Mike Hawthorn was the first British Formula one world Champion in 1958.
If it wasn’t for Stirling Moss’s sportsmanship and being an all round good guy it would of been Stirling Moss himself that would of been the first British F1 Champion. Hawthorn was disqualified for pushing his car in the Portuguese Grand prix which was against the rules and lost his 2nd place. Stirling Moss intervened and argued Hawthorn’s case and the decision was reversed and Hawthorn was awarded the result. Hawthorn won the championship by 1 point over Moss.
Having won the championship Hawthorn announced his retirement from the sport after his good friend Peter Collins died racing earlier that year.
Shortly after retiring Mike Hawthorn died in a road accident in 1959 while driving his British Racing Green Jaguar 3.5 sedan near Guilford.
An interesting thing is even though Stirling Moss’s act of sportsmanship resulted in Britons first world champion, Peter Collins had the chance to become the first British world champion in 1956 but gave up his car to Juan Manuel Fangio the team leader when his car broke down in the final race and thus sadly giving up his only opportunity win the drivers crown.