Formula One race director Charlie Whiting dies, aged 66, on eve of 2019 season

Charlie Whiting, Formula One’s long-serving race director, has died on the eve of the 2019 season.

The 66-year-old suffered a pulmonary embolism in Melbourne where he was due to officiate the curtain-raiser of the new season.

FIA president Jean Todt led the tributes to the former chief engineer, saying he “embodied the ethics and spirit of this fantastic sport”.

Whiting was a popular figure in the sport

Whiting’s entry into Formula One came as part of the Hesketh Racing team in 1977, but it was through his work at Brabham that he made his name.

As chief mechanic for the outfit owned by Bernie Ecclestone, he played an integral role in the championships won by Nelson Piquet in 1981 and 1983.

After leaving Brabham in 1988, Whiting moved on to serve as FIA technical delegate and then became FIA director and safety delegate from 1997.