Formula 1 race director: Whiting surprisingly died
For 20 years, he has been the chief organizer of Formula One, and on Wednesday he inspected the track in Australia. Race Director Charlie Whiting has surprisingly died at the age of 66 years.
The sudden death of race director Charlie Whiting has shocked Formula One just before the start of the season. The Briton died on Thursday at the age of 66 years in Melbourne at a pulmonary embolism, as the Motorsports World Federation Fia announced. The day before his death, Whiting had been in the paddock in Australia, monitoring the preparations for the opening race. "Formula 1 has lost a loyal friend and charismatic ambassador in Charlie," said Fia president Jean Todt.
The racing teams and pilots were deeply saddened and acknowledged the important role Whitings played in the premier class. Since 1997 he was the race director responsible for the organizational process of all Grand Prix, the safety and the clarification of technical issues. Formula 1 sports chief Ross Brawn was deeply affected by the news of his friend's death: "Not only for me, a big loss, but for the whole Formula 1 family, the FIA and the entire motorsport."
Whiting had started his motorsport career as many as a mechanic. Together with his brother Nick, he worked from 1977 in Formula 1 at the Hesketh racing team. Later, he joined Bernie Ecclestones Brabham team and became chief technician there. In 1988 he started a job as Technical Delegate at the World Association and made a name for himself as a meticulous rule guard.
TV viewers were known to Whiting mainly by the fact that he signaled the start of each race. "Charlie has played a key role in this sport, as race director for many years he was the referee and the voice of reason," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. The Renault team saw in Whiting "one of the cornerstones and leaders of our sport," Williams called him "a true legend".
Very sad and surreal news ahead of the Australian GP. Can not believe it ..
My thoughts are with the family and friends.
He's done so much for the sport we love.
Rest in peace Charlie # VB77 https://t.co/7N3GqTz8ec
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas initially did not believe the news. "He did so much for the sport we love," tweeted the Finn. Haas driver Romain Grosjean praised: "He has always listened to the drivers and ensured our safety."
Initially, it was not clear who would succeed Whiting as the Grand Prix in Australia. His deputy was most recently the American Scot Elkins.