News FIA F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting passes away

Sebastian Vettel Ferrari with Charlie Whiting Race Director FIA

Sebastian Vettel Ferrari with Charlie Whiting Race Director FIA

Formula 1 icon Charlie Whiting has died at the age of 66 less than 24 hours after the 2019 Formula 1 season was launched in Melbourne.

The F1 world was rocked on Thursday morning as it awoke to the announcement that race director Whiting had died from a pulmonary embolism in the southern Australian city where he was due to work this weekend.

FIA president Jean Todt says Formula One has lost "a faithful friend and a charismatic ambassador".

Speaking on Charlie Whiting's demise, FIA President Jean Todt said, "It is with vast sadness that I learned of Charlie's sudden passing". Charlie was a great race director, a central and inimitable figure in Formula One who embodied the ethics and spirit of this fantastic sport.

Members of the FIA were also seen wearing black armbands in the paddock to commemorate the passing of Whiting on Thursday.

Australian Michael Masi, a previous deputy race director of the local V8 Supercars series who has served as a steward at Formula One and Formula E, will replace Whiting for the Melbourne weekend.

"What he did for this sport, I mean, his commitment.he really was a pillar", five times world champion Lewis Hamilton told reporters.

Ross Brawn, Managing Director, Motorsports, Formula 1 said: "I have known Charlie for all of my racing life".

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"Charlie was a great man who will be sadly missed by the entire Formula 1 paddock and the wider motorsport community". "His thoughts go to his family, friends and close ones". Hard to grasp when someone is just not there anymore.

Whiting was previously associated with former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone's Brabham team as the chief mechanic and then as a chief engineer.

"I'm shocked, I don't think I have much to add but I think our thoughts from the paddock, from all of sports and all of Formula 1 are with him and his family in these hard circumstances".

"He was a man with great integrity who performed a hard role in a balanced way", he said.

He began his sojourn with F1 back in 1977 with the Hesketh team before shifting to Brabham for 1978.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto praised Whiting's diplomatic presence in the high-speed sport.

"Charlie did so much for this sport and helping push on so many areas for the drivers and their safety", he said. "A tireless and enlightened motorsport expert, he helped make F1 safer and better. Our sport is diminished by his passing".

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