As arguably the finest driver in Formula 1 history never to have lifted the world championship crown, Sir Stirling Moss is eminently well-placed to offer his views on the current state of play in the top flight – and you can listen to what he has to say right here.
Moss triumphed on 16 occasions over the course of his grand prix career from 1951 to 1961, making him incontrovertibly one of the most successful British drivers of all time. Other names assuredly now on that list are defending F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and current title favourite Jenson Button, a man who – in tandem with Brawn GP's extraordinary phoenix-from-the-flames like renaissance – has taken the early phase of 2009 by storm, winning five of the first six races and stamping his authority on proceedings in a manner that nobody has done since the record-breaking Michael Schumacher.
Moss shares his thoughts on the way both drivers are performing thus far this season, from Brawn's 'awesome' form to McLaren-Mercedes' tactical errors and Hamilton's mental struggles and Monaco 'warning', suggesting the Stevenage-born ace 'has not appeared quite as exciting as before'.
The 79-year-old similarly discusses the possibility of any driver or team successfully challenging and beating Button and Brawn over the balance of the campaign, including 'fighter' Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber who 'does things you don't normally expect him to do' and Ferrari, without whom, he contends, 'Formula 1 can't exist'.
As to this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul, does Sir Stirling hold out much hope for Brawn's pursuers? Not really...
“At the moment, as far as we can see, the Brawn is still well ahead of everybody else,” he contends, speaking exclusively to Crash.net
, “and they've got two jolly good drivers there, although I don't think they are the fastest. I don't think that Jenson is as fast as [Fernando] Alonso and a few other guys, but they are doing a really good, tidy job and, if you've got a car that is ahead of the others – which I think it is at the moment – that's all you need.”
Ever-honest and outspoken, the former Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, Vanwall, Rob Walker Cooper and Lotus star also reveals his standpoint on the ongoing FIA-FOTA war over Max Mosley's controversial £40 million budget cap initiative for 2010, suggesting 'the sport needs a strong person' like the governing body's president, whilst tempering that with the hope that 'he's intelligent enough to realise that what the teams are putting forward is a good idea, and [will] decide to work together and either find a compromise or what suits everybody'.
“It's so important that there is harmony,” Moss stressed. “It is ridiculously expensive, but it is terribly difficult to cut that down. It's got to be the leading formula in the world, where anything goes more-or-less, and the cars now are superlative.
“It's so important that the FIA listens to the teams as well and that the teams listen to them. You've got a lot of very clever people there and there's no doubt that they are negotiating from their own corner, but I also think that they appreciate that the sport is the most important thing and that, if they go and cripple the racing and make it not so good, they're going to lose a lot of the enthusiasts that follow it now.”
To listen to the Stirling Moss Crash.net
podcast, click here