Charlie Whiting Dies Unexpectedly Ahead of Australian GP
Formula One has experienced the sudden and unexpected death of Charlie Whiting, one of the key figures in the sport. Whiting, the F1 Race Director, died on Thursday morning in Melbourne, Australia, three days before the 2019 season-opening Australian Grand Prix. He was 66 years old.
Whiting’s F1 career began in the 1970s, by 1981 he was working for Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham team as chief mechanic. There he would help win two world championships, in 1981 and 1983, with Nelson Piquet.
When Ecclestone took over running the commercial side of Formula One Whiting was installed as the sport’s Technical Delegate in 1988.
During his time as a mechanic and chief mechanic, Whiting was known to bend the rules right to the limits. So in many ways, he was the ideal candidate for the FIA job.
The rule breaker became the rulebook enforcer.
As the FIA Race Director Whiting oversaw many areas from driver to track safety, inspections, logistics and enforcing rules to the letter of FIA guidelines.
He was also seen as an approachable middle man from the drivers point of view and was widely respected by all.
Whiting will be remembered for safety improvements within motorsport. He will be honored, he will be remembered but in time life will move on if it hasn’t done so already.