Some of the biggest names in Motorsport have expressed their anguish at the loss of British racing star Dan Wheldon, who passed away yesterday in Las Vegas.
In the hours after it was announced Wheldon had died, many of his racing friends, rivals and motorsport peers have come out and expressed their grief at the news, with Wheldon always being a popular figure and his loss hitting the Motorsport world hard.
Wheldon, who leaves behind a wife and two children, died after being involved in a fifteen car crash in the early laps of the IZOD Indycar Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, in which he was competing to try and win $2.5m.
Chip Ganassi – “What can you say? He was such a big presence in our sport and quite a talent. Today we lost a little bit of Indycar. He raced here for us for three years, won six races and made many friends – the whole Chip Ganassi Racing organization mourns his passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to Susie, the boys and the whole Wheldon family.”
Dario Franchitti – “We lost a good friend. Everybody in IndyCar Series considered Dan a friend. He was one of those special, special people from the first moment he showed up in IndyCar. And he was kind of the brash, but he was a charmer. Then he became this loving family guy who was still charming, but he had this whole new side to him. I’m just thinking of Susie and the boys. When I think about them I’m struggling to hold it together.”
Scott Dixon – “Dan is family and I will miss him badly. Such an amazing person and wonderful family man. We will be with Susie, Sebastian and Oliver for whatever they need. I still can’t believe it.”
Graham Rahal – “My heart goes out to the Wheldon family. Dan was an incredible champion, a great friend and someone I will always respect and admire. We have truly lost one of the greatest members of our INDYCAR family.”
Andretti Autosport – “It is with extreme sorrow that we have lost one of our champion drivers today. Dan was an Indy 500 champion and IndyCar Series champion with Andretti Autosportâ€”and one of our closest competitors. Dan brought such enthusiasm and passion to the sport not often seen in motorsports. We will remember Dan's tremendous racing accomplishments with our team as well his infectious personality. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to Dan's family, racing team and friends today. Dan is one of IndyCar's greatest champions.”
Oriol Servia – “This is incredibly sad. I feel so bad for Susie and their kids. It’s so tough to understand when somebody is gone that quickly. Dan was always a very happy guy; he was always smiling. He was a funny, great person that touched a lot of people. He will be missed.”
James Hinchcliffe – “It’s a black day for the sport. We came in here hoping for a good season-finale and ended up losing a very close friend and a very good racing driver. He made such an impact on this sport and will even continue to now. It’s tough to put into words what everybody is feeling. We’re going to have to regroup over the winter and head into the first race next year and race the whole year for Dan because the new car that we all are going to be blessed with the opportunity to race, a lot of that is as good as it is because of Dan. My thoughts are with Susie and the kids.”
Lewis Hamilton – “This is a tragic loss at such a young age. 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, he was an inspirational guy and someone that every racing driver looked up to with respect and admiration. My heart goes out to his family and friends during this extremely difficult time.”
Danica Patrick – “There are no words for today. Myself and so many others are devastated. I pray for suzi and the kids that god will give them strength.”
Mark Blundell – “Days like this are never easy for any driver old and young, brings home the risk and underlines in bold, made tougher when you know the guy!”
Mark Webber – “Rest in Peace Dan. I remember our early days in the UK 95/96.. Miss ya..”
Rubens Barrichello – “Will always remember the great times we had at karting in Brazil my friend. Rest in peace
Tony Kanaan – “No words to describe the pain. See you on the other side my dear friend. You will be missed”
Will Power – “Such a sad day… to lose a champion like Dan Wheldon…my thoughts and prayers are with Susie and his kids”
Marco Andretti – “I looked up to you both as a racing driver and a person/friend. You will be forever missed. RIP Dan Wheldon.”
Jenson Button – “Just woken up to the most horrific news.. Dan Wheldon RIP…”
Bryan Sellers – “I can’t believe it, racing is such a small world and no matter the series we are a family, we lost a brother.”
Robert Reid – “Tragic news from Las Vegas and yet another reminder of how fragile life can be and why we all need to make the most of whatever we have.”
James Thorp – “Horrifically sad to learn of the untimely death of Dan Wheldon, someone many of us looked up to. dark day for motorsport. RIP.”