Dan Wheldon

F1 community pays tribute to Dan Wheldon

IndyCarPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Dan Wheldon
Dan Wheldon

The tragic death of Dan Wheldon yesterday has touched many in and around the F1 community.

Drivers and team members, past and present, have paid tribute to the IndyCar racer, who died yesterday a crash in Las Vegas.

Here is a selection of the messages they have sent over the last 24 hours.

Lewis Hamilton

This is an extremely sad day. Dan was a racer I?d followed throughout my career, as I often followed in his footsteps as we climbed the motorsport ladder in the UK.

He was an extremely talented driver, as a British guy, who not only went over to the States but who twice won the Indy 500. This is a tragic loss at such a young age. My heart goes out to his family and friends during this extremely difficult time.

Jenson Button

Just woken up to the most horrific news. I have so many good memories of racing with Dan in the early nineties, a true fighter.

We’ve lost a legend in our sport but also a great guy. I can’t begin to imagine what his family are going through and my thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.

Michael Schumacher

All of us, we try to convince ourselves constantly that motorsport nowadays is so safe that nobody has to lose his life, but then unfortunately that`s still wishful thinking.

I have heard this morning about the terrible accident which caused Dan Wheldon to die, and it just left me shocked and speechless. My thoughts are now with his family.

Mark Webber

Rest in Peace Dan. I remember our early days in the UK ’95/96. Miss ya.

Rubens Barrichello

Just got out from the plane and got the terrible news about the death of our friend Dan Wheldon. Will always remember the great times we had at karting in Brazil my friend. Rest in peace.

Paul di Resta

Very sad news that a great racer died. Rest in peace Dan. Thoughts are with your family.

Jaime Alguersuari

Heard about the bad news rest in peace Dan.

Heikki Kovalainen

Very sad to read Dan Wheldon has died, RIP.

Pastor Maldonado

Sorry about Wheldon, we have to work and increasing safety on the tracks, especially on the ovals.

Sergio Perez

How sad to hear the news of Dan Wheldon!

Jerome D’Ambrosio

RIP Dan Wheldon.

Karun Chandhok

Just bumped into Mark Webber in Singapore airport who told me the shocking news about Dan Wheldon. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Narain Karthikeyan

A sad day for motorsport – amidst all of its easy to forget that hazards of motor-racing still exist. RIP Dan Wheldon.

Pedro de la Rosa

Our thoughts go to Dan Wheldon’s family. Can not imagine what they are going through. Always on our mind.

Gary Paffett

Tragically Dan Weldon has been killed in the crash at Vegas today. A massive loss to the motorsport world. He was a star and a real nice guy. The untimely death of Dan Wheldon at the peak of his career has really reminded me of how cruel Motor Racing can be. We have lost a star!

McLaren

RIP Dan Wheldon. We pass on our condolences to his family and friends. Our thoughts are with them.

Williams

A tragic loss of a great motorsport talent who will be missed by so many. Our thoughts are with Dan Wheldon’s family and friends.

Sauber

Yesterday was one of the bad days of motorsport. Our thoughts are with all involved and especially Dan Wheldon’s family and team.

Lotus

We would like to add our thoughts and prayers to the multitude of people paying respect to Dan Wheldon. A true Champion has passed away. RIP.

Virgin

From all at Marussia Virgin Racing, our heartfelt condolences to Dan Wheldon’s family and friends. A tragic loss for them and for motorsport.

Petronas Motorsports

Tragic news on IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon’s death yesterday. Sincere condolences to his family from us at Petronas Motorsports.

Alan Permane (Renault)

My thoughts go out to his family and friends and all my mates working in IndyCar. RIP Dan.

Rene Dias Torcato (Renault)

Woke up to the news of a massive stunt in IndyCar to find out the shock news of Dan Wheldon losing his life. Extremely terrible news. RIP.

Riad Asmat (Lotus)

Truly sad to hear about Dan Wheldon, very very unfortunate.

Tom Webb (Lotus)

RIP Dan Wheldon. He was a Great Briton, a rare talent and a magnificent ambassador for the motorsport community worldwide. Thoughts also with Julian and all at CSS. They went through this in ’94 with Ayrton so hope they can navigate next days and months with strength.

