John Surtees

John Surtees, OBE ( born February 11, 1934 in Tatsfield, Surrey, England ) is a British former racing driver.

He is still the only rider in history who managed to become world champion in both the Motorcycle World Championship and Formula 1. He was also the owner of a Formula 1 racing team ( Surtees Racing Organisation). His son Henry Surtees was also a racing driver.

  • 2.1 World Motorcycle Championship
  • 2.2 Isle-of -Man TT victories
  • 2.3 Formula 1 2.3.1 Grand Prix wins
  • 2.3.2 Individual Results


Motorcycle Racing

John Surtees ' father was a motorcycle dealer in South London. He played his first race at the age of 14 years in the sidecar of a Vincent- trailer combination, together with his father. Although the two won, but when the race directors found out John Surtees ' age, they were disqualified because the British after the regulations were too young. With 15 years Surtees won his first grass track racing. In 1950, at the age of 16 years, the British began an apprenticeship at Vincent. During this time he also bought his first car, a Jowett Jupiter.

In Motorcycle Racing John Surtees made ​​in 1951 for the first time quite a stir when he 17 -year-old with the former Norton factory rider Geoff Duke, the world champion in the classes to 350 and to 500 cc of the Motorcycle World Championship was in this year, in a car Cycle Union race at Thruxton a tough fight for victory delivered.

His debut in the World Motorcycle Championship gave Surtees 1955 at the Tourist Trophy with fourth place in the race of the 350 cc class on a Norton. When following Germany Grand Prix at the Nordschleife the British succeeded in finishing third behind Bill Lomas and August Hobl his first podium finish. A few weeks later Surtees celebrated on a 250cc NSU at the Ulster Grand Prix in Northern Ireland, his first victory in the World Cup. In the 350cc race, he finished in third place again.

For season 1956 joined John Surtees Norton tucked into financial difficulties, the Italian manufacturer MV Agusta, where he was ³ on the side of Umberto Masetti factory rider in the classes to 350 and to 500 cm. Already in his first 500 insert for MV, the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man, the Briton was able to celebrate his first victory for the Italians. This was followed by two more in the Netherlands and Belgium. The three remaining half-liter runs of the season Surtees did not participate, but he secured with 24 meters confidently before the German BMW drivers Walter Zeller the world title in the premier class. The title, however, was favored by the fact that the 500 cc World Champion of the previous three years, Geoff Duke, had been banned by the FIM to 30 June 1956 after he assists a driver strike for an increase in the entry fees. The 350ern Surtees was World Cup Fourth of rank two in Holland and the victory in Belgium.

1957 John Surtees could not defend his 500cc title - the MV Agusta were inferior to the Italian competition from Gilera. So he finished with second place in the TT and the victory in Assen behind the Gilera factory riders Libero Liberati and Bob McIntyre to third world status.

After Gilera and Moto Guzzi had retired from the World Cup at the end of the season in 1957, the MV Agusta were almost without competition and dominated the Motorcycle World Championship at will. In 1958, John Surtees secured the title in the 350cc and the 500cc class each with six victories in seven races held. The following season, the Briton defended his title at the most supreme conceivable way - he won in both classes all races of the season. In the same year he was elected to Britain's Sportsman of the Year.

Also in 1960 Surtees won two world championships in the 350cc class he was taking at the end of the season level on points with his Rhodesian Gary Hocking teammates and won the title only because of the higher number of retracted third places. With his victory in the half-liter race of the Tourist Trophy this year Surtees became the first rider in the history of the race has been held since 1907, who won the Senior TT three times in a row.

At the end of the 1960 season John Surtees finished his highly successful motorcycle World Championship career at the age of 26 years. He competed in 48 Grands Prix, celebrated it 38 wins, 45 podiums and seven world titles.

Automobile Racing

In 1960, John Surtees celebrated the Grand Prix of Monaco made ​​his Formula 1 debut for Lotus.

After several starts for Cooper -Maserati in 1961 and concluded with the fourth World Cup place successful season in 1962 with the Lola - Climax Surtees moved to Ferrari in 1963 and won in 1964 the Drivers 'Championship and the Constructors' title for the Italian team.

Surtees left Ferrari during the 1966 season because of his opinion to great pressure and personal differences with Ferrari's racing manager Dragoni. Thus, the way to winning the drivers' world championship for Jack Brabham was free. Surtees started at the following race for Cooper -Maserati and then subsequently moved for two seasons to Honda and later to BRM before the team Surtees Racing founded the early 1970s, organization, from 1970 to 1978 in the Formula 1 World Championship participated.

Overall, Surtees won in his career six Grand Prix in Formula 1: Germany 1963 and 1964, Italy in 1964 and 1967, Belgium in 1966 and Mexico in 1966.

He was also successful in sports car racing in both the World Sportscar Championship as Ferrari factory driver as well as in the American CanAm series, which he won in 1966 in her first year hosting on Lola T70. He was also involved as a test driver in the development of the vehicle. In 1963 and 1965 he won together with Willy Mairesse and Ludovico Scarfiotti the 1000 km race at the Nürburgring.

He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1996. Despite its success, Surtees was one of the more Beischeidenen and had no talent for " Showman ". On July 19, 2009, his son Henry was killed in a Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch.


World Motorcycle Championship

  • 350 cc world champion on MV Agusta: 1958, 1959, 1960
  • 500cc World Champion on MV Agusta: 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960
  • 38 Grand Prix wins

Isle-of -Man TT victories

Formula 1

Grand Prix victories

Individual results

Le Mans results