John Surtees has paid tribute to his son Henry, who died following an accident in a Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
The 18-year-old was struck on the head by a flying rear wheel and tire from the car of Jack Clarke, who had crashed at Westfield Bend. Surtees was knocked unconscious and his car hit the barrier on the approach to Sheene Curve. He was stabilized at the circuit's medical centre before being airlifted to the Royal London hospital, where it was confirmed last night that he had died from his injuries.
John Surtees, who won the 1964 Formula 1 World Championship, had been devoted to Henry's racing career through karting, his circuit racing debut in Ginetta Junior in 2006 and his campaigns in single-seaters since 2007. Henry had scored his first F2 pole position at Brno last month and followed it up with his first podium in the first race of the weekend at Brands Hatch on Saturday.
"Henry had followed his heart from the time he first sat in a kart," said Surtees in a statement. "He treated seriously the balance between motorsport and school, having just finished his A-Levels. The world beckoned and he was thriving on the freedom to concentrate on his motorsport.
"Despite bad luck in his motorsport, he had shown himself to be one with the possibilities of reaching the very top. Despite his young age he had shown maturity, technical understanding and speed. Most importantly he was a nice person and a loving son and brother. He will be deeply missed."