Former Formula 1 driver Justin Wilson passed away on Monday night following a freak accident at the ABC Supply 500 IndyCar race at the Pocono Raceway.
The 37-year-old, who drove for Minardi/Jaguar Racing during the 2003 F1 season, scoring a single point thanks to an eighth place finish at the United States Grand Prix, was struck on the head by a piece of debris from a rivals car.
The leader of the race, rookie Sage Karam, span as he entered Turn 1 on lap 179, hitting the barriers and causing debris to fly into the path of Wilson.
The Briton was transferred to hospital where he was reportedly in a coma, until his death on Monday.
“This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole,” commented Mark Miles, CEO IndyCar’s parent company.
“Justin’s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility — which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock.
“As we know, the racing industry is one big family, and our efforts moving forward will be focused on rallying around Justin’s family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time.”
His family thanked hospital staff and fans for their support: “The family would like to thank the staff at the Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital, Pocono Raceway, Andretti Autosport, and the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as the entire racing community for the amazing outpouring of support from fans around the world.”
Wilson also compete in a single Formule E race for the Andretti Autosport team, scoring a single point at the Moscow ePrix.