JOHN WALTON 8 April 1957 -- 9 July 2004 John Walton, Minardi's Sporting Director, passed away peacefully at 23.18 on Friday night (9 July) at St. Thomas' Hospital, London, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. Walton, known to ...
8 April 1957 -- 9 July 2004
John Walton, Minardi's Sporting Director, passed away peacefully at 23.18 on Friday night (9 July) at St. Thomas' Hospital, London, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week.
Walton, known to everyone in the paddock as "John Boy" had devoted his entire life to motor racing and much of his time was spent working with Eddie Jordan. He was a key figure in this team's history.
"John was like one of the family and indeed he was part of the family for a while, living with us back in the early days," recalled Eddie Jordan. "I well remember in '82 travelling Europe for the F3 championship, with me, Marie, my baby daughter Zoe and John all sharing a tiny caravan."
"He started Eddie Jordan Racing with me in '81 and along with Gary Anderson, Bosco Quinn and myself, he made up the Irish contingent that set up the F1 team in 1990. John lived life to the full, he was meticulous in his work, a great professional, a motivating force and always calm under pressure."
"I can safely say I know John and the last thing he would want is us moping around. But that doesn't stop me and everyone in this team who worked with him from having feelings of great sadness and great loss."
Walton began helping Eddie Jordan in their native Ireland in Formula Ford and Formula Atlantic and was one of the cornerstones of Eddie Jordan Racing. He then briefly moved to the Toleman team, becoming chief mechanic when it changed names to Benetton.
At the end of 1990, Walton returned to Jordan, as chief mechanic in the newly created F1 team and was promoted to team manager in 1993. Three years later, he felt it was time for a change and moved to Arrows. When this team ran into difficulties, he joined Prost for a new venture as Sporting Director and he had been in the same role with with Minardi since 2002.
Jordan added, "John is one of the world's top guys and everybody in the team, and in the whole of F1, already misses him very much."