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The world of motorsport remains in deep mourning following the tragic IndyCar accident which has taken the life of Dan Wheldon. The Englishman, 33 years of age, is survived by wife Suzie and sons Sebastian and Oliver, two years old and seven months old, respectively, with whom he lived in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Wheldon claimed the IndyCar Series title in 2005 and was twice a winner of the legendary Indianapolis 500, both in his championship year and earlier in 2011.
Randy Bernard, IndyCar CEO
“IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today.”
Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi and 2011 Champion
“We lost a good friend. Everybody in IndyCar Series considered Dan a friend. He was one of those special, special people from the first moment he showed up in IndyCar and he was kind of the brash, but he was a charmer. Then he became this loving family guy who was still charming, but he had this whole new side to him.
"I'm just thinking of Susie and the boys. When I think about them I'm struggling to hold it together.”
Sam Schmidt, owner of Wheldon’s team
“Dan Wheldon was a tremendous competitor, a great racer and an even better person. It was an honour to have him be a part of our team. All of us at Sam Schmidt Motorsports are deeply saddened by his passing. Our prayers go out to all his family, especially his wife Susie and their two children.”
Nigel Mansell, 1993 CART Champion
“Just heard the dreadful news of Dan Wheldon. We send our thoughts and condolences to his family. A great young man with so much talent."
Jenson Button, McLaren Formula 1 driver and former karting rival of Wheldon
"Just woken up to the most horrific news. Dan Wheldon RIP. I have so many good memories of racing with Dan in the early 90s, a true fighter. We've lost a legend in our sport but also a great guy...I can't begin to imagine what his family are going through and my thoughts are with them at this very difficult time."
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Formula 1 driver
“This is an extremely sad day. Dan was a racer I'd followed throughout my career, as I often followed in his footsteps as we climbed the motorsport ladder in the UK. He was an extremely talented driver. As a British guy, who not only went over to the States but who twice won the Indy 500, he was an inspirational guy and someone that every racing driver looked up to with respect and admiration.
“This is a tragic loss at such a young age. My heart goes out to his family and friends during this extremely difficult time.”
Mark Webber, Red Bull Formula 1 driver
"Rest in Peace Dan. I remember our early days in the UK 95/96.. Miss ya.."
Rubens Barrichello, Williams Formula 1 driver
"Just got out from the plane and got the terrible news about the death of our friend Dan Wheldon. Will always remember the great times we had at karting in Brazil my friend. Rest in peace.”
Paul di Resta, Force India Formula 1 driver
"Very sad news that a great racer has died. Rest in peace Dan. Thoughts are with your family.”
Anthony Davidson, former karting rival of Wheldon
“Spent so many races trying to match Daniel as we grew up & raced together. I'm utterly devastated to hear the sad news. RIP Dan. X”
Derek Warwick, President of BRDC
"On behalf of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, I wish to extend my sincere sympathies to Dan’s wife Susie and their boys Sebastian and Oliver, as well as the rest of his family and his team following the tragic news of his death.
"Dan was a true professional and a great ambassador for the sport. He was highly focused in the way he approached his racing and a real perfectionist. He pushed himself, and those he worked with, hard to produce results that were worthy of his talents and that fed his insatiable hunger to win. With his film-star good looks and athletic prowess, it was no wonder that the American public took him to their hearts.
"Dan Wheldon was a great ambassador for the BRDC and motor sport generally. He will be hugely missed."
Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of MSA
"Dan was considered one of the finest British racing drivers of his generation, thanks to his 2005 IndyCar Series title and his pair of Indy 500 victories. On behalf of the British motorsport community I would like to send my sincere condolences to Dan’s family, friends and legions of fans at this difficult time.”
Chip Ganassi, team owner
“What can you say? He was such a big presence in our sport and quite a talent. Today we lost a little bit of IndyCar. He raced here for us for three years, won six races and made many friends – the whole Chip Ganassi Racing organisation mourns his passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to Susie, the boys and the whole Wheldon family.”
Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi
“Dan is family and I will miss him badly. Such an amazing person and wonderful family man. We will be with Susie, Sebastian and Oliver for whatever they need. I still can't believe it.”
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske
“It's so hard to speak these days. Dan was a nice guy, my God! A guy like that we feel satisfaction in knowing. He had a son at the age of Mikaella and another baby at a few months. So we are all devastated, with a heavy heart. It's a huge loss. Let us pray that his soul is received with all the glories of the Kingdom of God and sustain his family.”
Tony Kanaan, KV Racing and Sunday’s pole-sitter
“No words to describe the pain. See you on the other side my dear friend. You will be missed.”
Danica Patrick, Andretti Autosport
“There are no words for today. Myself and so many others are devastated. I pray for Suzie and the kids that God will give them strength.”
Graham Rahal, Target Chip Ganassi
“My heart goes out to the Wheldon family. Dan was an incredible Champion, a great friend and someone I will always respect and admire. We have truly lost one of the greatest members of our IndyCar family.”
Mike Conway, Andretti Autosport
“I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Dan’s family who are in my thoughts on this sad day. Having raced against Dan for many years, I respected him greatly as a driver as well as a friend and today’s tragic accident is a huge loss to motorsport.”
Oriol Servia, Newman/Haas Racing
“This is incredibly sad. I feel so bad for Susie and their kids. It’s so tough to understand when somebody is gone that quickly. Dan was always a very happy guy; he was always smiling. He was a funny, great person that touched a lot of people. He will be missed.”
Charlie Kimball, Target Chip Ganassi
“We lost a special member of our IndyCar family. Dan was doing exactly what he wanted and died doing what he loved. Our thoughts are with his wife, Susie, and his two children. There are much bigger plans in life than we can ever hope to understand. Dan will be forever missed.”
James Hinchcliffe, Newman/Haas Racing
“It’s a black day for the sport. We came in here hoping for a good season-finale and ended up losing a very close friend and a very good racing driver. I think Dan was coming into his second wind as a driver. He had so much success early on and he was getting back into that. It’s going to be hard next year to climb into the new cars every time knowing that, if it wasn’t for Dan, this thing wouldn’t be what it was. He made such an impact on this sport and will even continue to now.
“We’re going to have to regroup over the winter and head into the first race next year and race the whole year for Dan because all I said, the new car that we all are going to be blessed with the opportunity to race - a lot of that is as good as it is because of Dan. My thoughts are with Susie and the kids.”
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