Gil de Ferran: Former Indianapolis 500 winner and McLaren sporting director dies aged 56

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The team said in a statement: “Everyone at McLaren Racing is shocked and deeply saddened to learn we have lost a beloved member of our McLaren family.

“Gil was an important and integral part of our Racing team. He was a formidable force on and off track and made a lasting impact on everyone racing and working alongside him.”

During his time as sporting director, De Ferran played an instrumental role in returning McLaren from the lowest point of their history in 2018 to finishing third in the constructors’ championship in 2020.

The French-born Brazilian driver won the Indy500 in 2003, having previously won the 2000 and 2001 Champ Car World Series driving for Team Penske.

In 1992, he won the British Formula Three championship.

Fellow Brazilian and former F1 driver Felipe Massa said: “What sad news today. We lost a brother! Wonderful person and a legend in our motorsport world. Go in peace Gil.”

CBA president Giovanni Guerra said: “On behalf of myself and the entire CBA family, we pray to God to receive our brother with all glory and to support his family, friends and millions of fans around the world.”

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Gil de Ferran: Former Indianapolis 500 winner and McLaren sporting director dies aged 56

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