One of Formula One’s genuinely nice guys, and a man known for his fairness, and willingness to listen, has died suddenly in Melbourne (at the Australian Grand Prix) of a pulmonary embolism. Charlie was the Formula One Race Director, Chief Technical Officer, and the Official Starter.
His sudden death has shocked the F1 community, he was just 66.
I had the pleasure of being first introduced to Charlie by my good friend Stirling Moss in Adelaide in 1986, and found him to be a sincere and totally transparent personality – what you saw, was what you got. However he managed to ensure that F1 teams and drivers understood, that he wouldn’t stand for any nonsense.
There were rules, and it was Charlie’s job to enforce them. He did so with fairness and resolve, and enjoyed huge respect from everyone in Formula One.
He will be sadly missed – not just as a personality who seemed to be a fixture in the Paddock, but someone whom everyone cared about, and he greeted everyone with a genuine enthusiasm for seeing them.
Nobody had any doubts about where Charlie’s heart and head were. He was one of the stalwarts of the sport and may he rest in peace – after a job well done.