July 19, 2009

Son of Former F1 Champion John Surtees Dies in Racing Accident

Henry Surtees, the eighteen year old son of seven time Motorcycle World Champion and 1964 Formula 1 champion John Surtees was fatally injured in a Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch today. In this video report from Eurosport, Henri is seen with his father in the grid. Surtees who was born in 1991 when his father was fifty seven, started racing in the Ginetta Cup and then Formula BMW. Before joining the new FIA Formula 2 series he had raced in Formula Renault.

The FIA Formula 2 cars are built to the latest safety specs and have wheel tethers. For all the strides made in safety, this is a sad reminder racing is not a game. Surtees was hit by a wheel that had come off another car and never regained consciousness. Our condolences to his family.

(Eurosport via Metzell89)

This was the official statement from the race organizers right after the accident but before he passed away.

“Henry was driving between Westfield and Sheene corner when he was struck on the head by a wheel and tyre from another car which had hit the tire wall ahead of him just before. Henry was immediately knocked unconscious and his car failed to negotiate the following Sheene corner and collided with the barriers.

“The race was red flagged and the medical team were with Henry as soon as possible. He was removed from the car, stabilised and taken to the medical centre where the medical team prepared him for transfer to the Royal London hospital, the regional trauma centre, by helicopter, where he is now being treated.

“Formula Two Chief Executive, Jonathan Palmer, said “I would like to express my great sadness that Henry has been injured today. An accident like this would obviously raise high levels of concern and we await further news on Henry’s condition from the hospital. This is clearly a very worrying time for John and Jane Surtees. Our thoughts are with them and we will be providing all the support we can.””

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