Former F1 team boss Tom Walkinshaw dies

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Former racing driver and team owner Tom Walkinshaw has died following a long battle with cancer.

Walkinshaw was team principal at the Benetton, Ligier and Arrows Formula One teams, and had a very successful stint running Jaguar’s sportscars and touring car efforts.


Tom Walkinshaw 1946-2010 (Adam Cooper)

"Former Benetton, Ligier and Arrows team boss Tom Wakinshaw died this morning at the age of 64. The Scot, who had endured a long battle with cancer, made his last visit to an F1 paddock at Silverstone in July."

Di Resta and Hulkenberg fight for Force India seat (BBC F1)

"As the winter nights have shortened so too have the prospects of finding a Formula 1 drive for two of the sport’s brightest prospects. Nico Hulkenberg – rated as the best rookie of 2010 – and Paul di Resta – Britain’s third driver in Formula 1 alongside Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button – find themselves fighting for a drive."

Special Santas at Ferrari (Ferrari)

"Lots of children were at Ferrari today to celebrate Christmas. Special guests were President Luca di Montezemolo and the Ferrari family of drivers – from Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa to test drivers, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jules Bianchi, Marc Gen?? and Luca Badoer, all of them dressed up as Father Christmas."

Fauzy released by Lotus (Autosport)

"Fairuz Fauzy has parted company with the Lotus Formula 1 team and intends to return to full-time racing in 2011."

Jenson Button competing in sprint triathlon (@The_Real_JB via Twitter)

"On my way to the airport to jump on a plane to Australia for a sprint Triathlon with @jessybondgirl (girlfriend Jessica Michibata). Very excited about getting some tan lines!"

Team Lotus to build road cars? (Joe Saward)

"Now that Group Lotus’s announcement that it is buying the Renault F1 team has passed and things are beginning to settle down, Team Lotus is beginning to make quiet noises about its strategic plans for the future."

‘Don’t let them tell you you’re too young,’ says Formula 1 boss Christian Horner (The Daily Mail)

"The new Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel may be a German, but it’s a Brit who’s largely responsible for his success. Christian Horner, 37, has been team principal of Red Bull Racing since 2004, when Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz bought the former Jaguar F1 team."

Comment of the day

Prisoner Monkeys disagrees with the FIA’s decision to lift the ban on team orders:

The FIA obviously intend for teams to be dissuaded from using team orders by the negative reception they will receive, but we all know that Ferrari – and to a lesser extent, McLaren and maybe Red Bull/Mercedes – don’t care about that. The benefits to be had by having a selected driver win the race far outweigh the negative publicity.

The teams claim that they want to "improve the show", but here’s the FIA giving them a licence to do something that will only detract from it. Because when you really think about it, Fernando Alonso was never faster than Felipe Massa in Germany. He claimed to be, but the lap times were pretty consistent, and Alonso never got past him.

Who decided that rather than let driver skill decide the outcome of the race, it would be better for them to change everything to suit themselves, not realising the damage they were doing to the sport? And then they expected us to accept it as a perfectly reasonable thing to do when we all know they’d be all over any other team that tried it?

And that’s why team orders need to be banned.
Prisoner Monkeys

From the forum

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On this day in F1

On this day in 2007 McLaren issued an apology to Ferrari over the spy scandal.

McLaren apologises over Ferrari spy scandal

(c) Bridgestone Corporation

47 comments on “Former F1 team boss Tom Walkinshaw dies”

  1. RIP Mr. Walkinshaw. My memories of him were tainted by the late Arrows days, but there’s no denying that overall he made a substantial contribution to the modern world of F1.

    1. I must admit when I first heard the news I wasn’t really very sympathetic at all. He’s got a pretty bad reputation, and I find it a bit hypocritical to act sad at the death of a person I didn’t much like alive.

      But- I can hardly dismiss his achievements, especially with Benetton, and there are of course plenty of people out there with more positive things to say about him to temper the bad stuff. So, respect from me

      1. I dont really know much about him I just know he ran Arrows. One of my all time favourite teams. A true underdog. RIP.

