Several candidates in search for Whiting's replacement

Several candidates in search for Whiting’s replacement

The FIA’s search to replace the late Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has already thrown up several candidates, according to reports. Whiting passed away suddenly in Melbourne on Thursday at the age of 66 after suffering a pulmonary embolism.

Michael Masi was appointed as Whiting’s replacement at the Australian Grand Prix, having been due to serve as his assistant at Albert Park.

But Der Spiegel reports that American Scot Elkins, the official deputy race director, missed out because he was not in Australia.

Elkins does not currently serve at all grands prix, as he holds a dual role in Formula E.

Der Spiegel also reports that Nikolas Tombazis and Peter Bayer are in the running.

“It’s not easy to do Charlie’s job,” said Bernie Ecclestone, a long-time friend and colleague who was instrumental in Whiting’s appointment to the FIA in the 80s.

“He saw everything, he heard everything, he knew everything, he did everything,” the former F1 supremo added.

Ross Brawn agreed: “His work on the race weekends may have made up five per cent of his workload.”

Ecclestone continued: “No one had any real idea of what Charlie did. I think people would be amazed if they knew.

“I don’t know if they can find anyone who can do it like Charlie, but I can imagine it could be done if you divide his job into four.”

FIA president Jean Todt said the governing body will spend time next week deciding on a permanent solution following Whiting’s death.

“We’ve been thinking about it for some time already and Charlie was also involved because we knew he could not have his role forever,” Todt said in Melbourne.

“Now our people are working on a plan for the future that we unfortunately have to put into action sooner than we had hoped.”