FIA director of F1 Whiting dies suddenly ahead of season start
Charlie Whiting, director of Formula 1 at the FIA, motor sport’s world governing body, died today of a pulmonary embolism aged 66, just three days before the Australian Grand Prix, which will open the Formula 1 season.
Whiting, who began his Formula 1 career in 1977 working at the Hesketh team, joined the Brabham team in the 1980s, and had been an integral part of the organisation of the Formula 1 World Championship since he joined the FIA in 1988, and became the race director in 1997.
Jean Todt, the FIA president, said: “It is with immense sadness that I learned of Charlie’s sudden passing. I have known Charlie Whiting for many years and he has been a great race director, a central and inimitable figure in Formula 1 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.”
Ross Brawn, managing director, motorsports, Formula 1, said: “I have known Charlie for all of my racing life. 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.”
Colin Syn, deputy chairman, Singapore GP Pte Ltd, organiser of the Singapore Grand Prix, said: “We are deeply saddened at the news of Charlie Whiting’s passing. Charlie was instrumental in the success of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix from the very beginning. He truly understood the importance and challenges of night racing and was incredibly supportive in getting the event off the ground. Charlie’s immense knowledge of the sport, integrity and dedication to his work is irreplaceable and he will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Charlie’s family and friends during this difficult time.”