      2. I sort of agree that the arrows dealings were rather bad, but he did have a reputation before that of being tough but able to achieve great things. I guess that’s not very unique in F1, really. It’s sad to know he died after a long sickbed, he was around for much of my first decade of F1.

      3. How can you claim not to have liked him? When did you meet? The man is dead! Show some sympathy at least.

        “If you have nothing good to say, best say nothing at all”

        Rest in peace, Mr. Walkinshaw.

  2. Sad to hear of Tom Walkinshaw’s death. :( I can only remember him at Arrows as I wasn’t around for his involvement with Ligier and Benetton, but it is always sad when someone dies at a relatively young (64) age.

    On a brighter note, I was mentioned as the winner of Monza! :D My ‘race report’ post is here:

    1. Wow, self promotion or what?! Congratulations though, and nthat was a great move you put on me at the first chicane early in the race

      Oh, and for people who haven’t seen the Forum thread, I finished 5th. Sounds pretty good… so I won’t mention that I was lapped as well

      1. Haha! I was just having a joke! But yeah, given Magffrey’s pace I had better enjoy what will probably be my only win… :P

        1. special spot for the poleman? :0

          and very sad about Tom Walkinshaw.. he will be sadly missed in both the F1 and V8 paddock.

        2. If you combine both Rounds 1 & 2 together, Damon, we’ve both completed the full 35 laps just 0.6 seconds apart from each other. Somehow, we always seem to find each other on the track with 3 laps to go…

  3. Sad to hear about Tom Walkinshaw.

    No disrespect to Di Resta but Hulkenberg deserve that seat in Force India, may be in the end the person who will bring in more money will win,we all know who that be.

    Fairuz Fauzy left the team not sure why that happened? I wonder whether he will get a seat somewhere.

    1. I suppose Fairuz came with the Lotus Racing deal between Fernandez and Group Lotus, so he might be heading to a 3rd driver role or something with the Renault / Enstone squad.

      1. Fairuz has tended to be the slowest of all third drivers (compared to their regular team mates) that, if Group Lotus/Renault really want him I fear for their performance next year.

        They could, of course, do the Ferrari solution and have multiple official reserve drivers — but the Renault test seat has traditionally been one of the major leaping boards to race drives, and I’d hate to see that disappear.

  4. RIP Tom, you will be sadly missed in the Australian Motorsport fraternity.

  5. I can’t find anywhere else to post this, but the forums won’t load for me, they freeze at like 90% loaded D:

    1. Having the same problem myself

    2. Me too. It isn’t the first time, but since yesterday the forum won’t load. No matter how much time I leave it there, it won’t.

      1. Please help! I cant use the forums at all!!!!

        1. Am looking into it.

          1. I just noticed I can’t load the forum either. I get the top bar and the gray box and in the progress at the bottom of my browser it just keeps repeating waiting for and then waiting for in an infinite loop.

  6. I’ve never thought much of Joe Saward – I’ve variously referred to him as Joe’s Award for Hack Journalism in the past – but I did find a reasonable article today whilst procrastinating. I find it reasonable becaue it’s a logical step forward in the Lotus saga, and also because it’s not about travelling to and from a Grand Prix rather than the Grand Prix itself:

      1. Eh, I kind of skip over the links. Especially when I’m riding the endorphin high of Comment of the Day.

    1. I think some of his earlier thoughts on Lotus were also pretty interesting and showed some inside information landing with him.

      1. I agree – sometimes Joe Saward comes across as a bit of a sour old man, but he does have interesting views and insights on F1, including on the Lotus saga. He is firmly on the Fernandes side of the Lotus vs. Lotus struggle, but he is open and rather reasonable on the why of it.

    2. That Fernandes wants to build road cars makes perfect sense. Team Lotus Lion sounds a bit silly for a name. In the end I think that the public would end up calling them a Lotus regardless of the Lion thing.

      That I like because it’s a shot at Bahar and a bit of payback for whats currently happening.

      Thanks for the linky PM.

