Lewis Hamilton has described Charlie Whiting as a”iconic figure” in Formula 1 after the race manager’s sudden death at age 66.
Whiting, probably one of the very influential people in the game, suffered a pulmonary embolism on Thursday early in Melbourne.
He had been due to officiate this weekend season-opening Australian GP.
“What he did for the game, his devotion, he really had been a pillar,” five-time world champion Hamilton said.
“I’ve known Charlie since I began in 2007. Clearly, I am incredibly shocked this morning to hear the sad news.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.
“He had been this iconic figure within the sporting world, and he contributed a lot to us.
Whiting was mind of Formula 1 for motorsport’s governing body the FIA, the official race rookie and he oversaw all rules matters in F1.
The Englishman had functioned to get its FIA since 1988 having initially united as technical manager.
He had been once chief mechanic and then chief engineer of former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham team, that won world championships in 1981 and 1983.
Whiting began his F1 career with all the Hesketh team in 1977, moving to Brabham to get 1978 and staying there before he combined the FIA, where he was a central part of the organisation’s functioning of f-1 since.
“I walked the track to get the first two or three corners ,” Vettel expressed. “It is difficult to understand when some body is just not there some more.
There is the law and we , and he had been the middle person. Whenever his door was always open. He had been a racer, just a very wonderful man”
“He’d the drivers safety and concerns hand and didn’t worry about putting us in our place once we acted out online,” he added.
“My heart goes out to his family at this very hard moment.”
‘Any issues, only request Charlie’
Former BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey submitted a tribute to Whiting on Twitter, describing the moment he first met him at the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.
“You will observe many, many stories here today of what a lovely, kind, hot man he had been,” Humphrey said.
“They are all true.
“Exactly 10 years ago today, it was the Thursday of this 2009 Oz grandprix. I used to be a very nervous guy, that, weeks earlier had become CBBC presenter. Unexpectedly , there I was in Australia, a large number of kilometers from home, and about to present a bloody grand-prix!
“On the Thursday, the paddock comes alive, and my manufacturer Mark said I had to go to the paddock and present myself to the teams. Now, I had been relatively confident, but believe me once I tell you that the paddock on your first visit is daunting. Employees, staff managers, media, press officials, mechanics, and celebs… all rushing about, apparently knowing exactly what they have been upto. Cameras flashing everywhere, clandestine meetings, prices being shattered… and I had to walk in that melee and say’hi, I am Jake, ” the new BBC guy’. Na, not happening!!!
“Instead I only loitered a few feet in the electronic entry hurdles… fearful to take my first few steps into the game.
“Seconds later, a voice out of my right…’I figure I should say hello’. It had been Charlie. Huge grin, silver hair, hot hand shake. Amazingly he had recognised me… perhaps he saw Bamzooki.
“Anyhow, then I introduced myself and told me I were sent over by my own manufacturer, Mark Wilkin, to present myself to the paddock.
“He could tell immediately I had been daunted. ‘Look’, he said,’this place is known as the piranha club. It’s hugely aggressive… but it is a family group. Additionally, we’re now together, ostensibly until November, which means you might also go and crack . One other issues, simply require Charlie’.
“And that was the start of a few of the greatest years of my own life. A remarkable journey for me began with a tiny push .
“I didn’t find him for a couple of races, and when I did I had been sitting in the paddock in Barcelona, having a beverage… he just walked passed and said’view , we do not sting’.
“What a man. I am so sorry for his loved ones and friends to be typing a tribute to him, just days before he was due to be doing exactly what he did best, conducting an F1 race.
“And I hope this weekend that the F1 world ceases, and thank you to one of these greatest family unit members. Sleep well Charlie and offer our love Ayrton, Jules, and a few of your friends up there. You will be missed”