mai 24, 2024

Gil de Ferran: Former McLaren sporting director and Indianapolis 500 winner dies aged 56

2 min read

As well as winning the Indy 500 in 2003, Gil De Ferran also won the 2000 and 2001 Champ Car World Series driving for Team Penske; he most recently worked in Formula 1 as a consultant with McLaren after a stint as their sporting director from 2018 to 2021

Last Updated: 30/12/23 11:43am

Gil de Ferran served as McLaren sporting director from 2018 to 2021

Former McLaren sporting director and Indianapolis 500 winner, Gil de Ferran has died at the age of 56.

The Brazilian Automobile Confederation (CBA) said in a statement that De Ferran suffered a heart attack at a private motor racing club in Opa-locka, Florida. He was « promptly taken to a local hospital but did not survive ».

The 2003 Indy 500 winner worked in Formula 1 as a consultant with McLaren after a stint as their sporting director from 2018 to 2021.

Gil de Ferran pictured celebrating after winning the Indy 500 in 2003

Gil de Ferran pictured celebrating after winning the Indy 500 in 2003

Jenson Button, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle were among those to pay tribute to De Ferran.

Button wrote on Instagram: « Still in shock that we lost one of the good ones so young, one of the best behind the wheel and all round great guy Gil De Ferran. I will miss that wonderful smile, rest in peace my friend. »

Fellow former F1 world champion Hill tweeted: « One of the nicest guys I ever met. He made me laugh. He got it…

« My sincere condolences to his lovely family and all who knew him (there are many, many, many) and all at McLaren. He was a fighter and a winner. Big loss. »

Brundle wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: « You won’t find anyone in motorsport who didn’t like, admire, and respect Gil. A true friend, brilliant racer, and a professional. This is a shocker…

« Our family condolences to Angela, Anna, Luke, and all of Gil’s family and friends. »

As well as the Indy 500, De Ferran also won the 2000 and 2001 Champ Car World Series driving for Team Penske.

« We are terribly saddened to hear about todays tragic passing of Gil de Ferran, » Team Penske said in a statement.

« Gil defined class as a driver and as a gentleman. As an INDYCAR Champion and an Indianapolis 500 winner, Gil accomplished so much during his career, both on and off the track.

« He was a great friend to the Team Penske and INDYCAR family, as well as the entire international motorsports community. Gils passing is a terrible loss and he will be deeply missed. »

McLaren, meanwhile, mourned the loss of « a beloved member of our McLaren family », the team said.

« Gil was an important and integral part of our Racing team. He was a formidable force on and off track and made a lasting impact on everyone racing and working alongside him.

« He will be missed by everyone at McLaren Racing. »



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