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Moss 1962 - what if?


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#1 rl1856

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 16:31

I have always been curious about how the 62 GP season would have turned out had Moss not suffered his career ending accident. My personal thoughts are that the final outcome may not have been much different. Moss was to drive a Ferrari 156, but prepared and entered by his people in GB. By the time the deal between Moss and Ferrari was confirmed, Moss had very little if any time behind the wheel of a 156, thus he had little experience in comparing the performance of a then current Climax engined car to the 156. At the start of the season, he would have quickly realized that while considerable progress had been made in GB, 156 development had stagnated with the departure of Chiti and his staff. Moss would have done comparatively well during the first part of the season as his ability would have been enough to make up the difference, but by mid season it would have been appearant to him that the 156 was uncompetitive. He may well have ended the season in a Climax engined Lotus 24. Many have wondered why Ferrari would have made a deal with Moss. He certainly admired Moss. Was the deal partly a result of Chiti's departure- an effort to make up the difference so to speak, knowing that his cars were essentially undeveloped from the end of the previous season? All food for thought.

Edited by rl1856, 22 July 2012 - 16:32.


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#2 Barry Boor

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 16:33

Interesting thought but we've threaded this subject many times before, I think.

#3 elansprint72

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 21:07

Interesting thought but we've threaded this subject many times before, I think.

Indeed we have... what if Colin Crapman had suddenly invented the Infinite Improbabilty Drive, sneaked it past the scrutineers and his five cars had finished before they even started?
It's bad enough we have threads on religion, without this sort of stuff cropping up on a regular basis.

#4 pete53

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 21:26

Indeed we have... what if Colin Crapman had suddenly invented the Infinite Improbabilty Drive, sneaked it past the scrutineers and his five cars had finished before they even started?
It's bad enough we have threads on religion, without this sort of stuff cropping up on a regular basis.

Go easy on the guy. Such is the volume of stuff on TNF that its not always that easy to establish if a topic has been covered before - at least not without spending a huge amount of time searching.
Perhaps it would be better just to point him in the right direction instead of giving a rather "sniffy" response.


#5 scheivlak

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 21:41

An interesting (much) earlier thread: http://forums.atlasf...showtopic=28544

#6 elansprint72

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 22:06

Go easy on the guy. Such is the volume of stuff on TNF that its not always that easy to establish if a topic has been covered before - at least not without spending a huge amount of time searching.
Perhaps it would be better just to point him in the right direction instead of giving a rather "sniffy" response.


"I say; steady-on Carruthers...".

He's been here since 2003. :rolleyes:

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 22:12

Originally posted by elansprint72
.....It's bad enough we have threads on religion, without this sort of stuff cropping up on a regular basis.


A shame you weren't around earlier, when everyone was nice to each other...

I have no qualms about threads like this, even if they are repeated every four or five years. Let's consider it in the light of Moss' comment about Jim Clark, along the lines of, "You don't want to be in last year's car..."

So by August '62 Alf Francis would have been putting together a monocoque chassis for the Ferrari engine, with a kit to swap in the Climax when it proved more powerful, and Ferrari development would have been advanced a couple of years.

#8 rl1856

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 22:28

Gentlemen, Thank you for the reply. I was unable to find the linked thread in my approx 20min search. In light of that thread, the question becomes would the influence of SM have kept the 156 competitive or had the British cars advanced beyond the limit of development for the 156? Personally, I think SM (and Alf Francis) would have transformed the handling of the 156, but the ultimate limitation would have been the primitive nature of the basic chassis. Recall that by mid 62, the 156 design was 2yrs old, having first appeared at Monaco (?) 1960. Compared to much lower lighter better handling 1962 chassis from Lotus and BRM. SM may have accelerated the design of a new Ferrari chassis, but would it have been developed in enough time to have had a meaningful impact in 1962? It seems logical to think that SM and BRP would have changed to another car by mid season, something like a Lotus 24 Climax.

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:58

Or put alloy wheels on the 156 and developed it from there?

I doubt that a 24 would have cut the mustard for Stirling, he was still serious and it was effectively a 'last year's car' compared to Clark's 25.

#10 D-Type

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 15:05

What were the alternatives?

