The 10 greatest racers of all time
On two wheels or four, these drivers left their mark in racing history
Photo: S&G, Alpha
Juan Manuel Fangio (right) and Stirling Moss (left) wish each other good luck before a race
If you want to start an argument amongst racing enthusiasts, just ask for a consensus of who the greatest drivers of all time are. It's really an unanswerable query as racing has changed so much through the years and with it the skills needed to triumph at the highest level. Just as Juan Manuel Fangio might not know what to do with a current F1 car's incredible aerodynamic downforce, Michael Schumacher might be a little intimidated by an antiquated Auto Union Type C.
Nonetheless, since the power of the internet protects me from direct criticism (or at least a smack to the head), I will posit the following list of the 10 greatest racing drivers of all time. Some of you will agree with the selection, though even for those choosing the same names, the order of the accolades could easily change. After all, I suspect that while most will argue between Fangio and Schumacher for the greatest driver of all time, trying to decide between the two is tough business.
The author would like to apologize in advance for any mis-recollection of any specific fact. No doubt there will be those whose memories are sharper and knowledge more intimate of any one of these great superstars. It is worth remembering, however, that motor racing, like all great sports survives on myth as much as reality. Indeed, I remember reading in my youth (now, too, a very long time ago) that Nuvolari won a race steering with a wrench attached to his steering column after the steering wheel fell off. The facts appear to be that he indeed steered the car with a wrench, holding the steering wheel out of the car for all to see, but it was only for a few laps and he did not win the race. Nonetheless, this is the stuff that makes any 12-year-old wish to be part of this great sport, no matter how peripherally.
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