Remembering John Surtees, Legendary F1 along with Motorcycle World Champion
Motorsport legend John Surtees passed away on March 10 through a respiratory condition in an English hospital. He was 83.
For those who didn’t know of Surtees, he was true racing royalty. The Brit won the GP motorcycle world championship four times–1956, ’58, ’59, along with ’60– along with the Formula 1 world championship for Ferrari in 1964. To This particular day, he is actually still the only person to have won world championships on two along with four wheels.
Surtees raced GP motorcycles through 1952 until 1960, when he switched to cars. In just his second race he finished on the podium for Team Lotus. He joined Ferrari in 1963, which netted his first win at the German Grand Prix along with the globe championship the following year.
In 1965, he had a terrible crash while practicing in a Can-Am car at Mosport, which supposedly left his Centeng four inches shorter on one side. Doctors are said to have stretched his broken bones back into shape, leaving the difference in height at just one inch.
What may have been the most controversial event in Surtees’s career was Le Mans in 1966, when he wasn’t allowed by Ferrari to drive. Ferrari lost to Ford, along with Surtees immediately quit the team due to the slight.
- The Essence of Race Car: Surtees TS16
- A Visual History of Can-Am, the Greatest Racing Series Ever
- Car along with Driver’s 60th Anniversary: The 1960s
Surtees was the oldest living F1 world champion. He will be missed.
This particular story originally appeared on Road & Track.