John Surtees, the only racer to win championships on both two- and four-wheels, has passed away at the age of 83, his family has announced.
Surtees won four titles in the 500cc motorcycle class before switching to four wheels, winning the 1964 F1 title with Ferrari.
He also raced at Le Mans, primarily for the Prancing Horse, securing a best result of third in his F1 title-winning year.
He retired from competitive racing in 1972 and disbanded his racing team, which found little success in F1, in 1978.
The British driver had been suffering from respiratory problems lately, and passed away earlier today. He is survived by his wife and two children.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our husband and father, John Surtees CBE,” a statement on Henry Surtees Facebook page read.
“John, 83, was admitted to St Georges Hospital, London in February with an existing respiratory condition and after a short period in intensive care he passed away peacefully this afternoon. His wife, Jane and daughters, Leonora and Edwina were by his side.
“John was a loving husband, father, brother and friend. He was also one of the true greats of motorsport and continued to work tirelessly up until recently with The Henry Surtees Foundation and Buckmore Park Kart Circuit.
“We deeply mourn the loss of such an incredible, kind and loving man as well as celebrate his amazing life. He has set a very real example of someone who kept pushing himself at his peak and one who continued fighting until the very end.
“We would like to thank all the staff at St George’s Hospital and The East Surrey Hospital for their professionalism and support during this difficult time for us. Thank you also to all of those who have sent their kind messages in recent weeks.
“Funeral details will be announced in due course.”
by Rachit Thukral