John Surtees made racing history when he became the first man to win a World Championship on both two wheels and four. In a truly thrilling finale in Mexico City, Surtees, in his Ferrari, just outscored Graham Hill and Jim Clark.
Ferrari hopes looked up for 1964 as the new V8 engine was mated to the chassis which had shown promise at Monza the previous year. Surtees stayed on to lead the team alongside Lorenzo Bandini. Lotus produced an updated car for Clark, the 33. Peter Arundell was the team's new number two. Hill and Ginther stayed at BRM, and had a revised car, while Cooper tried to keep up with the new monocoque technology, updating a Formula Three chassis by welding on panels.
Clark started on a high by leading at Monaco, but he had to pit when his rear roll-bar broke. Hill and Ginther scored another one-two for BRM and a late engine failure for Clark handed third place to team-mate Arundell. Clark made amends with a demonstration run to victory at Zandvoort, while Surtees gave notice of Ferrari's intentions with second place, ahead of the newcomer Arundell.
The Brabham team did not fare well in the early races, but at Spa Gurney led comfortably. In a farcical turn of events, Hill took the lead and suffered fuel pump failure; then McLaren ran out of gas. This allowed a surprised Clark - who had made an early stop - to take victory. At least McLaren was able to coast home in second.
Gurney made amends at Rouen, by scoring a fine first win for the Brabham team. Graham Hill pipped Brabham for third, while again Clark led the early stages, before his engine failed.
For the first time the British Grand Prix moved to Brands Hatch, and Clark kept up his tradition of winning at home. Hill was second and Surtees was happy to get third after two consecutive retirements. Surtees then began his surge towards the title by winning at the Nurburgring. The first Austrian Grand Prix was held at Zeltweg, and took a high toll on machinery. Hill, Surtees, Clark, McLaren and Gurney were among the retirements, leaving Bandini to score his first grand prix win.
Ferrari's run of success continued at Monza, where Surtees scored his second win of the year. McLaren and Bandini completed the top three. Hill broke his clutch on the line in Italy, but kept his title challenge afloat by winning at Watkins Glen after Clark suffered engine problems. Surtees was second, ahead of an impressive Jo Siffert.
Three drivers went to the finale in Mexico City with a crack at the title. Hill led on 39 points, Surtees had 34 and outsider Clark 30. Hill was soon out of contention for points, and Clark looked set for the title. But with just two laps to go, he struck engine trouble. Surtees had worked his way up, and was waved into second behind Gurney by team-mate Bandini - it was enough to take the title from Hill.