The F1 race director and safety delegate Charlie Whiting has died suddenly at the age of 66.
The news comes as a shock to the F1 community, especially as he was overseeing the final preparations ahead of this Sunday’s curtain-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The Briton, known for his cool manner and gentle commanding of respect from all corners of the paddock, has been working in Formula One since the late seventies when he joined Hesketh.
During his time with Hesketh he served as the chief mechanic for Irish driver Derek Daly, who I spoke to earlier on:
Whiting was later head hunted by Bernie Ecclestone to join his Brabham team, where he worked for a decade.
In 1988 he became the FIA’s Technical Delegate where he became responsible for safety both on and off the track, for the technical regulations of the sport and – most famously for being the man to start the Grand Prix.
He was also a colleague of the former F1 doctor Gary Hartstein, who also spoke to me about him earlier:
Rest in peace, Charlie.