RIP: Chris Amon- 1943-2016

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In sad Formula 1 news, Chris Amon has passed away at the age of 73. Chris’s statistics betrayed what most every knew, he was an incredibly talented driver and while he may not have won, he was instrumental in so many teams and infused in F1’s history.

As a Ferrari fan, I will always recall Chris’s stint at the Scuderia and I often think of Chris as the anomaly like Sir Jackie Stewart. Men who race in the late 60’s and somehow survived. Chris told Motorsport Magazine in 2008:

“I’m luckier than Jimmy [Clark] and Jochen [Rindt], and Bruce [McLaren], and Piers [Courage],” he told Motor Sport magazine in 2008. “Luckier than my team mates [Lorenzo] Bandini, [Ludovico] Scarfiotti, [Jo] Siffert and [Francois] Cevert.

“I had several big accidents that could have killed me; I broke ribs, but I was never badly hurt.”

Ferrari was a team dedicated to Chris and I will let them share their thoughts on his passing:

“The New Zealand racing driver Chris Amon has died of cancer at the age of 73. He is acknowledged as one of the most talented racing drivers of all time, despite the fact that he never won a Formula 1 Grand Prix, out of a total of 108 in which he took part. He drove 27 of them for Scuderia Ferrari from 1967 to ’69, taking three pole positions in the 312 F1. However, all too often, when heading for the win, a mechanical failure or some unbelievable problem, robbed him of victory. Amon won the 1969 Tasman Series in Maranello’s Dino 246, beating drivers of the calibre of Jochen Rindt, who went on to be F1 world champion (posthumously) the following year and Piers Courage. He did take a memorable win, paired with Lorenzo Bandini at the wheel of a 330 P3/4 in the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours, the race that will be remembered for having the three Ferraris cross the line in formation.”

Hat Tip: F1

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Mike

Chris was one of may favorite drivers, I LOVED all things Matra in the 70’s, and after Jackie I followed Chris,drew pictures of him in the MS80. I remember Jackie saying that Chris was incredibly talented, and the only reason he did not win was due to mechanical issues that seemed to track with him throughout his career. I know that many F1 fans today can’t fully grasp the fact that mechanical grip was everything, and the mortality rate was so different. Chris was kinda like a knight shorn in french blue armor to me, his unique helmet icon of… Read more »

Tom Firth
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Tom Firth

Terribly sad news today. Chris in terms of points results was unlucky in F1, despite his amazing talent.

Thankfully his sportscar career was rewarded with the win alongside Bruce Mclaren in 1966 in the Ford GT40 at Le Mans, then in ’67, the wins at Daytona and Monza with Ferrari, alongside Bandini, the highlights of his sportscar racing career.