Tributes have flowed in respect to the 60-year-old former Minardi F1 driver turned team boss, who helped nurture several talents, including two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso.
Campos was an accomplished racer rising up through the junior single-seater categories before joining the Minardi in 1987. He made 17 grand prix starts before moving into sportscars and touring cars racing, winning the Spanish Touring car Championship for Alfa Romeo in 1994.
The Spaniard also made his mark as a team owner with his eponymous squad initially in the Open by Nissan series before stints in GP2 and now Formula 2 and Formula 3.
Campos also flirted with F1 team ownership through his own operation before financial difficulties saw the birth of the now defunct Hispania Racing Team.
Social media has been awash with tributes with Formula 2 and Formula 3 CEO Bruno Michel offering a touching recollection of the man he calls a ‘dear friend’.
“Today, we have lost a dear friend. Formula 2 and Formula 3 without Adrian Campos will never be the same,” read a statement from Michel.
“Just a few days ago, we were talking on the phone, discussing the season ahead… I am devastated by his sudden passing.
“I first met Adrian when we worked together on Fernando Alonso’s management. We became fast friends.
“He was present from the very beginning of the GP2 Series, eager to be one of the top teams, if not the best team on the grid. He even tested the car along with Damon Hill and Jacques Lafitte for a PR day, and he was the happiest man that day. You could tell he enjoyed every second of it.
“I am certain that everyone will rightly talk about his fighting spirit, his passion for racing, for drivers, and for everything that makes motorsport. That’s what he brought to our paddock and to our grids. He was easy to talk to, always happy to start up a conversation to share his views and opinions.
“People would go to him to discuss and ask about his thoughts. He would come to my office to let me know about the latest, most often starting with “in my humble opinion…”
“He was always trying to make our championships better, stronger, and I was always happy to listen to his suggestions.
“Adrian was very loyal to us, to his friends and to his team members. He was running a family business, putting stress on the word “family.”
Three years into GP2, Campos Racing rose to third in the standings before clinching the title in 2008.
“An impressive number of drivers can thank Adrian for helping them in their career, and he guided many of them all the way to Formula 1.
“Motorsport has lost a key member and one of its most dedicated supporters. The outpouring of sympathy since the news of his passing is proof of how greatly he was well-regarded.
“We will dearly miss seeing him sitting on the pitwall, feverishly watching the screens. We will miss his boyish smile and his sense of humour. It truly feels like we have lost a member of our family today.
“Our deepest condolences go to his family, his friends, and his team. I know the latter will have at heart to make Adrian proud and keep his tremendous legacy alive.”
Drivers and teams from F1, including AlphaTauri – formally Minardi, F2 and F3 have also paid tribute to Campos through a series of posts online.
Carlin Motorsport boss Trevor Carlin
Motorsport.com passes its condolences onto Campos’ family and friends.