Champion of Champions
John Surtees took Jim Clark’s championship off him in 1964 – only for Clark to return the favour the following year.
Clark enjoyed a close relationship with Lotus team boss Colin Chapman.
Chapman’s cars were fast – Clark notched up 33 pole positions in 73 appearances. But they were also often unreliable: at South Africa in 1962 Clark was heading for a victory that would have made him world champion, before suffering an oil leak that put him out.
The close relationship Clark enjoyed with Lotus boss Colin Chapman was unlike the often turbulent situation Surtees endured at Ferrari. Surtees won the title with them in 1964, coming out on top in a three-way battle at the last race with Clark and Graham Hill.
But he found himself increasingly at odds with team manager Eugenio Dragoni. On top of that he was badly injured in a Can-Am race in Canada late in 1965, forcing him to miss the last two races of the year.
Surtees returned back for the start of 1966 but the rows continued between him and Dragoni over Ferrari’s new car, so he left at the end of the year to drive for Honda.
While Surtees won in Monza, Clark added another four victories to his tally. But once again car trouble held him back as the team perfected the DFV-engined 49.
Clark won the only F1 race he drove in 1968 before his death during a Formula Two race in Germany. Surtees, meanwhile, stayed at the top flight until 1972, driving his final races for his own team.
Which of these drivers should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions? Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.
|Jim Clark||John Surtees|
|Second in title year/s||Graham Hill, Graham Hill||Graham Hill|
|Teams||Lotus||Lotus, Yeoman Credit, Ferrari, Cooper, Honda, BRM, Surtees|
|Notable team mates||Trevor Taylor, Mike Spence, Graham Hill||Roy Salvadori, Lorenzo Bandini, Ludovico Scarfiotti|
|Wins||25 (34.72%)||6 (5.41%)|
|Poles||33 (45.83%)||8 (7.21%)|
|Modern points per start1||11.65||5.91|
|% car failures2||29.17||44.14|
|Modern points per finish3||16.45||10.58|
|Notes||An oil leak in the final race of 1962 cost him his first title||Badly injured at Mosport in 1965, the year after he won the F1 title|
|Finished on the podium in every race where his car didn’t break down over the next three seasons||Won for Honda in 1967 and later ran his own team|
|Killed in a Formula Two race during the 1968 season having won the first race of the year||The only person to have won the world championships for bikes and cars|
|Bio||Jim Clark||John Surtees|
1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure
Which was the better world champion driver?
- Jim Clark (94%)
- John Surtees (6%)
Total Voters: 607
Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.
You can still vote in the previous rounds of Champion of Champions. Find them all below:
Champion of Champions
- Ayrton Senna voted Champion of Champions by F1 Fanatic readers
- Champion of Champions in stats
- Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher
- Ayrton Senna vs Juan Manuel Fangio
- Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost
- Ayrton Senna vs Jack Brabham
- Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart
- Alain Prost vs Niki Lauda
- Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher
- Jack Brabham vs Lewis Hamilton
Images © Ford.com (Clark), Uncredited (Surtees)