John Surtees is a motorsport legend. He is both a Formula 1 champion and a GP motorcycle world championship holder. Aside from his successful racing career, he also succeeded in his other calling of being a champion philanthropist.
The Brit champion racer has won four GP motorcycle world championships, in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960. John Surtees has also won the Formula 1 world championship in 1964 for Ferrari.
Remembering the inspirational John Surtees, a legend on four wheels and two. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP pic.twitter.com/3GlrB8Pq1e
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) March 10, 2017
To date, none has surpassed nor equaled John Surtees' successes. With the above-mentioned global achievements, John Surtees is the only racer who have won outstanding global championships on both the two-wheel and four-wheel categories.
The Brit champion's success journey was not all smooth and festive. He encountered a terrible crash in 1965. He was in a Cam-Am car at Mosport that time, and in the middle of the practice, he met the unfortunate accident that almost caused his body to be four inches shorter on one side. Fortunately, his doctors were able to stretch and fixed his broken bones, which improved his situation by just having an inch difference in height, instead of the four-inch variance.
One of the most significant challenges he has faced in his entire Formula 1 career happened in 1966, three years after he joined Ferrari. John Surtees was unbelievably prohibited to drive by Ferrari at Le Mans. The prestigious brand lost against Ford and seems to have suffered the consequence of their decision not to allow the champion racer to drive for their team. This also led to the F1 champion's decision to immediately quit the Ferrari team, CarAndDriver reported.
Meanwhile, John Surtees is not just a champion racer. He is also a champion philanthropist. He has established a charitable institution named Henry Surtees Foundation, which aims to help people who had accident injuries by providing financial support.
The foundation was founded in 2009 and named after his son Henry. Unfortunately, Henry Surtees, a Formula 2 racer, died in a fatal crash during a Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch in 2009.
John Surtees established the foundation in memory of his son. The Henry Surtees Foundation also exists to help the young generation to maximize their potentials.