Sir Stirling Moss (84) and Damon Hill (53) celebrate birthdays this Tuesday. The pair of Englishmen each made their mark in Formula One in different decades.
Moss is widely considered the best driver to have never won a World Championship, with 16 career victories, four runner-up and three third-place finishes in the championship in the 1950s and ’60s. Unfortunately, Moss was in the news earlier this year for another reason entirely, when he made some disparaging comments regarding the ability level of women in motorsport. It got widely panned by media and other female drivers, including Williams F1 reserve driver Susie Wolff, in the aftermath.
Hill (pictured), son of two-time World Champion Graham, secured his lone World Championship in 1996 for Williams. Unfortunately for Damon, that came after a two-year run where he had lost to Michael Schumacher in the then-all-conquering Benetton, and Hill was sacked at the end of the 1996 season. He had a miserable title defense with Arrows in 1997, despite nearly winning the Hungarian Grand Prix, and scored his 22nd and final win in what was Jordan Grand Prix’s first ever triumph at Spa in 1998.
Damon Hill’s son Josh Hill was growing his racing career this year after finishing third in the Formula Renault 2.0 series in 2012. But the youngest Hill, 22, announced his retirement citing a lack of comfort and “100 percent devotion” to the sport.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.