Paul Hembery (Pirelli)

Terrible to wake up to news of Dan Wheldon’s death racing in Vegas. RIP and my sincere condolences to his wife and children.

Enrique Bernoldi

I still cant believe what happened yesterday, RIP my friend Dan Wheldon my thoughts are with your family and friends. We’re gonna miss you, God bless.

Mark Blundell

RIP Dan Wheldon, my thoughts go to his family, loss of a great young talent and nice guy. Racing can be so cruel at times. RIP Indy 500 winner. Days like this are never easy for any driver old and young, brings home the risk and underlines in bold, make tougher when you know the guy!

Martin Brundle

It’s so so sad about Dan Wheldon. Deepest condolences to his wife and young children along with family and friends. This is a cruel sport.

Luciano Burti

Really sad with Dan Wheldon’s death in Indy. An ex-rival in the British race tracks that became a friend. All my thoughts to his family.

Anthony Davidson

Spent so many races trying to match Daniel as we grew up and raced together. I’m utterly devastated to hear the sad news. RIP Dan.

Robert Doornbos

RIP Dan Wheldon. What a great champion and colleague! My thoughts and prayers are with Dan and his family!

Christian Fittipaldi

My prayers and thoughts to Dan’s family and friends.

Emerson Fittipaldi

Very sad day! Two times Indy 500 winner! Great Champion! All my condolences and love to Dan Wheldon’s family! I have seen many fine men/racers leave us prematurely over my lifetime, it is an unfortunate part of our sport. Godspeed Dan Wheldon.

Johnny Herbert

Just read the sad news. My thoughts to all his family and friends. RIP Dan.

Nigel Mansell

“Just heard the dreadful news of Dan Wheldon we send our thoughts and condolences to his family. A great young man with so much talent.”

Perry McCarthy

Very sad to hear the terrible news of Dan Wheldon. RIP mate.

Allan McNish

Rest in peace Dan, we will miss you. All my thoughts are with the Wheldons right now. Sad day.

Tiago Monteiro

Still can’t get over it. So sad. Specially having such young kids. […] I only met him once, was a lovely guy. A tragic loss!

Juan Pablo Montoya

Life is not fair. We are gonna miss a really great guy. Dan we are gonna miss you.

Tiff Needell

Dan Wheldon the little kid I interviewed for a Top Gear karting special long ago who would be a double Indy winner now gone forever – RIP.

Max Papis

Here thinking of all my IndyCar friends, I never though we would have gone trough again this after Greg… let’s learn out of it.

Nelson Piquet Jnr

Can’t believe the news of Dan Wheldon. My prayers for his family and closer friends.

Antonio Pizzonia

What a tragedy! Hard to believe. RIP, my friend!

Takuma Sato

I am so deeply sad for Dan Wheldon?s family. He was a great competitor and gentleman. All his friends in motorsport will miss him deeply.

Scott Speed

All I keep thinking about is how we can help his family! It’s impossible to imagine what they must be going through right now. So damn sad.

Justin Wilson

Just don’t know what to say. So many thought that are mixed up right now. Dan is one of the Indycar greats. Thoughts with his family.

Sakon Yamamoto

Very shocking news […] it’s very very sad for motorsport. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. RIP Dan Wheldon.

Alex Yoong

Rest in peace Dan, A true competitor in the prime of his life. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. He will be missed.

Derek Warwick

British Racing Drivers’ Club president Derek Warwick sent the following statement on behalf of the club:

“On behalf of the British Racing Drivers? Club (BRDC), I wish to extend my sincere sympathies to Dan?s wife Susie and their boys Sebastian and Oliver, as well as the rest of his family and his team following the tragic news of his death in a racing accident yesterday at Las Vegas in the final Indy Car Series round of the year.

