The son of John Surtees, the only world champion on two wheels and four, Henry has been racking up victories in the lower rungs on the single-seater racing ladder. Though his father John is old enough to be his grandfather (18 and 74 respectively), the former champion has remained actively involved in motorsports and manages his son's career. They'll have company, though, as former F1 driver Martin Blundle's son, Alex, will also be competing for the honors in the resurgent F2 series, alongside the not-too-bad-to-look-at Natacha Gachnang and a quickly growing line-up of fresh talent.
[Source: FIA Formula 2 Championship] PRESS RELEASE
Surtees name returns to Formula Two
Henry Surtees, son of former F1 world champion, signs up to F2
Henry Surtees, whose father John remains the only man to win world championships on two and four wheels, has signed up to compete in the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship.
Surtees becomes the second son of a former Grand Prix driver to have confirmed his participation in F2 so far, following the recent announcement that Alex Brundle - son of Martin - will also race in the championship in 2009.
Henry graduates to F2 after a busy 2008, having competed in the Formula Renault UK Championship and Winter Series along with racing in two British Formula 3 National Class races at the end of the season. The 18 year old Englishman finished as runner-up in the Formula Renault UK Winter Series and during an impressive F3 appearance at Donington Park he won one national Class race and finished on the podium in the other: "It is the right time for me to make this step up to F2," said Surtees. "It is a great opportunity."
F2 is attracting the attention of international race winning drivers, and it is a challenge he is looking forward to: "It is going to be tough," he said. "But great competition is exactly what I am looking for. I am really excited about 2009 and now I just cannot wait to see the car!"
John Surtees, 74, claimed the 500cc motorcycle world championship before going on to win the Formula One world championship in a Ferrari in 1964. He also designed, built and raced his own Team Surtees single seaters in both F1 and F2: "I think it is fantastic," said John Surtees. "I won my last race in Formula Two and we are using the same colours on Henry's car as I did back in 1972 and 1973." John has remained active in international motorsport, acting as chairman of the A1 Team GBR franchise in A1GP as recently as 2007 and he now manages his 17 year old son Henry's single seater career: "Henry has been progressing well, and in this day and age, we need to give talented kids a greater opportunity to show off their skills - F2 is an international series that does exactly that," he added. "It may not have been around for 25 years but we needed to bring back some simplicity into the racing ladder - Formula Two has a great past but now it is a new championship for today!"
Jonathan Palmer, Chief Executive of championship organiser MotorSport Vision, said: "I have been monitoring Henry's progress ever since he raced karts with my son Jolyon. I was always impressed with his technical approach and he has clearly inherited and learnt a lot from his father John. F2 is the ideal formula for Henry as he continues in his quest to reach Formula One and it is extremely exciting to add another former F1 surname to the swelling F2 grid for 2009."