Since hearing of his death yesterday, it got me thinking about his work and couple of things came to mind that I had not thought about before, or had taken for granted:
1.) the guy must have worked or been on call almost year round. New circuits, circuit modification or adjustments made (e.g. Silverstone being repaved) would need his buy-off. Team would contact him regularly for clarification on new car design, their existing year's cars, other teams' cars and their legality, etc. The new regulations for 2019 and 2021 all funnel through him. The drivers and what's a legal pass or track limits or whatever else all go through him. And of course the race organization, medical services being available and where the trucks and ambulances are situated, etc. And lastly, the stewards. Doing the legwork to ensure they are up to speed on rules and rule clarifications.
2.) How much his approval meant. Because he had done the job for so long, and done it well and effectively, most everyone took his word as the final word. As in, "well, say what you will about those curbs (kerbs), but Charlie has approved them." Or his approval of a design that others questioned, such as the double diffusers in 2009, or Ferrari's battery last year. That's a lot of weight to carry on your shoulders.
I'm excited for the weekend but saddened by the death of Charlie Whiting. There were times that he seemed to stand in the way of progress or parity, but he was always there to oversee the starts, the scrutineering, and to shake the hands of all the drivers after a race. RIP, Charlie.
Sad news, indeed.
(and I am sure there was a fully fit-for-purpose successor waiting in the wings...)
My season prediction:
I've been watching F1 on a regular basis since the early 80s and been a big red team fan since the day Schumi signed. I've rooted for several drivers of other teams throughout the years but have always enjoyed / admired what Ferrari means to all of Italy. They've done very well this off-season, and I've enjoyed Vettel and root for him from seeing him blossom and dominate at RBR. He's also from Heppenheim, home to about 15 of my extended family, some who know his parents well. So, in my humble opinion...
Hamilton will win the 2019 WDC
Mercedes will win the 2019 WCC
Enjoy the season!
I used Chrome on my laptop and cast to the Ultra Chromecast hooked up to my receiver. I noticed I had the option to "optimize" the feed by only casting to the TV and not mirroring it on the laptop.
"Vettel and new teammate Charles Leclerc were both within a tenth of Hamilton in FP1, but slumped to fifth and ninth respectively in the second session.
Asked why Ferrari lacked pace compared to Mercedes in FP2, Vettel said: “We don't know the reasons but we're looking for them. If you find them, let us know and lead them to our garage.”
The German said Ferrari “didn't get into the groove” on Friday, and believes there's a lot of laptime to be picked up once he regains confidence in the car.
“I can feel I have the car under me that I had in testing, but it doesn't do the same things, it's not doing exactly what I like here and there, and that's why I'm lacking confidence,” he explained.
“I don't think it was awful, I think here and there there were bits that were really really good, and [that] we can build on.”