“The BRDC is extremely proud of Dan and all that he achieved and was achieving in the United States. He was undoubtedly one of the great talents of his generation as his racing results testified. Two victories in the Indy 500 put him in a very select group of drivers and having won the Rookie of the Year honours in 2003 it was no surprise that he should win the Indy Car Championship in 2005. Dan followed this in 2006 by winning the BRDC Gold Star, beating the likes of Jenson Button, Mark Webber, David Coulthard and Dario Franchitti to this coveted award.

“Dan was a true professional and a great ambassador for the sport. He was highly focused in the way he approached his racing and a real perfectionist. He pushed himself, and those he worked with, hard to produce results that were worthy of his talents and that fed his insatiable hunger to win. With his film-star good looks and athletic prowess, it was no wonder that the American public took him to their hearts.

“In the BRDC we will remember Dan as a great racing driver who was very much involved with the Club and our circuit at Silverstone during the formative years of his career. Dan was, for many years, part of the BRDC ??Rising Stars? young driver programme. So proud of this recognition was he, that even after qualifying to be a Full Member of the BRDC he chose to remain a Rising Star, as he felt it represented what he was and helped the Indy Car world understand where he was set on going; to the very top. As a young driver Dan was also a finalist in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award on two occasions, which was proof, if it was needed, that great things lay ahead of him.

“When Dan did eventually become a Full Member of the BRDC he commented at the time, ‘To be included in a group of such great names makes me feel very special. I will do everything that I can to represent the BRDC in a way that makes you all very proud.’

“Dan Wheldon was a great ambassador for the BRDC and motor sport generally. He will be hugely missed.”

F1 Fanatic

On behalf of the F1 Fanatic community I wish to add my own sincerest regrets and heartfelt support to Dan Wheldon’s family and friends.

Image ?? IndyCar

47 comments on “F1 community pays tribute to Dan Wheldon”

  1. Very touching.

    24 hours on and it still doesn’t seem real, I remember Senna but was too young to really comprehend it all. Remember watching live on tv when Greg Moore was killed which was very difficult.

    This is a massive loss to Britain and the greater motorsport community.
    Before I make my point its only right to pay tribute to Dan Wheldon as one of the greatest driving exports this country has ever produced.
    2 Indy 500 wins and an Indy title in the space of 6 years puts Dan right up there with any of the British motor racing legends.

    The hardest thing about it all is that sinking feeling that it could have been avoided if it hadn’t been for a series of questionable decisions.
    Firstly to think that they were even going to let rally drivers, x games drivers etc into the race is almost scary in itself. But the decision to allow a 34 car entry was irresponsible at best and a possible case of gross negligence at worst.

    That it was allowed at Las Vegas, a Nascar track that had no place on the Indycar calender only makes it worse. It seems they have been fixated on creating restrictor plate-style Nascar racing despite the dangers being ten fold with open wheelers.

    One of the things that struck me was after only a few laps was that cars were already touching wheels and it made you fear the worst, had the crash happened half way through the race you could have maybe put it down to a racing accident but that it happened after only 12 laps showed that the cars clearly were not suited to racing there and it was only a matter of time.

    The other scary thing is that there could have so easily have been 2 or 3 drivers who lost their lives in the accident and it was only luck that prevented this.
    I’m not calling for resignations or anything like that, what Indycar needs right now is leadership but it also needs to hold its hands up and bring about some fundamental changes for the future.

    In my humble opinion the 1.5 mile ovals like Vegas, Texas, Iowa have no place in this form of racing. Places like Milwaukee and New Hampshire yes but Indycar cannot take any more unnecessary risks with where they race and the fast ovals really need to go.
    I’d be amazed and appalled in equal measure if they return to Vegas next year. The championship needs to build its future on road courses, street tracks, short ovals and of course the Indy 500.

    I found last nights viewing the most difficult of my 20 years of watching motorsports and although you can never make racing completely safe lets hope we never see a multiple car crash the likes of that ever again.

    It all seems so cruel on Dan Wheldon and of course his family, it will take a long time to sink in for everyone.
    RIP DW

    1. This is an excellent post. Thank you. I’d like to add, that the drivers themselves need to take a stand and be steadfast in their decisions to make this sport safer.
      The venue, an overcrowded field, and inexperienced competitors all played a part in this tragedy. All the drivers were worried, due to their experience and common sense, about this venue. They had prevented this from occurring once before, at Texas. They could have prevented this from ever happening as well.

