How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great
John Surtees and Enzo Ferrari parted ways amicably but could have achieved more together. On the weekend that Formula 1 makes its bow in Qatar, a country best-known for staging bike racing, NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the career of the formidable ‘Big John’ - the first man to achieve success at the highest level on two and four wheels
In November of 1978 I got a call from his secretary asking me to visit John Surtees in St Thomas Hospital, where he was undergoing surgery on his right leg, this the hangover of an accident 13 years earlier. No explanation was offered: simply, “John would like to talk to you”.
He was in good spirits, and we chatted, but still I wondered why I had been asked to visit. Finally, he said, “As long as you’re here, I may as well give you some news.” About what the team is doing next year? “That’s the news,” he said. “We’re stopping…”
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