F1 community pays tribute to Dan Wheldon

IndyCar

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

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47 comments on F1 community pays tribute to Dan Wheldon

  1. 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.

  2. iainleggat777 (@iainleggat777) said on 18th October 2011, 21:37

    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

  3. mike-e (@mike-e) said on 19th October 2011, 2:03

    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.

    • KNF (@knf) said on 19th October 2011, 4:53

      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…

  4. Fixy (@fixy) said on 21st October 2011, 18:45

    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.

  5. shredded said on 27th October 2011, 1:13

    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

  6. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th October 2011, 13:42

    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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