Former Ferrari and BRM Grand Prix driver Chris Amon has passed away at his home in New Zealand after a long battle with cancer. Amon competed in 96 Formula One Grand Prix for teams as prestigious as Ferrari, March, Tyrrell, BRM and Williams on route to securing eleven podium positions and a best finish of fifth overall in the 1967 Formula One World Championship. Widely regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won a Grand Prix, the likable Kiwi did go on to taste the victory champagne alongside countryman Bruce McLaren in a Ford GT40 in the1966 Le Mans 24 hours as well as victories in the Daytona 24 Hours, Monza 1000km and the popular Tasman series. With a reputation for courageous on track skill and infectious humour, Amon’s career was blighted with bad luck that prevented the Kiwi driver from securing more success than his modest eleven podiums suggest. Mario Andretti was once quoted as joking “if he became an undertaker, people would stop dying". Earning the respect of his fellow drivers and adulation of the trackside fans, Amon had a long career at the pinnacle of motorsport and also ran his own Formula One team for a short period in 1974, with limited success. Chris Amon took part in 96 Grand Prix, achieving 5 poles, leading 183 laps, reaching the podium 11 times and scoring a total of 83 Championship points. Amon holds the record for the most different makes of car raced by a Formula 1 World Championship driver, with thirteen. A family statement read: "Chris battled cancer in recent years but retained not only a close interest in Formula One - and his very wide range of favourite topics - but also his wonderful sense of humour, complete with infectious chuckle." McLaren Honda's Ron Dennis released the following statement following the news of Amon's passing this morning: "It was with profound sadness that I heard the news this morning that Chris Amon had passed away," Dennis said. "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." RaceDepartment offers it sincere condolences to Family and Friends of Chris Amon in this difficult time.