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F1 and motorcycle legend John Surtees dies aged 83

Motorsport legend John Surtees has died at the age of 83, it was announced by his family today.

F1 and motorcycle legend John Surtees dies aged 83

Motorsport legend John Surtees has died at the age of 83, it was announced by his family today.

Surtees – the only person to win a world championship on both two and four wheels – passed away peacefully this afternoon after a short illness.

The Henry Surtees Foundation, which was established following the death of John Surtees’ son Henry in a Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch in 2009, released the following statement via its Facebook page:

John Surtees

“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our husband and father, John Surtees CBE.

“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.

John Surtees at the 1969 Dutch GP racing for BRM

“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.”

Surtees’ competed in Grand Prix motorcycle racing between 1952 and 1960, taking 38 wins and championship victories in the 350cc class in 1958, 1959 and 1960, as well as 500cc class titles in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960.

He entered four F1 races in 1960 and went on to start 111 grands prix over a career in the series that lasted until 1972 and took in a world title for Ferrari in 1964.

In total, Surtees scored six F1 race wins, 24 podiums, eight pole positions, 11 fastest laps and 180 points. He also raced for Lotus, Cooper, Lola, Honda, BRM and his own Team Surtees entry.

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