The FIA is saddened to hear of the passing of Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker.
The British television personality, who was 97, was regarded in his home country as ‘the voice of Formula 1’ and first commentated on a Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1949. He was the lead commentator on British TV for 25 years, working for the BBC between 1976 and 1996 and ITV between 1996 and 2001. Walker retired from full-time commentary after the 2001 US Grand Prix but continued to work in F1 and in motor sport right up until his final years.
His death was confirmed by the British Racing Drivers' Club, which in a statement said: "It is with great sadness we share the news of the passing of BRDC Associate member Murray Walker OBE. A friend, a true motor sport legend, the nation's favourite commentator and a contagious smile. Murray will be sadly missed, his mark and voice will live on in motorsport and our hearts forever.”
Paying tribute to Murray, FIA President Jean Todt said: “I am very sad to learn that Murray Walker has passed away. Formula 1 commentator for over 25 years for the BBC and ITV, most notably alongside James Hunt, he was the voice of Formula 1. All the FIA Family pays tribute to him. My thoughts are with him and his loved ones.”
Formula 1 also issued a statement saying the series was “immensely sad to hear that Murray Walker has passed away. [Walker’s] passion and love of the sport inspired millions of fans around the world. He will forever be a part of our history, and will be dearly missed.”
Tributes to the late commentator came from across Formula 1, including from all 10 current F1 teams, as well as from current and former F1 drivers such as 1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill, 1998-'99 champion Mika Häkkinen, George Russell, Sergio Pérez, Alex Albon, Paul Di Resta, Karun Chandhok and Jack Aitken.