Henry Surtees dies after F2 crash

I’ve just heard the terrible news that Henry Surtees, son of former F1 champion John Surtees, died today following a crash in a Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch. He was 18 years old.

The accident happened in the second of the day’s F2 races. Surtees’ crash helmet struck a wheel which had been lost by another car, which is believed to have knocked him unconscious. His car ran straight on at the next bend, Sheene Corner, and into the barriers.

Formula 2 was re-formed this season having been wound up at the end of 1984. The Brands Hatch rounds were the fifth and sixth races in this year’s championship.

The single-specification cars are built by Williams and the championship is run by ex-F1 racer Jonathan Palmer, who also owns Brands Hatch. Palmer’s son Jolyon races in the championship, as well as Martin Brundle’s son Alex.

My thoughts are with Henry’s family at this terrible time.

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55 comments on Henry Surtees dies after F2 crash

  1. Chris Smith said on 20th July 2009, 11:28

    I was lucky enough to work for JS in the 70’s and many drivers were killed in that era. Improvements over the decades has made the risks more manageable but to experience such a tragic loss by a freak accident is just awful. My sincere condolences to the John and his family.

  2. Williams 4ever said on 20th July 2009, 13:12

    Tragic Incident. Sincere Condolances to the Surtees Family on their loss

  3. Bigbadderboom said on 20th July 2009, 14:18

    My deepest condolences to Henry’s family, tragic and terrible, my thoughts are with them.

  4. What sad sad news, first race weekend I see of F2 a familiar name doing well.. then this weird accident. Condolances to everybody close to this boy.

  5. pSynrg said on 20th July 2009, 18:19

    Condolences to the Surtees family. A terrible tragedy in taking part in that which has given them so much.

    If there was a problem with the tethers then I hope an investigation will reveal any failings. However one must consider that any tether is not of infinite strength or capability. There will always be unpredictable forces for which no tether is sufficient. These are the inherent dangers of motor racing.

  6. Lesley said on 20th July 2009, 19:26

    Henry will be rememebered as a very lovely young man with a huge disire for life and for a future in motor racing. I was very lucky to have known Henry from a baby and watched him grow into a gorgeous child and then an amazing teenager. Everyone is deverstated at such a great loss, he will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him and the motor racing industry. RIP x

  7. Wesley said on 20th July 2009, 20:52

    Very sad….so young.He was just getting his career started.I know if I had my way that I would leave this planet doing what I love but,it doesn’t make it any easier on the ones that love you.

    My condolences to the Surtees family.
    R.I.P. Henry

  8. Dorian said on 20th July 2009, 21:24

    My condolences to the Surtees family…

  9. ben said on 21st July 2009, 1:48

    does anybody know what actually killed him? they say it was hitting the wall but i believe he must of died instantly! does anybody know fore sure?

  10. Freeman said on 21st July 2009, 4:20

    A few days have passed, and interesting how we still didn’t hear anything from Max & FIA about the incident. This is the FIA Formula 2 series afterall.

    This is so sad and cruel.

    RIP Henry.

  11. What an accident… one out of a billion…
    very sad about that…
    My deepest condolences to the Surtees family…
    Rest In Peace Henry … we will never forget you…

  12. TommyB said on 21st July 2009, 10:01

    Dark day for Motorsport :(

    I thought the days of this happening in motorsport were over. A freak accident :(

    RIP Henry

  13. Indeed, this is a horrible tragedy. what else can be said? May his young soul rest in peace.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Surtees family.

  14. HounslowBusGarage said on 21st July 2009, 21:11

    My sympathies go to young Henry’s family and friends too.
    And also to the driver of the car that crashed first and lost its wheel. He must feel apalling about this, through no fault of his own.

  15. Gusto said on 21st July 2009, 22:45

    In a sport that is measured in 1/1000th`s of a second that is a 1/10000th`s of a second alignment, what can you say apart from ` God works in mysterious ways `. RIP Henry , my thoughts and prayers go to your family and friends.

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