In the duration of the Italian Grand Prix Friday practices at Monza, several drivers were spotted sporting tribute stickers to the recently deceased Justin Wilson, who passed away last week, at the age of 37.
Wilson suffered a fatal head injury whilst driving the IndyCar ABC Supply 500 situated at Pocono Raceway on the 23rd August, after he was hit by debris, a remainder of another crash.
Across IndyCar and F1, there is great mourning and sadness, as Wilson had made such an impact in both types of motorsport.
Current McLaren driver Jenson Button commented “The motorsport world comes to a standstill once again. Justin Wilson was a great person and racing driver. My thoughts are with his family. I raced with Justin as far back as 1989 in karting and remember his smile was infectious, such a lovely guy.”
Sky Sport F1’s Martin Brundle added “Well said Jenson. Very sad news about Justin. It’s a cruel yet beautiful profession but so tough for family and friends.”
Wilson joined the sport of Formula 1 in 2003, when he had a car specially modified to fit his tall (6ft 4in.) frame. The car did not perform as well as hoped, but Wilson performed well against his team-mate, Jos Verstappen. Wilson switched to Jaguar Racing for the final five races of the season, scoring his first championship point at United States Grand Prix. However, Wilson was unable to retain his position at Jaguar, because Ford was unable to provide unlimited funds into the sport, and wanted the team to provide a paying driver. Jaguar test driver for November 2003, Christian Klien, was sponsored by drinks company Red Bull, so he was able to bring up sponsorship, therefore claiming his seat with Jaguar for 2004.
During FP1 and FP2 on Friday, several drivers were seen wearing tribute stickers on their helmets and cars, as pictured below: