News FIA F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting passes away

Ruben Hill
March 14, 2019

The FIA confirmed Whiting had died of a pulmonary embolism, a blockage of the vessels in the lungs.

The official McLaren Twitter feed posted: 'All at McLaren are shocked and deeply saddened at the news of Charlie Whiting's passing.

"Formula 1 has lost a faithful friend and a charismatic ambassador in Charlie".

The Briton, who started his career working for the Hesketh team in 1977, died in Melbourne of a pulmonary embolism, the sport's FIA governing body said in a statement.

The FIA president, Jean Todt, issued a statement on Thursday: "It is with vast sadness that I learned of Charlie's passing".

Whiting, who had been race director since 1997, first worked in Formula One for defunct British outfit Hesketh before crossing to Brabham to work with the sport's former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone in the 1980s.

"All my thoughts, those of the FIA and entire motor sport community go out to his family, friends, and all Formula 1 lovers".

Whiting held a key role in the running of Formula One race weekends, overseeing the FIA's operation of all on-track sessions. Drivers would often be heard on their radio imploring their team to "tell Charlie" if they felt intervention was required.

"It is a great loss not only for me personally but also the entire Formula 1 family, the FIA and motorsport as a whole".

'I was filled with vast sadness when I heard the tragic news.

"Charlie was a true professional and extremely knowledgeable, but more than that, he was a wonderful person who always treated everyone with respect", Binotto said.

"He was a man with great integrity who performed a hard role in a balanced way", he said. On behalf of everyone at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing we pass on our honest condolences to his family and friends. Whiting refused to install a chicane at the last corner to allow the teams to race safely, on the grounds that it would disadvantage those teams using the rival Bridgestone tyres.

Whiting was instrumental in pushing for improved safety standards in F1, and was a driving force behind the introduction of the halo at the start of past year, which was credited with saving the life of Charles Leclerc after his crash at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Speaking past year, Whiting said that a number of technical advances had contributed to making F1 so safe and allowing Leclerc to walk away.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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