The old Lotus 18/21 he crashed at Goodwood?
The Lotus 21 that was still on its way back from the Antipodes? As Alf had shoehorned the V8 into the 18 chassis could he have done the same with the 21? I mean physically without extensive chassis modifications.
A Lotus 24?
A Cooper? Although Bruce won at Monaco, it wasn't really a front runner any more.
A Lola? A total unknown quantity. Perhaps with the extra [BP?] money that Moss could bring the car could have been better developed.
All of these possibly with a BRM rather than a Climax.
Would Porsche have supplied an 804?
Or even a Walker chassis? But I think Alf was a better developer of other people's designs than at starting with a blank sheet.

On balance, even with the 100% vision of hindsight, the Ferrari with committed backing from Ferrari still seems his best bet.

#11 Barry Boor

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 15:19

Was the Lotus 25 REALLY that much quicker than the 24? Or was Jim Clark the crucial difference?

I offer the following evidence; at Rouen Taylor, in a 25 was 1.7 seconds quicker in practice than Trintignant in Walker's 24; in Italy the gap was 0.2, Taylor was the faster. My point is that if we assume that Moss was more or less on a par with Clark (or vice versa), I see no reason why Moss in a 24 would not have been completely competitive with Clark in a 25.

I feel quite sure that a Lotus 24 would have been a better bet for SCM than a Sharknose Ferrari, nice though that thought is:

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#12 RCH

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 22:49

I suspect the whole deal would have fallen apart very rapidly. Ferrari had told Moss he will supply whatever he needs, I doubt that Moss would have been backward in coming forward with what he wants. The 156 which Innes Ireland drove would have turned up for Silverstone, Moss's response would have been, that's not what I asked for. Ferrari would have replied, this is better, it's a proper "works" Ferrari as only we know how to build. Moss would probably have driven it spiritedly to third behind Hill and Clark, then both Moss and Ferrari would have said I told you so. The Ferrari would have been quietly returned as "not as ordered" and Rob Walker would have bought a Lotus 24, any shortcomings it may have had would probably not be apparent at that point.

For 1963 and into the future a monocoque car would have been built around Moss and maybe a combined Walker/BRP team doing effectively what Stewart and Tyrell were to do a few years later.

#13 Roger Clark

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 23:15

Maurice Trintingnant drove a Walker entered Lotus 24 at the Monaco Grand Prix. I wonder whether the order was placed before or after Goodwood.

#14 rl1856

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:52

The 25 was not that much faster than the 24 until abt 1/3 through the season. The first 3 races had 3 different winners, with the 3rd race, Spa showing the potential of the 25. Taylor was fully competitive with Clark and everyone else durring the first 3 races His crash at Spa and development of the 25 from Spa forward began to widen the gap between the 2 cars. I think it would have taken a few races for Moss and co to realize that the 156 was a dinosaur, but Spa would have been the turning point. Ferrari missed the 4th race due to industrial strikes which it is fair to assume would have affected Moss. Either by Rouen or Aintree, Moss would have been in a 24 Climax. Rain at the 'Ring may have given Moss an advantage and a win. Would his car have survived at Monza, who knows, but the BRM was the fastest car that day. Both the Glen and South Africa would have been the skill of Moss vs the speed of Clark and the reliability of Hill. Food for thought.


#15 Roger Clark

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:01

Don't forget that Innes Ireland was competitive in a 24 throughout 1962 and the early part of 1963, including front row of the grid in the British Grand Prix, second row of a 2x2 grid in South Africe and pole against a Grand Prix quality field in the 1963 International Trophy. I don't think Moss was much slower than Ireland and he surely would have been competitive in a 24 throughout 1963.

The Sharknose really was outdated by 1962; its superiority in 1961 came from its engine. That advantage had been lost by 62. Ferrari's number 1 in 63 was one of the top three or four, he spoke Italian and he was prepared to work with Ferrari in a way that Moss apparently wasn't. Surtees must have been close to Ferrari's ideal driver. He was never backward in making it clear what he wanted yet it took Ferrari most of 63 to produce a monocoque and the V8 wasn't race worthy until 1964. Ferrari were famous for not properly developing their Grand Prix cars until Le Mans was over. Would they have done better for Moss?

