June 15, 2024

Wilson Fittipaldi Jr passed away following a choking incident during his Christmas dinner that led to hospitalization. The former Formula 1 driver and team owner, aged 80, choked on food during the holiday celebration, resulting in a cardiac arrest and subsequent hospital treatment. Despite initial resuscitation efforts, he succumbed to complications from the incident.

Fabiana Ecclestone, vice-president of motorsport for FIA South America, expressed profound sadness at Fittipaldi’s passing, highlighting his significant contributions to the automotive and racing community. His role in establishing Brazil as a notable presence in international racing was particularly noted. Condolences poured in from various quarters, extending sympathy to his family, friends, and supporters.

Fittipaldi’s F1 career spanned from 1972 to 1975, during which he founded the Fittipaldi-Copersucar team, the only Brazilian outfit in F1 at the time. Notable achievements included finishing fifth in the German Grand Prix and sixth in the Argentinian Grand Prix while racing for Brabham in 1973. Born on Christmas Day in 1943, Fittipaldi followed his father’s footsteps into motorsport, joining his younger brother Emerson, who had already made his mark in F1 with Lotus in 1969.

Former F1 driver Wilson Fittipaldi Jr, 80, rushed to hospital with cardiac  arrest after 'choking on piece of meat' | The Sun

In his early European racing days, Fittipaldi competed against renowned drivers like James Hunt and Niki Lauda in Formula 3. Although his F1 debut with Team Lotus in the non-championship Argentinian GP ended prematurely, he left a lasting impression on the motorsport community.

Following the confirmation of Fittipaldi’s passing, tributes flooded in, with the racing world mourning the loss of a significant figure. His contributions were acknowledged, with one F1 source describing it as “sad, sad news,” and fans honoring him as “one of the great names in our sport.”

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