      That being said, RIP Dan. You will not be forgotten.

    2. Great post Mild7nick, very well said. And to add a postscript…
      The drivers themselves did raise issues before the race with the track officials, stating the track was to small for 34 cars doing speeds upto and over 200mph, claiming it was an accident waiting to happen. To no avail obviously..

  2. What to add. Its good to see all these people share their feelings and pay hommage to a great person who lost his life.

  3. Its just comes to show that regardless if we’re paying attention to a particular Motorsport category or not,If we dislike a particular driver or teamWe still care about all Racing Drivers deep in our hearts!!! There’s not cold hearted person in this community

    RIP Dan Wheldon once again,You’ll most certainly be remembered!!!

  4. There’s not cold hearted person in this community

    I was meant to say no cold hearted,Apologsies!!!

  5. This whole chapter still feels weird inside when I think about it. Every crash I see I always think the driver is okay, even if the crash itself scares me (except for Hamilton in Belgium when he initially didn’t move).

    It is great to see not just the IndyCar community, but the whole motorsport community come together to reminisce and celebrate Wheldon’s life and career through the pain everyone is feeling.

  6. I have to say, I’ve been tremendously moved and very proud to see just how the international motorsport community have come together to mourn the loss of Dan Wheldon and the pay respect to his memory. From the powerful tribute made by the drivers, teams, officials and fans in Las Vegas after the announcement last night to the tributes that have poured in from motorsport figures from all nations, series and generations including those above, I was incredible touched and intensely proud to call myself a motorsports fan.

    We all lost one of our own last night. All of the comments left on this site, on Twitter, on Facebook , on YouTube etc have demonstrated that, ultimately, we are all part of a wonderful international family. Through our love of watching incredible men and women do incredible things in incredible machines, we are all part of the same group and share the same identity. I know that a lot of users on here were watching the race live with myself and despite all the horror, the concern and the dread, I took a lot of comfort from being able to share my thoughts with my fellow racing fans and grieve collectively.

    There have been many occasions over the last few years when I’ve seen truly horrific accidents and been consistently stunned and relieved to see drivers walk away and survive. We’re living in an incredible age of motorsport safety and we must all be extremely thankful to all of those who have played a part in that being the case. Ultimately, however, last night reminded us of the sad reality that we all knew – that no matter what the current standards of safety are, motorsport remains a very dangerous pursuit and there is still much more work to be done to try and minimise all reasonable risks.

    While IndyCar will inevitably have to take a hard look at itself and ask some hard questions about what it can learn from this tragedy, Formula 1 needs to ensure that the quest for improving safety standards in our own series never wavers. Formula 1 is and never will be “safe enough” or “too safe”. We need the FIA to keep doing everything they can to eliminate needless dangers and risks, so we can continue to watch and admire these true heroes of sport without hopefully ever having to experience a day like yesterday in our own series.

  7. Fred Schechter
    17th October 2011, 22:18

    Still so sad to think about it, haven’t written much due to that. The words by other drivers have been great as they knew Dan the best. I only wish there was a better way to learn about wonderful people before they are taken too soon from us. Over on this side of the pond earlier this year I was in the IndyCar trailer speaking with an official simply gushing about how great Dan was and what a shame it was he didn’t have a regular drive. As more great Dan stories trickle in, it’s just harder to read. You Sir Mr. Wheldon will be truly missed.

  8. As the shock wears off it’s getting harder and harder to come to terms with the fact that he’s dead.
    I can’t imagine how terrible this is for the people who knew him.
    Condolences and RIP Dan.

    Lets hope this has a similar impact on indycar safety as Senna’s death had on F1.
    We really do take that for granted with all the complaining about run-off etc.

    1. I hope so too.

      I don’t know what to say.

  9. Wonderfull comments coming from the racing community. I thought the BRDC comments in particuler were classy and tell you everything about Dan Wheldon as a person and the high esteem that people thought of him.

