Formula 1
Former F1 driver Chris Amon has died at the age of 73
Formula 1

Former F1 driver Chris Amon has died at the age of 73

Published Nov. 15, 2016 2:01 p.m. ET

Chris Amon, universally regarded as the best driver to never win a World Championship race has died at the age of 73. The New Zealander, who earned five GP pole positions, had been battling cancer for some time.

Amon’s lack of a Grand Prix win became legendary, as a combination of mechanical bad luck and ill-timed career moves meant that he never fulfilled his potential.

Having achieved success in his home country, Amon made his GP debut with the Parnell team in 1963, and made a strong impression with the private outfit over the next few years.

He was supposed to run a second McLaren alongside team founder and close friend Bruce in 1966, but in the end the entry never materialized, and in effect he wasted the season. He did however win Le Mans for Ford, sharing with McLaren.


It was with Ferrari in 1967-’69 that Amon really made his name with a series of strong performances in both F1 and sportscars, including a Daytona 24 Hours victory in the first season. However a move to the works March team in 1970 proved badly timed and he missed out on a golden era at Maranello. He did at least win the non-championship International Trophy at Silverstone that year.

A move to Matra in 1971 saw him again challenging for race wins. He scored another non-championship win in Argentina, but his infamous bad luck saw him robbed of potential GP victories, most famously in France in 1972.

He made another bad move to the Italian Tecno team in 1973, and wasted the following year on his own Amon F1 project, which proved to be unsuccessful. He had a final swansong with Ensign in 1975-‘76, putting in several strong performances. He appeared briefly in Walter Wolf’s CanAm team in 1977 before stopping for good.


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