Tributes pour in for Gil de Ferran

Edwin  - CEO December 30, 2023
Updated 2023/12/30 at 11:19 AM
4 Min Read
Gil de Ferran at Indycar Indy 500
Gil de Ferran at Indycar Indy 500

After former McLaren F1 chief dies while racing with son


Gil de Ferran


Gil de Ferran was racing with his beloved son, Luke, at the Concourse Club in Opa-Locka, Florida on Friday when the 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner died at age of 56, Nathan Ridley reports for the UK Mirror.


Former McLaren sporting director and Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran has died after suffering a heart attack on Friday while racing with his son.


De Ferran, who was 56, and son Luke were racing on a private course at the Concourse Club in Opa-Locka, Florida before the 2003 winner of the Indianapolis 500 began to feel unwell. 2013 champion Tony Kanaan later confirmed that De Ferran had suffered a heart attack and couldn’t be revived.


Survived by wife Angela and their two children, Anna and Luke, the French-Brazilian former driver was McLaren’s sporting director from July 2018 to early 2021, returning to the team earlier this year in a consultant advisory role as part of their restructuring process.


McLaren CEO Zak Brown posted on social media platform X: “I am shocked and devastated to hear of the loss of our great friend and team-mate.


“I’ve raced with Gil all over the world and watched him win some of the biggest races. He’s been a great friend for over 20 years and will be greatly missed and never forgotten. My deepest condolences to his family. RIP Gil. The next win is for you! Godspeed.”


Roger Penske, the owner of Team Penske, which Paris-born De Ferran raced for and won the Indy 500 with 20 years ago, issued a heartfelt statement to also pay tribute. “We are terribly saddened to hear about the tragic loss of Gil de Ferran,” he began. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Angela, Anna, Luke, and the entire de Ferran family.


“Gil defined class as a driver and a gentleman. As an IndyCar Champion and an Indianapolis 500 winner, Gil accomplished so much during his career. He was beloved by so many and he was a great friend to the Team Penske family and to the entire international motorsports community. It’s a tragic loss and he will be deeply missed.”


Brazilian compatriot Kanaan told The Associated Press that he was “devastated” after learning of the sad news. “He was one of my best friends and we grew up together and lately and we worked together at McLaren,” the 48-year-old said.


“In the beginning of this year, he was a mentor, helping me out. I lost a dear friend. I am devastated. I have to say, he went in Gil style, driving a race car. If I could choose a way to go, that’s what I could do.”


Kanaan added on Instagram: “Champion, friend, rival, mentor at the track and outside of it. I have no words to describe this loss. May you rest in peace my friend.”


Current Indy Car driver Marco Andretti also paid tribute by saying: “My friend. One of the real ones. One of the reasons for my F1 tests. Loved your passion and love for our sport, Thank you for what you contributed to my life.”


Please follow and like us:
Share this Article
Leave a comment