula One World Championship no fewer than five times.
After spending my youth avidly following the fabulous motor racing careers of Fangio and Stirling Moss, I first met the Argentinean 10 years after his retirement, in 1968 when, through my Pirelli colleagues in Milan, I set up an interview with him for ex-Lotus Grand Prix-winner Innes Ireland, who had just been appointed sports editor of the British motoring magazine Autocar. My first encounter with Stirling came many years later in 1986, when he agreed to anchor the film version of my book With Flying Colours, which marked Pirelli’s 80th anniversary as a motorsport competitor.
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