#16 rl1856

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:23

Roger, I agree. Moss in a 24 Climax would have been very competitive and a likely race winner.

As for Surtees, he went to Ferrari at the right time. They had just produced a chassis that was much closer a contemporary car (the non shark nose Monza car driven by Bandini). They were also extremely vulnerable, thus open to suggestion. Surtees was able to re mold the team around him and effect immediate improvement. The depth of their vulnerability may have been shown by their willingness to listen to advice from Michael May regarding engine development. Consider that for a moment- Ferrari essentially admitted they needed help with engine development. Surtees/Ferrari were very competitive from the beginning of 1963 and of course won the title in 1964.

Best, Ross

#17 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 14:36

An interesting (much) earlier thread: http://forums.atlasf...showtopic=28544

Interesting how TNF stalwart Barry started that thread:

I'm sure this has come up before but as I'm just too flippin lazy to search, and we are getting new members all the time, I thought I would toss this one in and let everyone kick it around until it's exhausted.

Good-natured conjecture followed, we were treated to an interesting little detour into the Walker-Climax, Mr Ludwigsen weighed in with a quote from one of his books, and it was all polished off with a DCN gem I’d not come across before. Everything I love about TNF.

I wonder: if TNF were a physical club, and we were sat in cosy leather armchairs gathered round a fireplace nursing back our favourite tipples, and someone asked, for example, ‘Does the way the press tried to stir up Wiggins and Froome rivalry on the Tour de France remind anyone of Mario and Ronnie in ’78?’, would a steward come running in and say, ‘I’m sorry Sir, the Mario vs Ronnie conversation is on the third floor, room 5. I must ask you to leave’?

Or would he take an order for another round of drinks, as the banter in the room grew still louder?

#18 rl1856

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 16:02

Or would he take an order for another round of drinks, as the banter in the room grew still louder?



Jeeves, I'll have a Bookers and water please. (Bookers is a noted US Bourbon)


#19 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 17:35

Jeeves, I'll have a Bookers and water please. (Bookers is a noted US Bourbon)

A Rusty Nail for me - one part scotch, one part Drambuie.

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#20 Barry Boor

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 18:14

Have we drifted marginally O.T ?

#21 Glengavel

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:55

Jeeves, I'll have a Bookers and water please. (Bookers is a noted US Bourbon)


:eek: Dash it old boy, Jeeves is a gentleman's valet, not a waiter!!!


#22 kayemod

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:33

I wonder: if TNF were a physical club, and we were sat in cosy leather armchairs gathered round a fireplace nursing back our favourite tipples, and someone asked, for example, ‘Does the way the press tried to stir up Wiggins and Froome rivalry on the Tour de France remind anyone of Mario and Ronnie in ’78?’, would a steward come running in and say, ‘I’m sorry Sir, the Mario vs Ronnie conversation is on the third floor, room 5. I must ask you to leave’?


"Oh I'm sorry, is this a five minute argument, or the full half hour?"


#23 GMiranda

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 19:45

Hello

 

I've just finished reading the piece written by Nigel Roebuck for Motor Sport in June 2012 about Moss and the RWR Ferrari. Personally, I believe Moss made a good choice at the moment, as both he and Rob Walker weren't happy with Colin Chapman, and I can imagine neither of them would be satisfied after buying a Lotus 24, and then Chapman appearing with a brand new 25.

I agree with you regarding the British cars' advantage over the Ferrari in 1962. However, Ferrari was in disarray with Chiti and Tavoni leaving, and I believe Phil Hill wasn't properly motivated - and he departed to ATS at the end of the season - and Ferrari had lost the other "senior" drivers: Richie Ginter signed for BRM, and Von Trips died at Monza. Thus Ferrari in 1962 hadn't a good team leader with the ability to develop the car so recognized in Ginther.

Rob Walker and Alf Francis always had a remarkable ability to prepare their cars and devise good tactics, so I presume Moss would be more competitive. However, I don't believe he could have fought for the title with Clark because the Ferrari was outdated, and there were no more developments at Maranello. About possible strifes between Moss and Enzo, it would depend because, knowing the discontentment of some Ferrari men and even drivers during that period, if Moss had beaten Hill & co., Enzo would be happy because he was proving his cars were great, the drivers and the structure were the culprits. Indeed, if Moss couldn't achieve much, the agreement would have fallen fast.

