ANOTHER SAD DAY: The motorsport world mourns another death. Former F1 and Indycar racer Justin Wilson's death has raised safety concerns again. Image: Twitter
LONDON, Aug 25 - The Formula 1 community awoke with heavy hearts on Tuesday after British racer Justin Wilson, a friend to many in motorsport, died due to head injuries suffered in an IndyCar race in the United States.
The 37-year-old, who raced in F1 for Minardi and Jaguar in 2003, died in hospital after being hit by debris and crashing in the closing laps at Pocono Raceway oval in Pennsylvania.
F1 drivers and teams, former colleagues and rivals, remembered Wilson as a smiling giant out of the car and determined competitor in it.
'HIS SMILE WAS INFECTIOUS'
"The motorsport world comes 2 a standstill once again," said Jenson Button on Twitter, who attended the funeral of French F1 driver Jules Bianchi in July 2015 said of his compatriot on Twitter.
Button said: "I raced with Justin as far back as 1989 in karting and remember his smile was infectious, such a lovely guy."
READ: IndyCar driver Justin Wilson dies
The sentiment was echoed by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, a pallbearer at Bianchi's funeral.
Grosjean said: "So sad to hear that Justin Wilson passed away. What dreadful news and what a dramatic year for racing. Losing too many champions."
Button's double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso, who like Wilson started his F1 career at Minardi, expressed his condolences.
He said: "So sad, difficult to accept."
'A VERY GOOD MAN LEFT US'
Mark Webber, who was Wilson's team mate at Jaguar, said: "Last night a very good man left us. Mate. So sorry. RIP Justin. My thoughts are with your loved ones."
READ: US motorsport deaths through the years
Red Bull principal Christian Horner, whose team was previously Jaguar, spoke of the sadness of all at the Milton Keynes factory.
He said in a statement: "Justin left his mark on many who worked with him during the Jaguar days, he is remembered fondly for the kind and humble person he was."
"Having known Justin since his karting days on the British circuits, it was always obvious to me that he was destined for great things in motorsport.
"His progress through the lower formulas was impressive and he absolutely flourished in F3000...I followed his successful career with interest over the years.
Horner said: "Justin will be remembered not only as a talented driver but also as quite simply one of the nicest blokes in motorsport."
F1 champions Mercedes remembered "a great driver and an even greater man...a true racer and a winner, flat out to the flag."