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News FIA F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting passes away

16 March 2019

Besides his numerous achievements and major contribution to the world of Formula One, Whiting was mostly known to the global audience of F1 fans as the official signaling the green-light to start off every F1 Grand Prix over the past two decades.

Formula 1 icon Charlie Whiting has died at the age of 66 less than 24 hours after the 2019 Formula 1 season was launched in Melbourne.

The Federation's president, Jean Todt, said, "It is with huge sadness that I learned of Charlie's passing".

The 66-year-old Briton, who had been at the helm since 1997 and was a pivotal figure in the sport, suffered a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot, as he prepared for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

From enforcing bewildering technical regulations to solving driver disputes, ensuring track safety and smoothly handling the labyrinth of Formula One's high-tech race systems, Whiting did it all without drama and usually with a smile.

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Hamilton and co will have to try and retain their focus amid the sad news of Whiting's death as the Australian GP season opener edges closer.

Formula one managing director Ross Brawn said he was "devastated" at the news, after knowing Whiting all his racing life.

"I guess I was as shocked as we all still are now, especially since I spoke to him yesterday and walked the track for the first couple of corners together with him", said Vettel.

"Charlie was a great man who will be sadly missed by the entire Formula 1 paddock and the wider motorsport community".

Auto Action extends our condolences to Whiting's family and friends. I don't know what they're going to do or how they're going to replace him to be honest with you.

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"I think the word is impossible, more or less", said Ecclestone on the difficulty of the sport finding anyone of a similar stature.

Whiting had a long career in motor sport. Obviously there are regulations and all that and then there is us and he was the middleman.

"Someone could ask anything at any time, he was open to everyone and his door was always open. He was a very nice guy".

"At heart, he was a racer with his origins stretching back to his time at Hesketh and the early days of Brabham", Horner added. "The whole paddock, the whole circus, the whole family of Formula 1, all our thoughts are with him and especially his family in these hard circumstances".

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News FIA F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting passes away