John Surtees is the only driver to have won World Championships both on bikes and in cars, 1964 F1 champion Surtees’ career spanned thirteen seasons after which he set up his own team.
His World Motorcycle Championship wins came before his 1960 Grand Prix debut at Monaco with Lotus. His transmission failed that day, but he finished second at his second attempt, at his home Grand Prix. He left Lotus, not wanting to be number two to Jim Clark, to drive for Cooper. It wasn’t until he moved to Ferrari in 1963 that he found success, winning at the Nurburgring.
The 1964 season didn’t start well for Surtees – his Ferrari 158 failed to finish three of the first four rounds and he sat eighth in the championship. But with only the best six results counting he posted six podium finishes – two wins, three seconds and a third – to beat Graham Hill, who had scored 41 points but had to drop two.
His championship defence was spoilt by an accident racing in the CanAm series and complications arising from it would hinder his racing career from then on. He split from Ferrari in 1966 after a falling out with team manager Eugenio Dragoni.
In 1967 he drove for Honda’s first Grand Prix effort, with a Lola chassis adapted to take their V12 engine. In Monza, after the Lotuses of Clark and Hill retired, Surtees won brilliantly from Jack Brabham.
It was has final win, though he remained in F1 until 1972, racing for Honda again in ’68, then BRM in ’69. In 1970 he did four races for McLaren before fielding his own car.
He continued to drive for team Surtees until 1972. After his retirement the team ran until 1978 fielding such drivers as John Watson and Alan Jones, and in 1975 notoriously adopted the livery of Durex condoms, to the consternation of BBC television, who refused to broadcast the British race.