What the papers said about . . . Juan Manuel Fangio

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The Independent Online
"Decades after their prime, the immortals can still change the mood of a room simply by their presence: Bradman, Pele, Ali. In motor racing it was Juan Manuel Fangio, who has died aged 84. More than 30 years after he last acknowledged a chequered flag, fans who had never seen him in action would jostle to glimpse the unprepossessing little Argentine who, by most available yardsticks, had been the greatest racing driver of all time." Guardian

"The morning's headlines surrounding two highly-paid modern sportsmen in Formula One's latest overblown rivalry were reduced to nothing by the reports from afar." Telegraph

"The drivers raced in short sleeves in the 1950s when Fangio was the undisputed master, sitting bolt upright in the Maseratis and Mercedes on the straights and leaning with their cars into the corners. They were friends then, joined together by their sport and their proximity to death, racing without seat belts, with straw bales their crash barriers. They respected each other, but they respected Fangio the most." Times

"He was brilliant at nursing sick cars while maintaining high average speeds. Stirling Moss recalls that where Ascari would just clip a straw bale on the exit to a corner, Fangio would just miss it by the same millimetre every lap." Independent

" 'Motor racing is something you must do with a passion,' he said when he quit in 1958. 'You must love it as a painter loves to paint.' " Mirror

"He taught me how to live, how to behave, how to care about those around us. He was essentially such a good human being, mature, modest, quietly spoken and kind, always prepared to help the younger drivers." Stirling Moss, Mail

"For all his wide gifts, Fangio never mastered English. He made George VI laugh when he was presented at Silverstone in 1950. 'No spik English - spik Italian, spik Spanish,' stammered Fangio to the King, who looked a little embarrassed. Fangio turned to the interpreter at his side. 'Please tell His Majesty,' he said, 'I don't have to speak English to be able to drive.' " Telegraph