FORMULA 1 racing director, Charlie Whiting, has died aged 66.
The racing tsar suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism on Wednesday morning in Melbourne.
AFP or licensors Formula 1 racing director Charlie Whiting has died aged 66
Alamy Live News Whiting talks to Sebastian Vettel
One of the most influential people in the sport, he died a day before the Australian GP, where he was due to officiate the race.
Whiting was the official race starter and oversaw all rules matters in F1.
FIA president Jean Todt said: “It is with immense sadness that I learned of Charlie’s sudden passing.
“Formula 1 has lost a faithful friend and a charismatic ambassador in Charlie.
All at McLaren are shocked and deeply saddened at the news of Charlie Whiting’s passing. Charlie will be remembered as one of the giants of our sport, as well as a great colleague. Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with all of his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/DmrSZAT4Cc— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 14, 2019
“All my thoughts, those of the FIA and entire motor sport community go out to his family, friends, and all Formula One lovers.”
He called him “a central and inimitable figure who embodied the ethics and spirit” of the sport.
Ross Brawn, managing director, Motorsports, Formula 1 said: “I have known Charlie for all of my racing life.
“We worked as mechanics together, became friends and spent so much time together at race tracks across the world.
“I was filled with immense sadness when I heard the tragic news. I’m devastated.”
Whiting began his F1 career in 1977 working at the Hesketh team.
He joined the FIA in 1988 and became a race director in 1997.
Awful news here in Melbourne on the eve of the new season that FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting has passed away. Admired and respected by everybody, his contribution to the sport was unparalleled & immense. We’ll hugely miss him. RIP Charlie— David Croft (@CroftyF1) March 14, 2019
Very sad to hear of the passing of Charlie Whiting overnight. He will be sorely missed up and down the paddock and by the whole sport.— Simon Lazenby (@simon__lazenby) March 14, 2019
Whiting became one of F1’s most respected and well-liked figures across five decades in the paddock.
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner said: “I am deeply saddened to hear the terrible news that Charlie Whiting passed away last night.
“Charlie has played a key role in this sport and has been the referee and voice of reason as Race Director for many years.
“He was a man with great integrity who performed a difficult role in a balanced way.
“At heart, he was a racer with his origins stretching back to his time at Hesketh and the early days of Brabham.
“On behalf of everyone at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing we pass on our sincere condolences to his family and friends.
“Charlie was a great man who will be sadly missed by the entire Formula 1 paddock and the wider motorsport community.”
More to follow…
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