Mansell pays spe­cial trib­ute to Sur­tees

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: For­mer For­mula One world cham­pion Nigel Mansell joined the mo­tor­sport world on Tues­day in pay­ing trib­ute to John Sur­tees at the fu­neral of the only man to win world ti­tles on two wheels and four.

Sur­tees, who won the 1964 F1 cham­pi­onship with Fer­rari af­ter four 500cc and three 350cc ti­tles be­tween 1956 and 1960, died on March 10 at the age of 83.

“John was a con­sum­mate pro­fes­sional, a gen­tle­man, an in­cred­i­ble cham­pion on two and four wheels and a gen­tle, mas­sive gi­ant,” said Mansell, who raced for Fer­rari be­fore win­ning the 1992 ti­tle with Wil­liams.

“When you spoke to him he was so unas­sum­ing you ac­tu­ally for­got he was the cham­pion he was. I found him awe­some but he was a friend.”

Red Bull prin­ci­pal Chris­tian Horner told the BBC at the fu­neral at Worth Abbey in south­ern Eng­land that Sur­tees would likely al­ways be a unique cham­pion.

He re­called also the late cham­pion’s ad­mi­ra­tion for Se­bas­tian Vet­tel, now with Fer­rari af­ter win­ning four ti­tles at Red Bull.

“When we were win­ning races with Se­bas­tian Vet­tel he (Sur­tees) would ei­ther ring me or send me an email with his ob­ser­va­tions af­ter a grand prix week­end,” said Horner. “He was very keen to stay in touch with the mod­ern day driv­ers.” Reuters

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