Sir Stirling

As many of us, I was saddened to hear of Sir Sterling Moss’s passing the other day. A true legend of the sport.

This article I read today was very interesting to me from a driver/coach perspective:

I’m really into vintage (or all eras of) grand prix stuff, and I have a great coffee table book I got at the Mercedes-Benz museum in Germany that is a collection of interesting anecdotes and stunning photos from early grand prix racing through the 50s and 60s. I think the 50s and 60s era is especially interesting from a driving technique perspective, as the cars were very simple, distilled right down to an engine and a rudimentary chassis, on glorified bicycle tires. Not too dissimilar to some aspects of modern karting. Reading Sir Moss’s notes in that interview, I can’t help but connect a lot of his feelings about driving to the sensations you get in a kart; universal laws that all racing drivers abide by or try to find the limits of.

Sometimes I worry about younger kids I work with who have zero interest in the history of karting or motorsport in general. They don’t know who Fangio is or haven’t got a clue about Nuvolari. I think knowing the history of this stuff is not only interesting, but really educational for aspiring drivers. I think driving back then was much more seat-of-the-pants, or spiritual, or metaphysical in some way; not as much driven by data and hard numbers. Very raw. Just a cool era in the sport, and a nice reminder of it with all the tributes to Sterling this week.


I have the same fear too. That said, I think there’s more interest out there than we might assume… but people just aren’t being exposed to it.

We say the same thing about music on old stuff not having much interest. But anecdotally from what I can tell from my kids and their friends… they are into new and old stuff… because they’re being exposed to it via YT, Spotify or whatever. My 11y/o literally went from Black Sabbath to lady Gaga today, then to three cellos :joy:

The timing of your post is interesting because I today I was literally thinking about how KP might go about exposing vintage Karting more.

For me, one of the most important things was to be at ease when I was running on the limit. The more natural it becomes to run flat-out, the better, because that frees up your brain for other things, if you know what I mean. The drivers who use all their mental powers just to drive on the limit tend to make more mistakes, and I think that’s true in every era.

I think this is a timeless quote really.

Another thing that caught my eye in reading this was how much more camaraderie there was between drivers. There’s probably an element of rose tinted glasses I’m sure. But I can’t help but think a lot of it was down to the fact that large egos lead to death.

I’m not sure if we can ever truly say that modern drivers would stand up well against those of say, the sixties and before. The element of risk and presence of death was so much stronger, I’m not sure some of them would have even taken it that far.

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“Far better to go in slow and come out fast than to go in fast and come out dead.“

Among the greatest things I’ve heard said by any sports person.

For any of you with kids here’s a great way to introduce them to Moss. I have all of this authors kids books and they never disappoint.

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I’m sure some with the true ‘racer’s heart’ would, but for many, I think the carbon cocoon is the equivalent of the Reset button in sim. :wink:

I agree 100%. This is really what almost everything on my website is talking about… especially the ‘Reducing the Sensation of Speed’ and ‘Concentration for Racers’ articles. Actually, the objective of every piece of information there is geared towards understanding, simplifying, and automating the driving process… ‘doing’ less and ‘being/feeling’ more.

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Allow me to introduce you to my pal and co-driver the Stig. I very much like how Sir Stirling Moss articulated this most difficult to express aspect of what we attempt to do. May his tires wear evenly and slowly in heaven.

Anyone here who has yet to check out Warrens words on race driving really should do so. He likens flowing forces around the 4 tyres to walking a shallow tray of water (hope I’ve stated that correctly WC). It’s an inspired mental model. And there’s so much more there. I’d love to throw this around in this forum if that’s cool with you warren.

It’s nice to see drivers with an appreciation of the history of the sport, as it’s a sign they are truly enthusiastic about racing. Although with some fans, you wonder are they really enthusiasts or partisan fanatics, (or just following the herd).

It used to be that the Ferrari Tifosi could be the most consistently irritating fans in grand prix racing, but thanks mainly to that overrated documentary about the driver, then appearances in places like Gran Turismo, Top Gear UK, and numerous click bait sites trying to profit from him, the most annoying, fanatical fans now are those of the late Ayrton Senna.

For some in racing (and karting), it seems their appreciation of the sport’s history begins and ends with the fallen driver. That, and maybe some love for the 80’s Turbo Era of F1 “…the BMW engine had 1500 hp at 6 bar boost…”.