Knowing it would always be a short term solution, if Moss were racing, would have it changed the fate of BRP? Walker, Moss and Francis and the BRP structure? It might have changed history. Because I don't believe they would recur to other British manufacturers than Lotus and, if they were disappointed with Lotus, why not try to create a new team and join BRP's efforts?



#24 guiporsche

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 15:56

Three caveats.

First, Forghieri in his biographies always rated Mairesse as a decent test driver for the simple fact that he was hard-working, fast enough, and above all, honest in his feedback: he never refrained from admitting to his driving mistakes. Was he a better test driver than Ginther? Did he have a more technical background than Ginther? No, but from what Forghieri says he was not useless either. He went as far as saying that had he been alive and fit, he would have been much helpful developing the 512.

Second, there were 'developments' at Maranello. Hill might not have agreed with the ideas of a young Forghieri (widening the tracks of the Sharknose) still finding his way around, but by late season proper development work was undergoing that eventually led to the monoposto that won at Monza 63 with Surtees. 

Third, one can make as many alternative scenarios as one wants... Let's say, in 62 Moss 'wins' with a BRP Ferrari against Hill and Chiti (had he remained), or against Hill and Forghieri (had Chiti not remained)? Most probably Surtees would have never become Ferrari's n1 had Moss continued to drive. 



#25 Steve123

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 18:58

Perhaps I am slightly off topic, but the subject is the great Stirling.

 

A few years ago Philip Porter wrote and published Volume 1 of the "Definitive Biography". Is there any likelihood of Volume 2 appearing in the foreseeable future? 



#26 arttidesco

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 22:19

Interesting could Moss have scored the 10 points Phil Hill scored at Zandvoort and Monaco with his 156 and then switched to the Rob Walker Lotus 24 and then beaten Jim at Spa and Graham at the Nurburgring and then scored enough placings to make the difference ? What a splended and indeed unique World Championship triumph that would have made for a privateer !



#27 ensign14

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 23:52

Moss would not have won the 1962 World Championship.

 

He would have been too busy with Rob and Alf in fettling an ex-Kimberly Cooper for his Indy 500 win.



#28 D-Type

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 00:02

Perhaps I am slightly off topic, but the subject is the great Stirling.

 

A few years ago Philip Porter wrote and published Volume 1 of the "Definitive Biography". Is there any likelihood of Volume 2 appearing in the foreseeable future? 

I contacted the publishers and asked.  The reply was essentially "No".  Reading between the lines, Volume 1 had not sold as well as they had hoped.


Edited by D-Type, 18 January 2022 - 14:11.


#29 sstiel

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 22:30

We'll never know. Jackie Stewart had the great line: "Stirling Moss was so big a driver he didn't have to be world champion." 



#30 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 10:51

I think one of Moss's few weaknesses as a driver was always looking for the unfair advantage that he didn't need.  I'm thinking of fuel injected Maseratis. parts from three different Vanwalls, the Cooper-BRM and the light green BRM.   Is it possible that 1962 would have been similarly compromised?



#31 BRG

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 11:55

Looking at the 1962 season, Hill was in his pomp, on the front row at nearly every race.  Clark had hit his stride and challenged.  Ferrari were in disarray and not quite fast enough.  Even Moss, in a private (and better run) team would have struggled to match those two.  Maybe a win at Monaco?  Otherwise, just another Moss season and the clock ticking for him.



#32 guiporsche

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 12:23

If one looks beyond 62, Ferrari would have given him more winning chances in the medium-term than any other solution. Would in 62 BRM sell Moss a car equal to Hill's? After they had spent so much time and effort to reach the top? Then, in 62-63 the car to have was really the Lotus and that was Jimmy Clark's. Chapman would never give/sell Moss equal equipment to whatever Clark was racing (cue Innes Ireland). 

So, with 1962-3 lenses rather than retrospective ones, what options there were for Moss other than betting his luck with Ferrari? None. Lola? Porsche? Had he managed to survive that difficult 1962 season with an outdated 156, he would have become a sort of 'Surtees'. Or maybe not, because that's not what happened and because Surtees did speak Italian and was probably more willing to be there. All of this are just hypothetical castles in the sand.



