F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting dies aged 66
Long-serving Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting has passed away at the age of 66, the FIA has announced, just a few days before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
A brief statement issued by motorsport's governing body on Thursday morning confirmed that Whiting died as a result of a pulmonary embolism.
Whiting began his F1 career in 1977 working at the Hesketh team before becoming an integral part of the title-winning Brabham team in the 1980s.
Whiting joined the FIA in 1988 and has been Formula 1's Race Director since 1997.
“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.”
“I have known Charlie for all of my racing life," said Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn.
"We worked as mechanics together, became friends and spent so much time together at race tracks across the world. I was filled with immense sadness when I heard the tragic news.
"I’m devastated. It is a great loss not only for me personally but also the entire Formula 1 family, the FIA and motorsport as a whole. All our thoughts go out to his family."
Motorsport Week extends its deepest sympathies to Whiting's family and friends at his sudden passing.