Henry John Surtees

Henry John Surtees

British racing driver
Date of Birth: 18.02.1991
Country: Great Britain

  1. Biography of Henry John Surtees
  2. Transition to Formula Renault and Carlin Motorsport
  3. Joining the FIA Formula 2 Championship
  4. Legacy

Biography of Henry John Surtees

Henry John Surtees was a British racing driver, the son of MotoGP and Formula-1 champion John Surtees. He completed his debut season finishing seventh in the championship and second in the rookie standings. During the second half of the season, another rookie, Marcus Ericsson, dominated the races, but Henry managed to secure one pole position (at Thruxton), one victory (at Donington), and set two fastest laps (at Rockingham and Snetterton). He competed for the highly successful Carlin Motorsport team. However, his season was overshadowed by penalties and disqualification at Oulton Park.

Henry John Surtees

Transition to Formula Renault and Carlin Motorsport

After two races in 2007, Henry moved to Formula Renault in 2008, driving for Manor Motorsport. He finished twelfth in the championship, with his best result being a third-place finish at Silverstone. Henry also participated in the winter series, finishing thirteenth in 2007. He took part in one round of the 2008 season, the final two races at Donington Park, racing for Carlin Motorsport. Henry managed to win one of the races, securing eleventh place in the national class.

Henry John Surtees

Joining the FIA Formula 2 Championship

On January 2, 2009, Henry signed a contract with the revived FIA Formula 2 Championship for the 2009 season. He raced with car number seven. He earned his first pole position in Brno and achieved his first podium finish in the first race at Brands Hatch on July 18. However, tragedy struck in the second race at Brands Hatch on July 19 when Henry was involved in a severe accident. A wheel from Jack Clarke's car flew off and struck Henry's head, causing him to lose consciousness. His car continued straight and crashed into a barrier near Sheene corner, losing another wheel in the process. Henry suffered fatal head injuries from the impact of the wheel rather than the subsequent collision with the barrier. This incident resembled the fatal accident of Markus Höttinger in Formula 2 at Hockenheimring in 1980.


Henry Surtees' death brought attention to the dangers of open-wheel racing and the importance of safety measures in motorsports. Less than a week after his death, another similar incident occurred when Felipe Massa was injured by a spring that detached from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn-Mercedes car during the qualifying session of the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix. Henry Surtees' funeral took place on July 30 at Worth Abbey Cemetery in West Sussex.