    Its just sad that he had to die before he got the attention here in the UK that he deserved in his lifetime for his achievements.

    RIP Dan Wheldon.

  10. Wonderful words and fantastic spirit from the motorsport world. Definitely my saddest day as a motorsport fan but equally so, my proudest. It’s always said that a true test of a person its how they are at their lowest and today absolutely everyone has been exemplary.

  11. Still pretty stunned by it all 24 hours on, though it has been comforting seeing and hearing the constant stream of support for his nearest and dearest from all those in the motorsport community.

  12. Ive waited to see what Martin said.

    Martin Brundle

    It’s so so sad about Dan Wheldon. Deepest condolences to his wife and young children along with family and friends. This is a cruel sport.

    It is trully a sad day when the answer preceeds the question

  13. Really upsetting and painful time in all forms of Motor-Racing remembering, how we have lost a Great driver that entertained his fans around the world. R.I.P. Dan, you’ll surely be missed. Nice tributes from all those in the racing sectors.

  14. As somebody who doesn’t follow indycar that intently I still fell terrible.

    Dan will always be remembered though, what he achieved was remarkable and went almost unrecognised, although ironically, it now has been.

    You do have to question the future viability of racing at that type of venue.

    Open wheel cars aren’t designed to cope with close contact racing, if they touch, cars get launched and drivers can die. IT IS NOT NASCAR, the penalty for getting it wrong is far higher.

    This is not an American tragedy, its an international tragedy and I cannot see the Americans lying down as scorn is poured upon them without taking major steps to prevent such an occurence again. Sportsman aren’t supposed to die in sport in 2011 in front of millions of people.

    I suspect Dan Wheldon’s accident may just prove to mark a crossroads for open wheel racing. The biggest tragedy would be if nothing is done and nothing changes.

  15. Sad things like this give some reason to get the idea of the close cockpit. Massa had that nearly miss in Hungary and I especially remember once when Coulthard crashed and almost lost his head… scary… let’s hope this kind of accidents doesn’t appear in F1 again.

  16. I was extremely shocked and saddened by the death of Dan Wheldon. I was working at the time and could not see the accident until I got home. Watching that absolutely horrific crash is a solemn reminder of the severe dangers of racing. Thoughts go out to his family, especially his two young children.

  17. The racing community has suffered a terrible loss, and will learn as much as it can to ensure this never repeats itself. This is a stark reminder to many in the racing community, drivers, teams, management, and the fans that the pursuit of safety is one that shall never end. Today the racing community has touched the hearts of many with its inspiring show of solidarity and unity, and it shall move forward, with lessons learned from this tragic day.

    Rest in peace Dan Wheldon, our thoughts are with you, and your family.

  18. I wish what happened on Sunday will happen for the last time in any motorsport.Last year we had a thing with in Moto2 the year before we lost Surtees.Motorsports is great but a dangerous & cruel sport.RIP Dan.

  19. Sad to read this news

    RIP Dan Wheldon.

    I’ve seen Anthony Davidson post on twitter a photo of him, Dan and Jenson during their carting days. While Ant and Jenson go into Formula 1, Dan choose indycar race; I wonder if he ever try to race in F1.

    1. He got a talk with sauber but declined it because he wasn’t guarenteed the ride

    2. Earlier in his career, he didn’t have the funding JB and Ant had to go into F1, and that was a reason why he went Stateside to race.

  20. This was a horriiying crash and shows how dangerous motor sports can be. As Indy cars get faster and push the limits these things can happen, especially on an oval. The safety of drivers needs to force a rethink on field sizes and the type of tracks they race on.

  21. Still puts a lump in my throat just thinking about it, I just feel so numb. Such a sad day for British motorsport when we should have been celebrating champions.

    The only light out of this is the way the motorsport community has come together and everything I’ve heard/read from them has been really heartfelt and touching.

  22. Further comments from Mark Webber;

    Formula One driver Mark Webber has paid tribute to friend Dan Wheldon after the Briton lost his life in a horrific IndyCar crash on Monday morning.
    Webber a friend of Wheldon’s when the two were racing in Europe during the genesis of their careers and says the horror crash has affected him.