#33 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 12:55

SM would have speedily abandoned the outdated 'Sharknose', I am sure, in favour of the Walker Lotus 24 fitted with the best possible Climax V8 that the company could prepare for him.  He would have made quite sure of that.  Fiddling in search of a technical edge by both Stirling and - with Rob Walker's acquiescence - the team might well have cost them dear.  But in the 24 I am confident - and so, in retrospect, was he - that he could have competed, at least with Graham Hill in the works BRM.  Clark in the Lotus 25 might have been a tougher nut to crack, but given the car's suspect reliability through its first season it might have cracked itself...

 

But the truth is that SM didn't get the chance.  

 

DCN



#34 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 13:32

I think people are underestimating Moss's options in 1962.  The Lotus 24 was competitive, if not quite a winner in the hands of Ireland and Brabham and what about a Cooper?   Apart from Monaco, Bruce won at Reims against a full quality field and over a full Grand Prix distance. He was on the front row for all championship races until Rouen and the second for most of the others.  I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that Moss would have done at least as well as any of those three.



#35 sstiel

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 17:56

I think one of Moss's few weaknesses as a driver was always looking for the unfair advantage that he didn't need.  I'm thinking of fuel injected Maseratis. parts from three different Vanwalls, the Cooper-BRM and the light green BRM.   Is it possible that 1962 would have been similarly compromised?

Hasn't Tony Brooks said that? Moss's use of specials was one factor in why he didn't win a championship. 



#36 rl1856

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 15:18

Circling back to a thread I started almost 10yrs ago !     I agree with the consensus that Moss and Walker would have moved to a Lotus 24 Climax by mid season 1962.   He would have won a few races, but at who's expense ?  Would Gurney have won in France, would Clark have won in GB ?   Would Moss' mastery have overcome the conditions in Germany ?    And so on.  His presence would have impacted the outcome of the WDC, but it is hard to say who would have been champion. 

 

He would have done well in 1963, but not well enough to prevent Clark from becoming champion.

 

1964 would have been another toss up year and who knows how his participation would have affected the outcome.  One potentially significant development may have been the speed of the Brabham chassis.   With Lotus moving to the 33 chassis, and unlikely to sell one to Walker in the near future, and understanding that the 25 was 3 seasons old, would Moss-Walker have switched to a Brabham Climax in 1965 ?   How would that have affected the season ?

 

1965 in a Brabham Climax, vs Clark and BRM.    Again, Clark is likely the champion, but with a lower win total.

 

1966 would have been interesting.  Moss-Walker would have likely switched between a Brabham-Climax (2ltr V8), and the Cooper Maserati.  Given Moss' connection to Maserati it is likely he would have been treated as a quasi factory driver.  The Cooper Maserati was competitive in 1966 and early 1967.  Moss and Surtees driving the same car !  It  is possible that Moss would have blunted Jack Brabham's championship run, allowing Surtees to win.

 

1967 would have been an off year due to the Lotus 49/ Ford and lack of development of the Cooper-Maserati combination.

 

1968 would have seen Moss-Walker at the front of the Ford client line.  What chassis ?  What outcome ?   Would 1968 have finally been his year to become champion ?

 

He would have been 39 at the end of the 1968 season.  Would he have thought of retirement ?  Would he have lost a bit on the track by that time ?

 

All "what ifs".


Edited by rl1856, 19 January 2022 - 15:38.


#37 BRG

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 16:53

He would have been 39 at the end of the 1968 season. 

Another issue that is perhaps a bit sensitive, is whether he would have survived that long.  Of his contemporaries, only Maurice Trintignant raced for longer than Moss.  He survived GP racing, but a lot of others didn't.



#38 Steve123

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 10:43

1962 was a most exciting world championship year, being settled towards the end of the last race. If Stirling had been still competing, there is no doubt that he would have taken some of the points which were won by Graham Hill and Jim Clark. Even if Stirling had not won the title, those points could have changed the balance of the championship.

