Charlie Whiting, the head of Formula 1 to get motorsport’s governing body the FIA and also perhaps one of the most influential individuals within the game, has died aged 66.
Whiting has been the standard race starter and oversaw all rules things in F1.
Whiting began his F1 career with all the Hesketh team in 1977, moving to Brabham to get 1978 and staying there until he joined the FIA, where he had been a fundamental region of the organisation’s running of f-1 since.
Todt included:”Formula 1 has even lost a faithful friend and a charismatic ambassador at Charlie.”
Ex-team boss Ross Brawn, now F1’s managing director, said:”I’ve known Charlie for most of my life. We functioned as mechanics together, became friends and spent so much time together at race tracks across the earth.
“I was filled with immense sadness when I heard the terrible news. I’m devastated. It is an excellent loss not only for me personally but also the entire Formula 1 family, both the FIA and motor sport in general. All our thoughts go out to his family.”
Whiting’s departure leaves a hole at the FIA – he was the go-to person for teams all things regarding a F1 weekend.
Australian Michael Masi will require Whiting’s place as race director, safety delegate and permanent newcomer this weekend at Melbourne.
Masi has been race director of Australia’s V8 Supercars series for the previous four years.
“Everything he did with this game, his devotion, he really was a pillar. This kind of iconic figure and he contributed so much.”
It is hard to understand when some one is just not there any longer.
“He’s been man, the drivers’ person. There is the regulation and then usand he was the middle man. Whenever his door was always available. He was a racer, just a very nice man”
Robert Kubica, that drives for Williams, said”This is a tough moment. I watched Seb walking with Charlie yesterday and thought I wouldn’t interrupt them. He was a kind of icon of F1, but not merely F1. He was a racer, keeping up everything from the regulationshe was the type of person where you may always expect and perpetrate.”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen included:”This was a major shock, as well because I spent like a day together in Geneva a few weeks ago. I figure you just have to realise that every moment you wake up and enjoy lifetime .”
Daniel Ricciardo, today with the Renault team, said he was”taken aback” by the headlines headlines.
“He was for people and we gave him a difficult time, we’d really push him and push him and allow him to work, but he was always really receptive, you always felt like he was on our side.
“Time goes fast and it’s essential to love it. We’ll all race with a lot of passion this weekend and it’s just a reminder we are all very lucky to maintain this place”
Mercedes team boss to to Wolff described Whiting as a”fantastic ambassador for the game and also a true guardian of its best interests”.
Even the McLaren team paid tribute to Whiting, yelling:“All at McLaren are shocked and profoundly saddened at the news of Charlie Whiting’s passing. Charlie is going to be remembered as one of the giants of the game, together with a great colleague.”
RedBull Racing said the team has been”stunned and saddened” at the headlines headlines. Team principal Christian Horner included:”Charlie has played a key role within this game and it has been the referee and voice of reason because race director for many years.
“He was a man with wonderful integrity who played a challenging role in a balanced manner. Charlie was a great man that will be missed by the whole Formula 1 paddock and the wider motor sport community.”
Renault described him as”among those pillars and leaders of the activity”.
‘Lightness of touch & willing sense of humor’ – investigation
Charlie Whiting has been a giant personality in F1, and it is difficult to emphasise exactly how big a hole his departure leaves within a game in which he has been a fundamental figure for 40 years.
Since the FIA’s F1 director, Whiting was the go-to man to all facets of the activity – he was included in everything, from safety, to technical rules to sporting things.
He certified circuits, he led the drivers’ briefingshe pretty much wrote the rules by himself, and he did all this using a lightness of touch, approachability and ready sense of humor that made a man doing perhaps one of the very troublesome jobs in f-1 one of its most well-known characters.
Whiting has been the ultimate poacher-turned-gamekeeper. Brabham, once he was there, were so notorious for extending the rules to breaking point – and – sometimes beyond. And he’d joyfully engage in lighthearted badinage about a few of the stories that are more notorious.
At the Grand Prix annually recently, Nelson Piquet’s 1981 title-winning Brabham has been exhibited by its former motorist.
The car was notorious for shooting pole at Monaco in 1981, only for the mechanics to fit a lot thicker back wing – which necessitated three of them to take it to make it within the minimum weight limit later.
This writer joked to Whiting that I had just seen”that prohibited 1981 Brabham that took pole in Monaco”. He replied with a cheeky grin:”No, you have not. You’ve just found the absolutely legal the one which ran later on.”
His knowledge of the wiles of all F1 teams was invaluable in the role he was given by the FIA at 1988 – on the recommendation of Ecclestonehis former team manager, who had by relinquished control of Brabham and had been conducting the industrial side of their game.
And he went on to produce that role their own, later enlarging his position as technical delegate into race director and then responsibility for all parts of F1 for the FIA.
Whiting combined unquenchable energy, something near to workaholism and an easy manner to run the complex of sports at ways that guaranteed gruesome controversies had been always handled in a manner that avoided rancour.
He was incredibly busy, but generous with his time, the warmth of his own nature and love for the activity always shining through.
From the FIA’s point of view, he will soon be incredibly tricky to displace. And, just as with Ecclestone, it could well be that several men and women are necessary to manage all different responsibilities that he had handled so deftly for so long.