    “I knew Dan pretty well. We spent time together at Brand’s Hatch working together when we were young,” Webber said.

    “It was good to have a good, jovial friend around.

    “He will be sorely missed. He was a great guy, a great competitor and a star of our sport.

    “It’s a very diverse sport… When you lose someone, it’s close to all of us.

    “His death was an almighty shock. You still toss and turn at night thinking of him and his family.”

  23. I don’t know if anyone’s seen the article in the Daily Mail. If not, then continue not to do so.

    1. Thanks for the warning @electrolite and @keithcollantine; I didn’t see the race itself, but am still pretty dumbstruck – the comments here are saying good and great things, so I’ll be happy to keep it to those.

    2. I was unfortunate enough to come across tha article in the mail website yesterday. The pictures were extremely hard hitting and showed what a brutal thing motor sport can be. However, the article itself was beyond belief and some of the points raised made my blood boil. As for the comments attached to it, well I can’t use the words I really want to use to say how I felt. Thankyou F1 fanatic for giving us all a great place to share our true feelings.

      RIP Dan Wheldon, will never be forgotten by true racing fans!

  24. The Sri Lankan
    18th October 2011, 10:19

    t’s still hard to believe what had happened to Dan. as a former Karter and a motorsports enthusiast, its a huge pain to see someone so talented taken away so soon. I pray for dan and the three angels he had left behind. see you on the other side friend.

  25. Dallara published their reaction as well:

    Flags flew at half-staff at Dallara Automobili headquarters in Parma, Italy, on Oct. 17.
    “Dan lives in the memory of everybody at Dallara,” company president and founder Gianpaolo Dallara said. “He has been a true champion; not only because of his many victories, but and above everything else, because he has been a true and warm man to all the people he encountered.

    And they have announced that they will name the new car for Wheldon in tribute and memory of him:

    “All people at Dallara always enjoyed meeting him in Italy and in the USA. We will honor his memory for the years to come by dedicating the Dallara IndyCar 2012 in his name. He deserves that.”

    via Twitter (@SBPopOffValve and retweet by @lacanta)

  26. Myself and a friend attended the 2005 German GP at the Nurburgring,(our first overseas F1 trip) and after a great race & weekend (incl record temperatures) we were sat in a large tent next to the circuit with what felt like a 1000 german Schumi fans watching the Indy 500. After seeing Danika leading most of the race we stood up and cheered as Dan took the lead and then won his first 500. Since then we have always followed his career, but this will always be our abiding memory of him as it felt like we were the only 2 brits in Germany that weekend and his win was the cheery on top of the cake. We are still in shock after watching Sundays events live. Unfortunately it reminded me so much of when my hero died in that fateful day in May 1994. Dan, you were a true British champion, one of our greatests exports and one of the nicest men to ever grace motorsport. Such a loss of talent. The poeple running Indycar need to take a long hard look at what makes a “show” for the fans. Our thought and prayers are with his family. RIP Dan Wheldon, you will never be forgotten

  27. Very sobering to read all the comments from so many different drivers, not all of whom have driven in F1. On Indycar’s website yesterday there was an even bigger list than this one, including NASCAR top brass and several of their drivers’ including Dale Earnhardt Jnr. Really puts it into perspective reading these comments. These drivers know only too well that it could easily be them at anytime, and sadly its on occasions like this that we are reminded. Sweet dreams #77.

  28. This from Mario Andretti:

    “Dan Wheldon did not take mad risk because he was over-motivated by $5 mil prize. To imply he drove different due to $$, you offend his honour”

    http://twitter.com/MarioAndretti/statuses/126349225826062336

  29. Many people including my work mates had not heard of DAN.
    I know in 2005 ish channel five showed highlights of indy/champ car.
    I first started watching in when i heard of dan wheldon and at the time i was totally fed up with F1.
    What i saw and have seen since is this gracious young man full of talent,and good looks always approachable and one hell of a driver.
    I have tears in my eyes typing this,tears for his family and friends.
    THIS GUY WAS SO SPECIAL.
    When i hear the likes of jason plato and all the other whinging moaning drivers throwing tantrums-many should learn the lesson of super dan.

