Formula One mourns another death in family

Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:06am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - The Formula One community mourned another death in the family on Tuesday after British racer Justin Wilson, a friend to many in the grand prix paddock, succumbed to head injuries suffered in a U.S. IndyCar race.

The 37-year-old, who raced in Formula One for Minardi and Jaguar in 2003, was hit by debris after crashing in the closing laps at Pocono Raceway oval in Pennsylvania.

"I woke up this morning feeling positive in my heart until I read the news," said compatriot and double world champion Lewis Hamilton on Instagram. "I am so devastated to hear of another passing of a great man and driver.

"I'd met Justin Wilson a few times growing up and he was the ultimate gentleman. Whilst I only knew him a little, I will miss him."

Briton Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion who attended the funeral of French F1 driver Jules Bianchi a month ago and was a friend of double Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon who died in 2011, expressed his shock on Twitter.

"The motorsport world comes to a standstill once again," said the McLaren driver. "I raced with Justin as far back as 1989 in karting and remember his smile was infectious, such a lovely guy."

The sentiment was echoed by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, a pallbearer at Bianchi's funeral.

"So sad to hear Justin Wilson passed away. What dreadful news and what a dramatic year for racing. Losing too many champions," he said.

Button's double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso, who like Wilson started his F1 career at Minardi, said the news was "difficult to accept".   Continued...

Justin Wilson of Britain looks on during the practice session at the Honda Indy  in Toronto, July 6, 2012.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files