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Tom Walkinshaw Passes Away

Tom Walkinshaw Passes Away - Controversial former F1 team boss Tom Walkinshaw has succumbed to his ongoing battle with cancer, passing away over the weekend at the age of 64.

The burly Scot, who headed up the Benetton, Ligier and Arrows teams during his tenure in the top flight, often found himself in the headlines, but also found himself handling some of the biggest names in the sport, including world champions Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill.

Having made his name in sportscars, both as a driver and, later, as head of the eponymous Tom Walkinshaw Racing outfit that took Jaguar to success at Le Mans, he was seconded to the ambitious Benetton team, initially as director of engineering, in 1990. As well as Schumacher, whom he prised out of his deal with Jordan after an impressive debut at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, Walkinshaw was also credited with introducing Ross Brawn to F1, having used the Englishman's design talents at TWR.

Tom Walkinshaw Passes Away

Although success followed with the 'dream team' at Benetton, culminating in Schumacher's maiden world title in 1994, Walkinshaw left for Ligier amid a rules row over the supposed use of a then-banned traction control system on the B194. Although the FIA later ruled that Benetton's 'launch control' system went 'unused', rivals believed otherwise, casting a shadow over both the title and Walkinshaw's role, which would later be called into question by the revelation that a crucial filter was missing from Jos Verstappen's refuelling equipment, potentially speeding the rate at which the cars could be topped up at pit-stops.

The missing element only came to light after the pit-lane conflagration that made headlines around the world..... Again, however, the team went unpunished, although it was fined heavily for Schumacher ignoring black flags at Silverstone and also for refusing to release computer codes, thought related to the traction control enquiry, after the tragic Imola weekend. The championship, perhaps fittingly, was clinched with the controversial Adelaide clash between Schumacher and Hill.

Tom Walkinshaw Passes Away

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