When Chris Amon died on the 3rd of August this year at 73 years of age, there was a flood of tributes from around the world. Why? He had been a Grand Prix driver, he had been a co-winner of the Le Mans 24 Hour race, he had won the Tasman Series and he was a lovely, unassuming, modest man – but it had been 39 years since he had last raced in Formula One and, during his 17-year motorsport career, he didn’t win a single Formula One World Championship race.
Instead, the phrase ‘Chris Amon was the best driver never to win a world championship’ became a much-used cliché dragged out to describe his career.
But he was much more than that.
Think of the racing drivers since, say, 1960 who’ve been better than the others in terms of sheer, natural brilliance – Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Chris Amon. However, the driver to whom Chris Amon was the closest in terms of sheer natural talent and ability was Jim Clark. And people understood that — he was unique.
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