John Surtees: Former F1 world champion dies
Former Formula 1 and motorcycling world champion John Surtees has died at the age of 83.
Surtees is the only man to have won the grand prize world championship on both two disks and four.
He won four 500cc motorcycling titles - in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 - and the F1 crown with Ferrari in 1964.
Surtees died at St George's Hospital, London, on Friday afternoon after being treated for a surviving respiratory condition, a family statement said.
"We deeply sorrow the loss of such an incredible, kind and loving man as well as celebrate his marvelous life," the statement added.
Famous F1 commentator Murray Walker told Radio 5 live: "It's an absolute hammer blow for me and for British motorsport in general.
Surtees was rewarded an MBE in 1959, the same year he won the Sports Personality of the Year reward, the OBE in 2009 and the CBE in 2016.
John Surtees won six F1 races in 111 starts between 1960 and 1972, and also drove for Lotus, Honda, Cooper, Lola, and BRM.
Surtees was world champion in the 350cc motorcycling category as well as 500cc from 1958-60.
He later arranged his own F1 team and was back the wheel when it made its debut at the 1970 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.
Team Surtees managed two podium finishes but never won a complete before folding in 1978.
Surtees went on to become chairman of the British team in the A1 Grand Prix series, while his son Henry began raising in Formula Two but was killed in an accident at Brands Hatch in 2009, aged 18.
He always maintained his driving style was centered around having feel for the machine beneath him. “You try and go along and become part of it,” he said in 2015: “Through the bench of your trousers and the way your hands are on the steering wheel, you get that essence of what the car is telling you and that is how you decide how close to the limit you can go, what the restrict is.”
The family organize the Henry Surtees foundation in the help of people return from the brain, physical injuries and to support motorsport-related educational programs.
Surtees remained complicated in motor racing into his eighties, competing in classic car and bike events up until last year.
It's a really big loss for everyone.