Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and James Hunt each left their mark in their own way.
In motor sport’s premier discipline, Formula One, these four names are etched forever. Their careers took place in memorable times when the media coverage was not that of the 21st century. You had to build a career race after race in F3, F2 and then move on to F1, with few resources, and above all a superhuman desire to win. And also participate in endurance races, rallies, slalom and hill-climb driving events.
The four aces were multidisciplinary!
It remains in everyone’s memory.
He is the exception among the exceptional. John Surtees is the only rider to have won the world title in the premier class on two and four wheels. A very complete pilot. He drove Cooper Climax, Lola before joining Ferrari in 1963 in the 156. He becomes
F1 world champion in 1964 ahead of Hill after a very hot finish. World vice-champion in 1966, he took part in his last race in 1972 before also becoming team manager until 1978. He died in 2017 at the age of 83
James , John , Stirling, Jackie
He bears the title of Sir Stirling Moss, often referred to as the ‘Champion without a crown’, was not a F1 World Champion, narrowly missing out in 1955, 1956 and 1957 behind the untouchable Fangio. Making his debut at the age of 18 in a BMW 328, he remained loyal to second-rate English teams for a long time, driving HWM, BRM, ERA, Cooper-Alta and Connaught. Then driving Maserati, Mercedes, Cooper, Lotus, Ferguson 4×4 and Vanwall, he gave his best. He won 16 races in 66 GPs until his accident in 1962. He took part in 10 editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and won the 1955 Mille-Miglia with Denis Jenkinson on a Mercedes 300 SLR W 196, bearing the number 722, at an insane average speed of 157 km/h! He died at the age of 90 on 12 April.
The more popular Jackie Stewart, wearing a tartan cap, lived in Switzerland for many years. He made his mark on F1 from 1965 until 1973. He won three world championship titles in 1969, 1971 and 1973 and won 27 races. He ended his career on the eve of his 100th Grand Prix, on 6 October 1973, having already won his third world title. Upset by the fatal accident of his teammate and friend François Cevert on the same day during testing, he returned to the world of F1 as a team boss with his son Paul in 1997. He is the oldest F1 World Champion.
The myth of James Hunt, born in 1947, is as much about his talent as his looks and his rivalry with Niki Lauda. It is the subject of a magnificent film in which the two incompatible opponents fight like dirty kids, distant in both their physical appearance and their philosophy and way of life.
He died prematurely of a heart attack in 1993 and drove in F1 from 1973 until 1979. World Champion in 1976, he remained famous for his scruffy outfits and his taste for partying which he sublimated within the Hesketh Racing team. He then drove for McLaren and Wolf. Affected in 1978 by the death of Ronnie Peterson. He left F1 in Monaco during the season in 1979 and became a popular consultant for the BBC. He has 10 victories in F1.