Fernando Alonso has described news of Adrian Campos’ death as “one of the saddest days for the motorsports family”.
Campos, 60, was a Minardi driver in 1987-88 but better known as a team manager and owner.
He entered his own self-named constructor into Formula 1 for the 2010 season but before the campaign got under way, the Campos Meta team was taken over by Hispania Racing and became HRT.
Campos was also a mentor to Alonso in his fellow Spaniard’s early days as a driver, resulting in the two-time former World Champion’s victory in the 1999 Euro Open by Nissan series.
“[It’s] one of the saddest days for the motorsports family,” Alonso tweeted.
“[He was a] driver and great promoter of this sport. Thank you for dreaming about Formula 1. Thank you for believing in young people.”
Uno de los días más tristes para la familia del automovilismo . Piloto y gran impulsor de este deporte. Gracias por soñar con la Fórmula 1. Gracias por creer en los jóvenes. Gracias y descansa en Paz 🙏 pic.twitter.com/khqWuQuarQ
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) January 28, 2021
Alonso’s compatriot Carlos Sainz tweeted: “Very sad day for the death of Adrián Campos, undoubtedly a reference of our sport in Spain and internationally. My sincere condolences to all his family and friends.”
Karun Chandhok raced for the HRT team in 2010. Now a Sky F1 presenter, Chandhok tweeted: “Very sad to wake up to news that Adrian Campos has passed away.
“I did my first GP2 test with him at the end of 2006 and remained friends ever since. A true racer who always enjoyed a chat about all things motorsport and a lovely man. Deep condolences to Campos Racing and his family.”
Pedro de la Rosa’s last season of F1 racing was in 2012 for HRT.
He tweeted: “The first F1 race I attended was to see him, Paul Ricard 1987. I’m sorry I never told you. Thank you Adrian for being that reference and motivation to follow our dreams. DEP.”
La primera carrera de F1 a la que asistí fue para verle, Paul Ricard 1987. Siento no habérselo dicho nunca. Gracias Adrián por ser esa referencia y motivación por seguir nuestros sueños. DEP. pic.twitter.com/U7hDn3tCeP
— Pedro de la Rosa (@PedrodelaRosa1) January 28, 2021
Campos Racing compete in Formula 2 and one of their drivers for 2019 and 2020 was Jack Aitken, who deputised for George Russell at Williams in last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix after Sir Lewis Hamilton had been sidelined by a positive COVID-19 test.
Aitken tweeted: “Adrian, RIP. You were so kind, true to your word, competitive, mischievous, wise.
“You always knew exactly what to say to me because at heart you were still a driver. And you created a family at Campos full of brilliant, talented people who will miss you dearly. I will too.”