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Motorsport world mourns death of De Ferran

The motorsports world is mourning the sudden death of 56-year-old Gil de Ferran. The Brazilian, who won the 2003 Indy 500, is remembered for his personality and his efforts in motorsports.

De Ferran
To news overview © XPBimages

The death of Gil de Ferran comes as a shock to the motorsports world. The 56-year-old Brazilian died after suffering a heart attack at the Concourse Club in Florida, where he was racing with his son.

De Ferran was a consulting member of McLaren and also held the role of sporting director at that team and Honda. Many people, teams and authorities were shocked by the sad news.


In the latter years of his career, De Ferran played a key role at McLaren as their Sporting Director from 2018 to 2021, and latterly a consultant at the team.

They said in a statement: "Everyone at McLaren Racing is shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of a beloved member of our McLaren family. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Gil de Ferran.

"Gil was an important part of our racing team. He was a formidable force on and off the track and made a lasting impact on everyone who raced and worked with him. The entire team will miss him."


The FIA has paid tribute in a statement on social media: "The FIA is saddened by the passing of Gil de Ferran. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Formula 1

Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 CEO, said: "I am very shocked and deeply saddened by the news that Gil de Ferran has passed away. He was an incredible person, a true champion and we will all miss him very much. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time."

IndyCar Series

De Ferran had his greatest successes in IndyCar. The Brazilian became CART champion in 2000 and 2001 and won the Indy 500 in 2003. The American racing league states it is saddened and wishes his loved ones much strength.

Roger Penske (Penske Corporation)

De Ferran won the Indy 500 on behalf of Penske. The owner of the company, Roger Penske, also shared a statement: "Gil is the definition of class as a driver and gentleman. An IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner, he accomplished much during his career, on and off the track.

"Gil was loved by many and was a great friend to Penske, the IndyCar family and the motorsports family. Gil's passing is a terrible loss and he will be greatly missed."

Zak Brown (CEO McLaren)

Zak Brown, who worked closely with De Ferran, said: "I am shocked and devastated by the loss of our great friend and teammate. I raced with Gil around the world and saw him win some of the greatest races. He has been a great friend for over 20 years and we will miss him greatly and never forget him. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family. RIP Gil. The next victory is yours! Godspeed!"

Mario Andretti

The 1978 F1 World Champion Mario Andretti said: "My heart broke at the news of Gil de Ferran's death. It's heartbreaking. I think of him now and enjoy every conversation. Many will miss him. A wonderful man, a dear and loyal friend."

Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indy 500 circuit)

J. Douglas Boles, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said: "Gil de Ferran was an Indy 500 winner who always represented the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing' with pure class."

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