John Surtees, the only person to win world championship titles in Formula 1 and in motorcycle racing, has died.

The legendary British racer is considered one of motorsport's greatest competitors having made his name one two wheels by clinching the 500c motorcycle world championship in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 before turning his talents to four wheel racing.

Quickly proving himself to be similarly adept at handling a car, Surtees went on to win the 1964 F1 world championship in a Ferrari. He would go on to race with Honda and BRM before competing with his eponymous outfit until his retirement in 1972.

A statement from the Surtees family reads:

"It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our husband and father, John Surtees CBE.

"John, 83, was admitted to St Georges Hospital, London in February with an existing respiratory condition and after a short period in intensive care he passed away peacefully this afternoon. His wife, Jane and daughters, Leonora and Edwina were by his side.

"John was a loving husband, father, brother and friend. He was also one of the true greats of motorsport and continued to work tirelessly up until recently with The Henry Surtees Foundation and Buckmore Park Kart Circuit.

"We deeply mourn the loss of such an incredible, kind and loving man as well as celebrate his amazing life. He has set a very real example of someone who kept pushing himself at his peak and one who continued fighting until the very end.

"We would like to thank all the staff at St George's Hospital and
The East Surrey Hospital for their professionalism and support during this difficult time for us. Thank you also to all of those who have sent their kind messages in recent weeks.

"Funeral details will be announced in due course."

Surtees won 38 races at world championship motorcycle racing level before clinching 6 F1 wins in a racing career spanning 20 years.

He created the Henry Surtees Foundation in the wake of the tragic death of his son Henry, who was killed competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2009. The charity assists people with accidental injuries & help young people to develop their capabilities.

All at would like to express our deepest condolences to John's friends and family at this time.