home icon / F1 News, Reports and Results / Motorsport legend John Surtees has passed away at 83

Motorsport legend John Surtees has passed away at 83

©WRI2

John Surtees CBE,  has passed away at the age of 83 from a respiratory condition. He was the only man to win world championships on both two and four wheels.

The son of a south London motorcycle dealer, Surtees started his racing career on two wheels, moving up the ranks on the British scene and eventually recruited by the MV Agusta factory team.

Surtees won the 500c world championship with the famous Italian firm in 1956, repeating the feat with hat-trick in 1958,1959 and 1960.

In 1960, at the age 26, Surtees switched to cars full-time, making his F1 debut with Lotus in Monaco and losing no time in displaying the same great skills he had shown on motorcycles.

His first win in Formula 1 was at the 1963 German GP with Scuderia Ferrari, Surtees clinching the world championship title with the red squad the following year.

He eventually fell out with Enzo Ferrari following a dispute with team manager Dragoni at Le Mans in 1966.

Following a spell with BRM, Surtees eventually set up his own team, the Surtees Racing organization, and became a constructor, spending nine seasons competing in Formula 1, F2 and Formula 5000.

He retired from racing as a driver in 1972 but carried on as a team owner, managing his F1 team until it was disbanded in 1978.

Tragedy struck the Surtees family in 2009 when his son, Henry was killed in a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch when the 18-year-old hopeful was struck in the head by a wheel from another car.

John Surtees created the Henry Surtees Foundation, a charity which assists people having sustained accidental injuries and helps young people develop the abilities.

Until today, John Surtees was the oldest surviving Formula 1World Champion. F1i's condolences go out to John's friends and family.