Tributes pour in for Surtees

2017 F1 season

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Racing drivers from in and beyond the world of Formula One and other significant figures in the sport have paid tribute to John Surtees after the 1964 world champion passed away today at the age of 83.

Surtees won the world championship for Ferrari in 1967

Ferrari has lost one of its greatest drivers. John Surtees has passed away in his native England at the age of 83.

Born in Tatsfield on February 11 1934, Big John, as he was fondly known, won the Formula One world championship in 1964 with Ferrari, becoming the only driver in history to claim both the F1 and motorcycle grand prix world titles. Surtees raced in 111 Formula One grands prix, 30 with the Scuderia Ferrari, delivering six victories, four of which were with the Maranello team between 1963 and 1966.

Aside from his outstanding Formula 1 performance, Surtees contributed several victories to Ferrari’s success in the 1963 and 1965 World Sportscar Championship. All at Ferrari send their heartfelt condolences to his family at this sad time.

Such a lovely man. We have lost a true great motorsport legend. RIP John.
Damon Hill

We are so sad to hear of the passing of John Surtees. He was such a gentleman and a true legend. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

So sad that the amazing John Surtees has passed away without ever getting that knighthood so many of us wished for. A real one of a kind.
Tiff Needell

Surtees scored his last F1 victory for Honda

Our thoughts go out to the family of John Surtees – 1934-2017. A true racing legend and 1964 F1 world champion.

Very sad to hear the news of John Surtees passing. F1 and motorcycle world champion and a great man, our thoughts are with his family.
Nigel Mansell

Sad news today. It was great to meet you legend. RIP John Surtees.
Valtteri Bottas

Extremely sad to hear about John’s passing. A lovely gentleman with a lovely family. Will be dearly missed, my thoughts are with his family.
Alexander Sims

One of the few who has given much more back to our sport than has ever taken. A true gent and racer. RIP John Surtees.
Darren Turner

Such sad news to hear the passing of the great John Surtees. He has done so much for the sport that we love and he was such a lovely guy.

Thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace John.
Alice Powell

A legend of motorsport has left us today. A champion, a gentleman, a true racer who achieved the unachievable. RIP John Surtees.
Force India

Today the motorsport world has lost a true legend. He achieved a feat that will never ever be repeated. Ready in peace John.
Sam Bird

Our thoughts go out to all who knew and admired John Surtees. As legendary as they came, he will be sorely missed throughout motorsport.

Sad news of the passing of motorsport legend John Surtess CBE. World motorcycle Champion and World F1 world Champion. Will be missed by all.
Johnny Herbert

A master of two wheels and four. RIP John Surtees.
Red Bull

Sad day for the world of two and four wheel racing, we lost a true legend of our sort. He was above being knighted anyway.
David Brabham

Rest in Peace John Surtees, a great champion in every respect. Sadly he’ll never get the knighthood he deserved. Condolences to the family.
Martin Brundle

RIP John Surtees. Very sad news.
Romain Grosjean

Rest in peace John Surtees. one of the all time greats on two and four wheels and a good man.
Dario Franchitti

An all time great, his achievements will never be repeated.
Allan McNish

Rip John Surtees. Legend.
Felipe Massa

Very sad to hear our loss of John Surtees. I had the lucky chance to meet him once. Will remain a motorsport legend forever. Rest in peace.
Felix Rosenqvist

Absolutely shocked to hear John Surtees has passed away. True legend in the sport & has been a great ambassador for the Racing Steps Foundation for many years.
Jake Dennis

One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and a true legend on both two and four wheels.
Alex Lloyd

Sad news indeed – a true legend of the sport.
Karun Chandhok

Very sad to hear of John Surtees passing. Being Henry’s team mate in Formula BMW to see them both pass away is a great loss for motorsport.
Oliver Webb

Very sad to hear the passing of John Surtees. Absolute legend. Amazing man on both two and four wheels. Thoughts are with his family. RIP John
Andy Priaulx

Today we lost one of the all time greats on two and four wheels. We will miss you John.
Jenson Button

Sad to hear the passing of John Surtees. Got to know John while racing against his son Henry in karts. Gentleman and a legend on two and four wheels.
Stefan Wilson

When I saw this photo of Honda F1 in 1967, I got a dream to be a F1 driver.

RIP Sir John Surtees and thank you for the dream.
Taki Inoue

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Tributes pour in for Surtees”

  1. A true motor racer, a true champion. I stand and type while applauding, my heartfelt best wishes for those closest. RIP John Surtees.

  2. One of my favourites. I could listen to his tales for ever. A proper racer through and through.

    He will be sorely missed

    RIP John

  3. A determined racer and true gentleman.
    Good to read the tribute from Ferrari, I had forgotten his Sportscar career. He should have been knighted many years ago.
    (@keithcollantine, tiny correction to the photo caption, it was 1964, not 1967. Please delete this line once amended.)

  4. Chris Bradshaw
    11th March 2017, 9:25

    It’s already been said, but it can’t be repeated enough: what he achieved is barely possible.

    There aren’t many that the Tifosi take to their hearts as they did Il Grande John.

    A life incredibly well-lived. Rest in peace.

  5. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    11th March 2017, 17:52

    Such sad news. One of the greatest british sportsperson of all time who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Not only one of the greatest motor racers of all time, but one of the greats in any sport. RIP John Surtees.

  6. In my opinion, “one of the greatest” doesn’t apply to John Surtees. Any racer who wins both the Isle of Man Senior TT as well as the Formula One world championship is THE greatest racer of all time.

  7. He was a fulfilled man who was lucky to live for a long time.
    A tragedy it was when his 18 year old son – John Henry – died a couple years ago during a car race.

  8. Sergey Martyn
    13th March 2017, 17:09

    Sad to hear these devastating news, though I’ve become F1 fan quite a long ago after John Surtess has finished his career but I knew all the champions from Fanghio/ In fact I was born in the very year John claimed his title/
    What is more sad – so little comments from the readers too short and too formal comments from the racers and teams (except Ferrari of course) – looks like everyone wanted to fit their messages into Twitter limits. Hope they manage to utter some more words elsewhere. I recall some short comments about Jules Bianchi etc. tragedies. Even Schumi wasn’t mable to excel aty two wheels and Mr. Surtees managed not only to master both categories but to win both titles. A true racer at heart. RIP John.

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