  30. this is truly a sad loss to racing. he was a driver who was hitting all time highs. with a win at the indy 500 it was a great year. but this incident shows the sad part of racing and the fact that no one is invinsable. My thoughts go to Dan’s family. R.I.P

  31. you have to wonder dont you, if he hadn’t taken the £5m challenge of starting from the back, would we have seen a huge accident with NO deaths? Its crazy to think how small, seemingly insignificant decisions can affect life in a BIG way.

    1. The conditions were set up (overstuffed grid, inexperienced oval racers, short track) such that eventually a major fatal accident would have occured, if it wasn’t Wheldon, then someone else would have been killed…

      Shame it did happen despite the drivers’ concerns before the race…

  32. I woke up and a friend told me someone had died in motorsport, although he didn’t know who he was. I checked online and was shocked to hear about the death of Dan, as I also remember reading about other deaths on ovals.
    It was a sad day for me, I can’t imaine how his family and friends must feel.
    Requiescat In Pace.

  33. Watching the race live in los angeles, it just destroyed me from the second I saw the carnage…I knew immediately some one was hurt but i couldnt tell what car it was that flew in cockpit 1st. All i know is, i was instantly back in the Fontana grandstands in ’99 when I sadly watched Greg Moore lose his life right in front of me..I happened to be watching the big screen at the instant Gregs car hit the little strip of pavement while sliding across the grass and was launched into the air towards the wall…sideways, i saw that half second of impact cockpit 1st into the short wall and I was immediately and literally sickened. I knew he was severly hurt or worse…many had not actually see nthe hit and were wondering what was up… but i did and i was destroyed.. I loved Greg Moore’s skill and personality and the incredible future he had in front of him with Penske the next year…. it is crushing the similarities with Dan and his 2nd chance with Andretti for next year and Gregs upcoming deal with the Captn for 2000….neither making it past the final race of the season.

    I also immediately thought of Jeff Krosnoff in Toronto ’96, that too was a terribly violent accident and watching live on TV… i saw it all and instantly i knew he was badly hurt or worse….

    I am truly gutted to have witnessed these three fine young men lose their lives before my very eyes watching a sport i truly love, the only spot I have truly loved. I’ve been a fan of Indy racing since i was a very young boy….I am now almost 50 and having watched Senna lose his life before me as well as Ratzenberger etc…. and now also Marco Simoncelli just 72 hours ago….Jeeses. All i can say is thank god F1 made the changes they did (well,… aside from the crap chicanes everywhere…)

    Much has been written about the folly of using these 1.5 mile banked ovals .. I hadn’t known of the trepidation that many of the drivers expressed during the preceding 3 days, I have NEVER been a fan of the Fiasco that Tony George created with the IRL … and even after Champ car folded and the series was united. The 2011 indy 500 was the 1st time i bothered to watch an IRL race in years, I’ve boycotted Long beach since the last Champ car Race there. the IRL SUCKS for SO many reasons and only after adopting many of the best ideas from CC have i relented and watched a few races this year… Flying Crapwagons is what Paul Tracy called them and he is absolutely right. I was and always will be a true CART fan and IMO the split born of an arrogant idiot rich boy, destroyed the best open wheel series in the world. From the car design to the focus on nascrap ovals,… this sport, now united NEEDS TO CHANGE. We CANNOT afford to risk lives with bad decisions on where they run and how the cars are designed. Enough is Enough. i wan’t changes or I will no longer watch this series or support what i have loved with a passion when the legacy of bad decisions10 years ago is still risking my heroes lives on track.

    Thanks for reading..

    RIP Dan Wheldon / Marco Simoncelli

    God speed to you both, show ’em how it’s done up there in Heaven at the big race.

    Edward,
    Los Angeles

  34. I just watched handing out the trophies of the Gold Coast V8 race, where Sebastien Bourdais got handed out the Dan Wheldon trophy for the best performing international driver (thanks @kaiie for pointing me to it in the live blog). The moment he speaks to thank everyone and talks about Wheldon really a got to me.

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