The international motorsport community is in morning after news of the death of long-time Formula One race director Charlie Whiting broke today.
Whiting passed away at the age of 66 due to a pulmonary embolism on the 14th of March Melbourne time, just a few days ahead of the start of the 2019 Formula One season.
As race director for the series since 1997, Whiting was in charge of the on-track happenings since that season, overseeing some of the biggest events in the sport’s history such as the 2005 United States Grand Prix which saw only six cars start.
A part of Formula One since 1977 when he worked as a mechanic at Hesketh, he moved on to Brabham in the 1980’s, finally joining the FIA in 1988 where he remained until his untimely death.
Both FIA President Jean Todt and Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports Ross Brawn released statements on their late colleagues’ death.
“It is with immense sadness that I learned of Charlie’s sudden passing,” Todt said.
“I have known Charlie Whiting for many years and he has been a great Race Director, a central and inimitable figure in Formula One who embodied the ethics and spirit of this fantastic sport.
“Formula 1 has lost a faithful friend and a charismatic ambassador in Charlie. All my thoughts, those of the FIA and
entire motor sport community go out to his family, friends, and all Formula One lovers.”
Brawn echoed Todt’s sentiments in his statement:
“I have known Charlie for all of my racing life,” Brawn’s statement read.
“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.
“It is a great loss not only for me personally but also the entire Formula 1 family, the FIA and motorsport as a whole. All our thoughts go out to his family.”
MotorsportM8 would like to extend our sympathies to the family and friends of Whiting. Formula One will not be the same without him.