Charlie Whiting, 66, dies suddenly

Charlie Whiting
Charlie Whiting 1952-2019

Popular and effective Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting has passed away at the age of 66, the FIA has announced Thursday morning in Melbourne.

A brief statement issued by motorsport's governing body on Thursday morning confirmed that Whiting died as a result of a pulmonary embolism.

“It is with immense sadness that I learned of Charlie’s passing," said FIA President Jean Todt.

"Charlie Whiting was 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 1 lovers."

"A great tragedy," wrote ex-Force India owner Vijay Mallya. "He was the central pillar of Formula 1 rules and racing and a wonderful human being. I am in shock."

"I spoke to him (Whiting) yesterday and walked the first couple of corners of the track with him," said Sebastian Vettel on Thursday.

"It's difficult to grasp. He was the drivers' man. He was open to everyone at any time. He was a racer and a very nice guy," the Ferrari driver added.

"So sad to hear the Charlie Whiting has died," tweeted IndyCar legend Dario Franchitti. "A lovely man who was an integral part of F1, he’ll be greatly missed by the sport and especially by his many friends."

"Horrible news from Melbourne," tweeted Ferrari's Charles Leclerc. "All my thoughts goes to Charlie's family. The motorsport world will miss you."

"A great tragedy," tweeted ex-Force India owner Vijay Mallya. "He was the central pillar of Formula 1 rules and racing and a wonderful human being. I am in shock."

"I think everyone is the paddock is gonna miss Charlie," said McLaren rookie Lando Norris. "Very sad news to all of us. Thoughts to his family and friends. Thanks for all you’ve done for our sport."

FIA Statement

FIA Director of Formula One, Charlie Whiting, has sadly passed away this morning (14 March 2019), in Melbourne, aged 66, as the result of a pulmonary embolism, three days before the Australian Grand Prix which will open the F1 season. He began his F1 career in 1977 working at the Hesketh team, then in the 1980s at Brabham. He has been an integral part of the organisation of the FIA Formula One World Championship since he joined the Federation in 1988, and has been the Race Director since 1997.

FIA President Jean Todt said: “It is with immense sadness that I learned of Charlie’s sudden passing. 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."

Red Bull Statement

We are shocked and saddened to hear of Charlie Whiting’s passing and our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

Formula 1 has lost one of its most loyal and hard-working ambassadors, and the paddock will be a poorer place without him.

Charlie’s contributions to F1 go beyond measure and his loss leaves a huge void in our sport.

Christian Horner “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."

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