Ecclestone: F1 will struggle to replace 'super' Whiting

  • 14 Mar 2019 15:26
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Former Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone believes that the sport will struggle to go on without Charlie Whiting.

Whiting passed away in his sleep on Thursday, leaving a deep shock within the motorsport community. Whiting worked as F1's race director, holding the role for over 20 years.

Prior to his position with the FIA, Whiting worked at Brabham, which was headed by Ecclestone in the '80s.

"Charlie did a wonderful job for the FIA," Ecclestone told GPToday.net. "I don't know how they're going to replace him. He did a super job.

"Charlie was a guy that I could trust. Everyone knew that if he said he was going to do something, he would do it. I have nothing bad to say about him.

"When you've been working with someone for a certain amount of time,  if they say 'Good morning' to you, I know it's before 12 o'clock. That's what's important, to get that confidence in somebody."

Ecclestone added that team members at Brabham looked up to him, as he was more or less the team leader.

“He wasn’t chief mechanic really he was more or less the team leader. He led the team and led them to victory. All the drivers liked and trusted him, there was nobody in the team that was against him. They were all supportive.”

Speaking about Whiting's appointment to race director in 1997, Ecclestone says that he pushed for the move as he believed Whiting had the characteristics to succeed.

"I thought he’d be the one guy that could do the job. He’s strong enough, wouldn’t take a lot of nonsense from people.

“Obviously he upset people on the odd occasions because he came out with decisions that drivers didn’t like.

"But they were normally the right decision. The stewards backed him up so when they were lost in what decision to take, they’d ask Charlie and Charlie would help them.”

Ecclestone received the news via a phone call last night from FIA president Jean Todt. The 88-year-old added that when his time comes, he hopes he passes in a similar, peaceful way to Whiting.

"The only good thing about this, if there is a good thing, is that I imagine he went to bed last night happy knowing he was going to get up at seven in the morning and get on with his job, and he didn’t wake up. When I have to go I hope I go the same way."

Replies (2)

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  • The kinda competence this guy brought to F1 will be very tough to replace for sure. One cannot stress how much he brought to the grid. So thanks, Whiting, thank you for all the times you penalized drivers in the sport we like, be it drivers we liked or didn't, most of them probably deserved your reprimand and stern glare (and I am being a bit facetious, seriously, thanks Whiting).

    • + 1
    • Mar 14 2019 - 17:15
    • He was one of the best and most consistent things about the sport. Since we all got to go one day, may we all pass in such a peaceful way.

      • + 0
      • Mar 14 2019 - 18:44

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