Formula One commentary legend Murray Walker has died aged 97, the British Racing Drivers' Club confirmed on Saturday.
Walker was the lead commentator on British TV for over two decades, working for the BBC between 1976 and 1996 and ITV between 1996 and 2001.
Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton was one of many from the world of motor racing to post a tributes on Saturday evening.
"So sad to hear of Murray's passing," Hamilton wrote on Instagram. "I remember growing up hearing your voice over the races.
"You made the sport so much more exciting and captivating. The iconic voice of our sport and a great man, thank you for all you did, you will never be forgotten. Rest in peace."
In more than 40 years of commentating on motorsport, Murray Walker became synonymous with Formula One, not only in his homeland but also across many countries which took the BBC broadcasts. His style was unique, famed for its enthusiasm, as well as often amusing mistakes which have gone into folklore.
Some of his more famous quotes were:
"I imagine the conditions in those cars today are totally unimaginable."
"There's nothing wrong with the car except it's on fire".
"Anything can happen in Formula One, and it usually does"
"The lead car is unique, except for the one behind it, which is identical."
Talking about this famous habit, Walker himself joked: "I don't make mistakes. I make prophecies which immediately turn out to be wrong."
A tank commander in the Second World War who fought at the Battle of the Reichswald in 1945, he made his commentating debut in 1948, but it was not until the mid 1970s that Formula One races were broadcast live on British TV and he only went full-time in 1978. Until then he combined his media work with a job in advertising, something he remained doing until the early 1980s.
In 1997 when the BBC lost F1 rights to ITV it was expected Walker, by then 73, would retire but instead he switched to ITV and continued. He finally retired after the 2001 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis but continued to make occasionally appearances behind the microphone.
Formula One released a statement saying: "We are immensely sad to hear that Murray Walker has passed away
"His passion and love of the sport inspired millions of fans around the world
"He will forever be a part of our history, and will be dearly missed"
We are all very sad to hear that Murray Walker, the voice of motorsport, passed away earlier today. pic.twitter.com/QJSlILyyP4— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) March 13, 2021
Like millions of F1 fans, all of us at McLaren are deeply saddened by the news that Murray Walker has passed away.— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 13, 2021
He brought our sport to generations by sharing his passion and knowledge with humour and humility. Our thoughts are with all who had the fortune to know him. pic.twitter.com/0NBS1KWxpE
Tonight we pay tribute to the voice of F1, the legendary Murray Walker, who brought joy to so many of us.— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) March 13, 2021
Rest in peace, Murray. May you once again tussle for the mic with James Hunt. May your Murrayisms entertain all for ever more. pic.twitter.com/FjKyuOALV1
Rest in Peace Murray Walker. Wonderful man in every respect. National treasure, communication genius, Formula One legend.— Martin Brundle 💙 (@MBrundleF1) March 13, 2021
We are immensely sad to hear that Murray Walker has passed away— Formula 1 (@F1) March 13, 2021
His passion and love of the sport inspired millions of fans around the world
He will forever be a part of our history, and will be dearly missed pic.twitter.com/cMwLjjqxAj
The voice of F1 and a true legend of our sport. His legacy will forever live on. Rest in peace, Murray. https://t.co/3fNedRQHLs— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) March 13, 2021
Sad news indeed. RIPMurray https://t.co/3DJabAhBvv— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) March 13, 2021