WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Delfi Rally Estonia
Estonia
Starts: Friday, July 5, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Sweden
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Fri 14 Apr 2023

Tributes flow in for WRC star Breen

Leading figures in the motorsport community have been paying their respects to Craig Breen, who sadly lost his life earlier this week.

Breen, 33, was well-known for his infectious enthusiasm and quick wit which won the hearts of fans across the globe. He began his second stint with Hyundai Motorsport earlier this year and had amassed an impressive nine podiums over 82 WRC starts.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the FIA, expressed his condolences, saying: "On behalf of the FIA, I extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of Craig Breen following his passing during a private testing accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and the Rally community at this difficult time."

Hyundai team-mate and close friend Thierry Neuville also shared a heartfelt message on social media, saying: "Today I’ve lost a team-mate but more than anything, I’ve lost a friend. Craig, your passion for rallying was immeasurable, your joy behind the steering wheel was beyond any of ours, your emotional stage end comments were in a league of their own. All this will stay deep in my memories. I will miss you! Rest easy my friend."

Kris Meeke, who drove alongside Breen during his early years with Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, shared his memories, saying: "Craig, this morning you woke up the happiest man alive, living your dream. My lasting memory of you won't be as a top-class rally driver, but as the guy who took time with my kids and made them laugh more than I could. You were a larger-than-life character and battled your way to the top with pure passion. Can't believe it. Keep 'er lit up there... You will be sorely missed."

Breen's passing was reported in leading media outlets across the globe with Formula 1, Formula E and MotoGP among the championships to send condolences to his family and friends. A number of Formula 1 teams, including Alpine and Mercedes also shared messages.

Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas said: "Shocking news. RIP Craig Breen," while Reigning Formula E champion Stoffel Vandoorne tweeted: "Incredibly sad news. RIP.”

More tributes from across the world:

Malcolm Wilson:
“I am totally, totally devastated by this news. I have known the Breen family for a long time and just cannot believe that Craig has passed away. My thoughts are with Ray, Jackie and Craig’s sister. He was an incredibly talented driver, but moreover he had an infectious enthusiasm for every element of rallying with an unrivalled encyclopaedic knowledge of the sport. It was his glowing passion for the sport that helped to ignite the interest of fans around the world. It’s such heart-breaking news.”

Kalle Rovanperä:
"Rest in peace Craig. My thoughts are tonight with your family and friends."

Alex Albon:
“Such a sad day. Rest in peace Craig, you were an extremely talented driver and an even better person.”

Jim Farley:
“Craig Breen was a champion on and off the track. An incredible racer and great ambassador for rallying. I had the honour of riding shotgun with Craig at M-Sport last year, so got to experience his talent first-hand. I'll always treasure that memory. Our hearts at Ford are with his family & friends.”

Esteban Ocon:
A very sad day. My thoughts are with Craig’s family and friends. RIP.”

Gus Greensmith:
"Never did I think I’d be saying goodbye to you my friend. Thank you for every kind word, thank you for every piece of advice, and thank you for being my friend. I’ll miss you Craig, we all will."

Jost Capito:
What a sad day for motorsport. We lost a great sportsman but more than that we lost a fantastic person with enormous empathy and great character. I still can't believe you are not with us anymore. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and your friends. Your charisma will live on and we will miss you so much and you will always be remembered. RIP Craig, Jost.”

Sébastien Ogier:
"I’m lost for words... Everyone loved Craig for his great Irish character and his enthusiasm for our sport. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this very sad time. RIP Craig, we will miss you."

Yves Matton:
"Shocked beyond belief after this devastating news. A great sorrow for all of us. I will never forget Craig’s joy behind the steering wheel, the same we all witnessed at stage finishes, nor the passion for rallying his dad passed on to him from his earliest childhood."

Scuderia Ferrari:
“We at Ferrari send our deepest condolences to Craig Breen’s family, friends and team-mates after this heart-breaking news.”

Kajetan Kajetanowicz:
"It was incredible to fight side by side with you. You will always be smiling to me. Rest in peace Craig."

Esapekka Lappi:
"Rest in peace Craig. I always remember your smile, friendliness and passion. My thoughts and condolences are with everyone going through difficult times right now."

Alpine F1 Team
Alpine's thoughts are with Hyundai and the family and friends of Craig Breen at this sad time.”

Teemu Suninen:
"My most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Craig Breen, our team-mate who lost his life today. Heart-breaking news."

Jari-Matti Latvala:
"We are shocked and saddened by the loss of Craig Breen. We would like to offer our deepest condolences to his family and to all at Hyundai Motorsport, on behalf of everybody at TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team."

Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team:
"We join the motorsport community in mourning the loss of Craig Breen, and send our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, team-mates and fans across the world."

Richard Millener:
“It’s impossible to put into words my feelings about the news today. What I do know is that Craig was an incredible person, so passionate about rallying and everything he did for the sport, both on and off the stages. Today we lost somebody who will forever be a cherished character and someone who only lived for the sport that we will all continue to love. I have so many personal memories with Craig, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. But today, right now, my thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in peace my friend.”

Peugeot Sport:
It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Craig Breen. The whole Peugeot Sport family would like to share our deepest condolences with his family, friends, fans and the Hyundai Motorsport Team.”

Maciej Woda:
“I had a very good relationship with Craig, it started in the WRC Academy and into ERC where we competed against each other for the title. I was always happy to see him on the podium and would congratulate him regardless of the car he was driving. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

Elfyn Evans:
"So very hard to believe the sad news today. Craig’s passion, enthusiasm and love for the sport was unmatched and he will be sorely missed by many people. Thoughts are with Craig’s family and friends."

Sébastien Loeb:
"Life and this sport can be cruel sometimes. That is the case today. For your loved ones and for the family of WRC and motorsport. Rest in peace Craig."

Hayden Paddon:
"Can’t believe it! This just isn’t right - you were a legend of a human being and a driver. The sport is poorer without you. RIP Craig and my wishes are with all your family at this devastating time."

Nicky Grist:
“Deeply saddened at the tragic passing of Craig Breen in a rally test earlier today. Such a talented driver on the verge of reaching his winning potential. RIP Craig you will be missed by the whole rallying community. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

Dani Sordo:
"It's impossible to get you out of my head, friend! How cruel and hard life is! What a stupid way you left us. Yesterday was very hard watching mechanics cover your car from Croatia, it was all set and ready... With your names in the window... You know you are loved dearly and we will always remember you with that smile and talking about cars and rallies. You knew it all because I don't think I've ever met anyone with so much passion for driving rally cars. Rest in peace, Craig."

Citroën Racing:
“We have lost a member of the Citroën Racing family. Rest in peace Craig Breen. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, fans and the Hyundai Motorsport Team.”

Adrien Fourmaux:
"Craig, in 2022 I met you as a team-mate. A year spent together we became friends. I will never forget the little words of encouragement you gave me, the passion that guided you in what you were doing but also your vision in life. A few days ago you proposed to me to meet you in Dublin. Sad I couldn’t share these moments one last time. My thoughts are with all your family and loved ones today. RIP Craig."

Josh McErlean:
"Up until the very last moments you were passing on advice. Irish motorsport has lost the best, you have been, and always will be a true hero, a man that every young driver aspires to be. So grateful to spend the past few days with you, days that I’ll never ever forget! Fly high up there sir!"