Another "what if", which I have never seen discussed, is this. Suppose Tony Brooks had not retired at the end of 1961? Tony had had a very disappointing and frustrating season in the BRM Climaxes in 1961. He retired at the end of the season. he was rep[aced by Richie Ginther-an faithful number 2 in the BRM team and a noted test-driver, but never on a level with Graham Hill. If Tony had continued into 1962, how many points would he have taken off Graham?-at least some I suspect. This might have altered the outcome of the championship.



#39 Charlieman

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 11:00

Would in 62 BRM sell Moss a car equal to Hill's? After they had spent so much time and effort to reach the top? 

For BRM, it's more a case of Could than Would. Customers, whether for complete cars or engines, were always out of step with the factory entries. Some of the customers were slow at settling bills, of course, but there were steady complaints about engine performance. I'm sure that an organised private team would have done a competent job at preparation but they would always have been 10 bhp behind the works cars.



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#40 Sterzo

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 11:14

Let's make this a bigger "what if."  What if I had been Moss's manager?

 

Don't fiddle about with dear old Rob, I'd say, I've rung Colin Chapman and offered your services for 1962. I knew he'd already got Innes and the promising Jim Clark, plus a decent novice in Trevor Taylor, but he didn't even mention them. We need to untangle the oil contracts, but neither company would choose to be famous for blocking the move.

 

A slam dunk for the championship. The only uncertainty is whether Stirling would have accepted me as his manager. He might have noticed I was only 14.



#41 Roger Clark

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 11:53

For BRM, it's more a case of Could than Would. Customers, whether for complete cars or engines, were always out of step with the factory entries. Some of the customers were slow at settling bills, of course, but there were steady complaints about engine performance. I'm sure that an organised private team would have done a competent job at preparation but they would always have been 10 bhp behind the works cars.

I think that if BRM did sell a car for Moss it would have been a P578 with fuel injection, not the converted, carburettored P57 that Lewis and Marsh drove.  Graham Hill wouldn't have liked it but when Sir Alfred made a decision, it stuck.  I don't think it was very likely though!



#42 D-Type

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 12:37

Let's make this a bigger "what if."  What if I had been Moss's manager?

 

Don't fiddle about with dear old Rob, I'd say, I've rung Colin Chapman and offered your services for 1962. I knew he'd already got Innes and the promising Jim Clark, plus a decent novice in Trevor Taylor, but he didn't even mention them. We need to untangle the oil contracts, but neither company would choose to be famous for blocking the move.

 

A slam dunk for the championship. The only uncertainty is whether Stirling would have accepted me as his manager. He might have noticed I was only 14.

But, Stirling was sponsored by BP - personal sponsorship that dated back to 1954 and possibly earlier.  And Team Lotus were sponsored by Esso,  This was the reason they were so upset when Innes Ireland swapped cars at Monza in 1961.  It was also the reason that the Walker Team didn't get a Lotus 21 until late in 1961 and had to develop the 18/21.



#43 Roger Clark

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 16:38

Lotus didn't sell a 21 to anyone until Team had finished with them, and yet the 24 was almost in volume production.  Should that have provided a clue that something else was coming?



#44 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 17:40

"1968 would have seen Moss-Walker at the front of the Ford client line.  What chassis ?  What outcome ?   Would 1968 have finally been his year to become champion ?"

 

Would Chapman have offered him a Lotus seat after poor Jimmy had perished....as team-mate to a former WDC, Graham Hill?  Who knows...



#45 Allan Lupton

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Posted 21 January 2022 - 10:57

But, Stirling was sponsored by BP - personal sponsorship that dated back to 1954 and possibly earlier.

Yes, I'd say earlier. I knew one Elio de Sabata, as "our man in Italy",  who was quite proud to tell me that BP had engaged him to act as interpreter when Stirling (and Alfred) Moss came to Italy with the 1 litre Cooper-JAP. I think that was 1949
 



#46 Sterzo

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Posted 21 January 2022 - 22:04

Moss did, of course, have a long-standing relationship with BP, and appeared in their ads throughout the fifties. Nevertheless, he raced on other fuels and oils (including Esso) at Mercedes-Benz, Maserati and Aston Martin. It's also unlikely that such a canny businessman was tied into a long-term contract that would constrain his activities. It's more probable he and/or Rob Walker signed annual deals for GP racing only.