Ron Dennis has paid tribute to Formula One great Chris Amon, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 73.
Amon took 96 F1 starts across his storied career and though he never tasted victory in grand prix racing he is considered as one of the finest racers in the sport.
The New Zealander never competed for McLaren in F1 but he did partner team founder and fellow Kiwi Bruce at the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours, with the pair winning the French Endurance classic for Ford.
Dennis, who heads the McLaren Technology Group, issued the following statement on the team’s official website:
“It was with profound sadness that I heard the news this morning that Chris Amon had passed away.
“Chris started 96 Grands Prix but won not one of them - and it is safe to say that he was the greatest racing driver never to have won a race at the very highest level. He nearly won a fair few, but always it seemed that his luck would run out before he saw the chequered flag.
“However, he won at Le Mans, in a mighty 7.0-litre Ford, exactly 50 years ago, his co-driver his friend and fellow Kiwi, Bruce McLaren, whose name still graces the team to which I have devoted my working life.
“I have not met Chris for many years, but, even so, I have extremely fond memories of him, and indeed I would describe him as one of the most likeable men I have met in my long racing career.
“For all those reasons I want to take this opportunity to extend the heartfelt sympathies of all 3300 of us at McLaren to the family and friends of a great New Zealander, a true gentleman, and one of the fastest racing drivers there ever was: the one and only Christopher Arthur Amon.
“May he rest in peace.”