F1: FIA Director of Formula 1 Charlie Whiting dies aged 66
Charlie Whiting, the director of the FIA and the official race starter for Formula 1 grands prix, has died at the age of 66. It has been reported that Whiting suffered a pulmonary embolism in the early hours of Thursday in Melbourne. His death is a huge blow for the Formula 1 paddock.
Charlie Whiting (GB), FIA race director, official starter and safety delegate passed away on the eve of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix
Whiting began his F1 career in 1977 with the Hesketh team, moving to Brabham in the 1980s. He joined the FIA in 1988, and served as the official Race Director beginning in 1997.
FIA President Jean Todt said of Whiting's passing, "It is with immense sadness that I learnt of Charlie's sudden passing. I have known Charlie Whiting for many years and he has been a great Race Director, a central and inimitable figure in Formula One who embodied the ethics and spirit of this fantastic sport. Formula 1 has lost a faithful friend and a charismatic ambassador in Charlie. All my thoughts, those of the FIA and entire motorsport community go out to his family, friends, and all Formula One lovers."
The FIA has announced that Australian V8 Supercars race director, Michael Masi, will take over Charlie Whiting's F1 duties, including those of official race starter and safety delegate.