Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have led the tributes to Charlie Whiting, the Formula One race director who died suddenly on Thursday, three days before the first grand prix of the season in Australia.
Whiting had been the FIA race director since 1997 and was responsible for all activity on track over a race weekend including safety, starting the race and enforcing rules and regulations.
Vettel, who has also known Whiting since he began in Formula One in 2007, was with the race director the day before his death.
The FIA president, Jean Todt, said: “Charlie Whiting was a great race director, a central and inimitable -figure in Formula One who embodied the ethics and spirit of this fantastic sport.”
The FIA has appointed Michael Masi as the race director, permanent starter and safety delegate for -Sunday’s grand prix.