John Surtees CBE (born 11th February 1934, Tatsfield, Surrey – died 10th March 2017) was a former Grand Prix Motorcycling racer and Formula One driver. Surtees won the F1 World Championship in 1964, in just his fourth full season of the sport, and is the only person to win World Championships on both two and four wheels.
Surtees was the oldest surviving World Champion before his death at the age of 83.
Formula One Career
Surtees started to dominate Grand Prix motocycling, ending with seven championships (three in 350cc and four in 500cc), and also taking 38 wins and 45 podiums out of 53 race finishes. In 1958 and 1959, he won all 25 championship races that he competed in.
In 1960, Surtees switched from motocycles to cars full time, and showed his potential by finished second in his second race in Britain. After a slow start, his career kicked off in 1962 with the Lola team, where he came fourth in the championship, taking two podiums in Britain and Germany. In 1963, he joined Ferrari, and won for the first time in F1, at the German Grand Prix, and he came fourth in the championship again.
In 1964, Surtees secured his place in sporting history by winning the F1 crown, winning twice, and finishing on the podium whenever his car reached the finish line. Graham Hill scored 41 points to Surtees' 40 points, but as only the best six results counted, Hill's 5th place at the Belgian Grand Prix was dropped and Surtees took the crown by a single point. In winning the title, Surtees became the first and only driver to win World Championship on both two wheels and four wheels.
Unfortunately, his 1965 season was not as successful and was marred by a large crash that forced him to sit out the last two races. Relations with Ferrari were destroyed in 1966 after they decided not to race a recovered Surtees in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Surtees left Ferrari for Cooper after winning the second race of the season in 1966. Surtees won the final race, the Mexican Grand Prix, becoming the second of two drivers to win races with two different teams in one season.
For 1967, Surtees moved to Honda, and won one race, the 1967 Italian Grand Prix and slipstreaming and overtaking Jack Brabham. After two podiums in 1968, Surtees moved to BRM, but only took a solitary podium at the United States Grand Prix.
In 1970, Surtees founded his own team, Surtees. Initially driving customer McLaren chassis, Surtees created his own chassis midway through 1970. This venture did not lead Surtees to any success and he retired from competitive driving in 1972. The Surtees team was disbanded in 1978, having scored only one podium in 1973.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Pts.||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1961||Yeoman Credit Racing Team||Cooper-Climax||4||12th||Report|
|1962||Bowmaker-Yeoman Racing Team||Lola-Climax
|1963||Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC||Ferrari||22||4th||Report|
|1964|| Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC
North American Racing Team
|1965||Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC||Ferrari||17||5th||Report|
|1966||Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC||Ferrari||28||2nd||Report|
|Cooper Car Company||Cooper-Maserati|
|1969||Owen Racing Organisation||BRM||6||11th||Report|
|1970||Team Surtees||McLaren-Ford Cosworth
|1971||Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||3||19th||Report|
|1972||Team Surtees||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||0||NC||Report|
|Front Row Starts||21|
|Distance Raced||25312.660 km (15729 mi)|
|Distance Led||2122.902 km (1319 mi)|
|Win Number||Grand Prix|
|1||1963 German Grand Prix|
|2||1964 German Grand Prix|
|3||1964 Italian Grand Prix|
|4||1966 Belgian Grand Prix|
|5||1966 Mexican Grand Prix|
|6||1967 Italian Grand Prix|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||[+] More Symbols|
- 'John Surtees: Former F1 world champion dies at 83', bbc.co.uk, (BBC Sport: Formula One, 10/03/2017), http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/39235608, (Accessed 10/03/2017)
- The other driver was Juan Manuel Fangio, who took two wins with Maserati before moving to Mercedes mid-way through the season, taking four more wins, and winning the championship in the process.
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