MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. FIA Formula One Race Director Charlie Whiting, who passed away on early Thursday in Australia’s Melbourne, has left a huge impact on the development of the world’s most prestigious auto race, Motorsport.com quoted as saying Russia’s F1 driver Daniil Kvyat.
The press service of Formula One racing announced in the early hours of Thursday that "FIA Director of Formula One, Charlie Whiting, has sadly passed away this morning (14 March 2019), in Melbourne, aged 66, as the result of a pulmonary embolism, three days before the Australian Grand Prix which will open the F1 season."
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.
A flow of tributes followed in the wake of the news of Whiting’s death and Russia’s Kvyat was among many around the globe to express his grief.
"I am deeply disappointed having learnt of this unexpected news," Kvyat said. "I have personal memories to cherish in his [Charlie Whiting’s] regard."
"We will miss Charlie as he has left an irreversible impact in our lives - in the life of every pilot and the sport of racing on the whole," Kvyat stated.
Charlie Whiting officially served as the F1 race director since 1997, but he entered the world of Formula One back in 1977, when he worked with Team Hesketh. Later, in the 1980s he worked with legendary Brabham team and was officially listed as a FIA executive in 1988.
F1 press service cited FIA President Jean Todt as saying that: "It is with immense sadness that I learned 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 motor sport community go out to his family, friends, and all Formula One lovers."
Charlie Whiting passed away in Australia’s Melbourne only three days before giving the green light to the launch of the 70th edition of Formula One World Championships.