John Surtees

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John Surtees signing an autograph in 1964

John Surtees CBE (11 February 1934 – 10 March 2017) was a British racing driver on both motorcycles and in Formula One. He was the only person to win the Drivers' Championship in both Formula One and in the 500cc Motorcycle Championship, which is the top level in motorcycling racing.

Surtees was born in Tatsfield, Surrey.

He started racing in motorcycling in 1952, won his first race in 1956, as well as winning the 500cc Motorcycle Championship in 1956, as well as 1958, 1959 and 1960. Surtees moved on to Formula One in 1960, earning his first podium position by placing second in the British Grand Prix, and earning pole position in the Portuguese Grand Prix. He joined Ferrari in 1963, placing fourth in the championship. Surtees won the Drivers' Championship in 1964 by one point. He stayed with Ferrari in 1965 but left midway through 1966, joining Cooper and eventually placing second in the Drivers' Championship. After that, Surtees joined Honda Racing (not to be confused with the Honda Racing team that ran from 2006-2008).

Surtees eventually made his own team, simply named Surtees. He raced with the team until his retirement in 1972. After that, he simply ran the team, until the team left Formula One in 1978. His team also ran in the Formula 2 Championship, which in 1972, Mike Hailwood won the Formula Two Championship.

Surtees died on 10 March 2017 in a hospital in London from respiratory failure, aged 83.[1][2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "John Surtees: Former F1 world champion dies at 83". BBC. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  2. "John Surtees, former F1 and motorcycle world champion, dies aged 83". The Guardian. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.