Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

F1: FIA Director of Formula 1 Charlie Whiting dies aged 66

F1: FIA Director of Formula 1 Charlie Whiting dies aged 66

Ross Brawn, F1 managing director, said he was "devastated" to lose a friend and colleague.

The 66-year-old Briton, who had been at the helm since 1997 and was in charge of everything rules-related in the highly technical sport, suffered a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot.

Just days before the start of the 2019 F1 season, Whiting's death was confirmed on Thursday after suffering a pulmonary embolism in Melbourne.

He joined the Hesketh F1 team in 1977 before joining Bernie Ecclestone's Brabham, where he remained for a decade and was chief mechanic and later chief engineer when Nelson Piquet won his titles with the team in 1981 and 1983.

'It is with vast sadness that I learned of Charlie's sudden passing.

"Appendix 1, Part B of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations for this Event, specifies that Mr. Charlie Whiting shall be the Race Director, the Safety Delegate and the Permanent Starter", it read.

His role as race director involved track and vehicle safety, as well as starting the race, and deciding when to deploy the safety auto. "Charlie has played a key role in this sport and has been the referee and voice of reason as Race Director for many years", said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Masi has previously acted as Race Director in the V8 Supercars and its Super2 feeder series, and has also had involvement in Formula E. "When I left, I said "see you in Australia for another season of racing".

Whiting had a long career in motor sport.

"I think at the moment what is the most important is that the thoughts are going to his family and friends and close ones".

"He has been our man, the drivers' man".

The news was met with shock in the Formula One paddock. Obviously there's regulations and all that and then there's us and he was the middle man.

Former champions McLaren said they were "shocked and deeply saddened", by the news.

"He was a man with great integrity who performed a hard role in a balanced way. We worked as mechanics together, became friends and spent so much time together at race tracks across the world", he said.

Auto Action extends our condolences to Whiting's family and friends.

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

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