Formula 1 commentary icon Murray Walker dies aged 97

Legendary Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker has died at the age of 97.

Formula 1 commentary icon Murray Walker dies aged 97
Listen to this article

Walker served as the lead commentator for F1 coverage in Great Britain from 1976 until 2001, becoming an icon within both motorsport and wider sports broadcasting.

In a statement issued by the British Racing Drivers' Club on Saturday evening, it was announced that Walker had died at the age of 97.

"It is with great sadness we share the news of the passing of BRDC Associate member Murray Walker OBE," the statement reads.

"A friend, a true motorsport legend, the nation's favourite commentator and a contagious smile. Murray will be sadly missed, his mark and voice will live on in motorsport and our hearts forever.

"We thank Murray for all he has done for our community. Sending our love and thoughts to Murray's family and friends in this difficult time.

"RIP our friend."

Walker began his commentary career in 1948 after serving in the Second World War, and initially focused on motorcycle racing before working on F1 in the 1970s.

Walker became the permanent lead commentator for the BBC's F1 coverage from 1976, and continued with the broadcaster until the TV rights switched to ITV for the 1997 season.

Following the switch, Walker continued to lead the commentary before his final full-time race commentary at the 2001 United States Grand Prix. He received a BAFTA Special Award for Contribution to Television in 2002.

"Rest in Peace Murray Walker," tweeted Martin Brundle, who served as Walker's co-commentator from 1997 until his retirement.

"Wonderful man in every respect. National treasure, communication genius, Formula 1 legend."

"It is with great sadness that I have to inform Silverstone's fans that Murray Walker died earlier today," said Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle in a statement.

"He was to so many of us fans of F1, the voice that epitomised the sport we love. Knowledgeable beyond words and with a passion that occasionally got the better of him in commentary, he brought the sport and some of its greatest moments to life in a way that ensured they remained seared in our memories for ever.

"Much will be written about the impact that Murray had on the sport and we will make a more fulsome tribute in due course, but for the time being rest in peace Murray and thank you."

Formula 1 said in a statement that the series was “immensely sad to hear that Murray Walker has passed away”.

The statement added: “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.”

"Motorsport UK are saddened to hear the news of the passing of Murray Walker," read a statement from the UK's motorsport governing body.

"From the beginning of his journey, commentating at Shelsley Walsh to becoming the voice of Formula 1, Murray entertained generations of motorsport fans. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

 

shares
comments
Ricciardo: Cooler runs key to figuring out McLaren potential
Previous article

Ricciardo: Cooler runs key to figuring out McLaren potential

Next article

The magic moments that made Murray Walker an F1 legend

The magic moments that made Murray Walker an F1 legend
The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Kevin Magnussen to deliver Prime

The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Kevin Magnussen to deliver

The unrelenting grasp of the tax man prompts most racing drivers to move to the likes of Monaco, Switzerland or Dubai. But, as Oleg Karpov found out, Kevin Magnussen is quite happy where he is, thank you very much – at home, with his family, in Denmark

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in Prime

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in

OPINION: Sergio Perez’s Singapore triumph arrested a big decline in his Formula 1 performances against Max Verstappen at Red Bull since his Monaco win. He now needs to maintain his form to the season’s end, while others are also seeking a change in fortunes.

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Prime

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Formula 1
Oct 4, 2022
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in Singapore Prime

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in Singapore

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Prime

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Prime

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Prime

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022