From the motorsport archive: on this day in 1959

Stirling Moss Portugal 1959 side

Stirling Moss’ lead was such that he had time to stop for a drink of water

Moss masterclass in the Portuguese Grand Prix

That we considered Stirling Moss’ 1959 Portuguese Grand Prix win “one of the most convincing performances of his career” might come as a surprise if you know that he had by then won virtually every major motorsport event. But you can hardly argue when you learn that he lapped all 15 of his rivals and set a new lap record at Monsanto, a collection of fast and slow corners over hilly terrain.

Having been “far and away the fastest” in both practice sessions, Moss took pole position ahead of fellow Cooper drivers Jack Brabham, Masten Gregory and Maurice Trintignant, then the BRM, Ferrari and Aston Martin cohorts. 

Moss lost out initially but was soon back in first and pulled out 12sec by lap six. On lap 20, Brabham tried to move past Gregory but slid off, bringing down a telegraph pole that missed the American only because he ducked.

From there, Moss had nothing to worry about, to the extent that he stopped to enquire after Brabham and again to grab a bottle of water.

Before long Moss lapped Gregory, eliciting “unrestrained applause, the crowd appreciating every minute”. 

Brabham may have snatched the 1959 title, but Moss’s status as an all-time great was already assured. 

Source: Autocar

Leave a Reply