F1 race director Charlie Whiting has passed away, age 66.
Whiting, who was in Melbourne for the start of the Formula 1 season and was seen in the paddock on Wednesday, suffered a pulmonary embolism on Thursday morning.
He passed away.
“It is with immense sadness that I learned of Charlie’s passing,” said FIA president Jean Todt.
“Charlie Whiting was a great race director, a central and inimitable figure in Formula 1 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 1 lovers.”
Whiting arrived in Formula 1 in 1977, working for the Hesketh team before moving onto Brabham.
Playing a pivotal role in Nelson Piquet 1981 and 1983 World Championship titles, he joined the FIA in 1988 and became race director nine years later.
A well-liked figure in the paddock, F1 has paid tribute to him.