  7. So sad to hear the news about Tom Walkinshaw, he was truly revered in Oz for his role in the formation of the other (real) HRT, not to mention HSV.

  8. Condolences to Tom Walkinshaw’s family and friends.

    Needless to say, I agree completely with the COTD.

  9. HounslowBusGarage
    13th December 2010, 8:45

    Walkinshaw’s untimely passing brings back memories of he and Win Percy sharing a brutal Jaguar XJS V12 in the Eighties.
    Great memories, but a sad day.

  10. RIP Tom Walkinshaw, a racing legend

  11. Team Lotus to build cars? I foresee Group Lotus suing them because Team Lotus has never built cars and therefore it’s not allowed… :D

    1. They could just go and build cars the current Lotus owners would want (not too expensive, superb handling and lightweight) when Lotus cars are now going to build heavy and too expensive cars to be thrashed by the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Aston Martin, …. hell maybe even Marussia!.

      1. I suppose also that they won’t build cars called lotus, maybe Team Lotus, Doing new roadcars (TL,DnR)

      2. Well someone has to fill the gap in the market being left by Lotus stopping doing what they’re done so well all these years.

        Perhaps TF could invest in Caterham and start building a Caterham Elise…

  12. While I think many would agree with the sentiments of PM’s COTD, unfortunately there is no possible way to police such a ban.

    In an age where we want clarity in the sporting regs (and we all like a good moan about ithe lack of it), putting something in them that is unenforceable is not a good recipe for the creation of a ‘sport’ PM desires.

    F1 is about teams as much as it is individuals. If this detracts from the ‘show’ then personally I don’t really care.

  13. did the site just get ddos’d? or has it just been a little slow..

    1. All well here today.

  14. I will remember Walkinshaw best for the incredible 1988 LeMans Jaguar victory, bringing that mark back to LeMans in style, with those beautiful and dulcet V-12 cars, and finally breaking the seemingly perpetual stranglehold of those clattering Porsche 956/962s. Those three cars coming home to the flag with crowds of people crowding on the the track was one of the best ever motorsports wins.

  15. RIP Tom Walkinshaw.I was shocked to hear he died.He was one of F1s greater people.His days at Benetton were brilliant and his Arrows days were just a bit unlucky.My condolences to his family.

  16. Sad to hear of the passing of Tom Walkinshaw, great loss.
    Will always remember meeting him back in the 90’s, and having the privelage of looking around his magnificent car collection, not least the XJ220 prototype.Along side the best of the Le Mans winners. Was a day I’ll never forget. His part in F1 history will never be forgotten.
    Condolences to family at this time.

  17. Has anyone realised that Walkinshaw is mispelled in the title? Kieth has spelled it as Wakinshaw. RIP.

    1. And I guess misspelling ‘Keith’ is meant to be ironic? :P

    2. And also in the subtext to the Adam Cooper link.

      RIP TW.

  18. Very saddened to here about Tom Walkinshaws death. His 1980’s TWR prepared Jaguar XJS was a massive boyhood favourite of mine and so i always followed his career with interst. A bull of a man he perhaps got in to deep with Arrows but no one can doubt his overall success or impact on motorsport at all levels.

    Its just a shame you added prisoner monkeys illogical comment. I know its a personal hobbyhorse but 1 day you may realise you are wrong and the sport has done fine with team orders since 1951.

    F1 isnt football and it isnt boxing. Its a business, the teams business is to win races. We the public like drivers and that is our perogative but why should the teams do what the public say? The teams raced before sponsorship and most other forms of racing do without TV or anything in the way of crowds. Motor racing can and does exist without spectators so it is arrogance in the extreme to expect teams to do as we say because it doesnt match or subjective view of “fairness”

  19. Hi Guys,

    As a mark of respect to Tom Walkinshaws memory, think it might be better to spell his name correctly in the header to this piece, don’t you.



  20. Keith, the least you can do out of respect is spell the man’s name correctly

    1. Oh dear hadn’t realised I’d done that – thanks. Changed it now.

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