Charlie Whiting, race director of Formula 1, died at the age of 66.
A statement from the FIA announced that Brition had died from a pulmonary embolism in Melbourne on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix weekend.
Whiting was in the Albert Park paddock on Wednesday.
FIA President Jean Todt said, "It was with great sadness that I learned of Charlie's death, Charlie Whiting was a great race director, a central and inimitable figure of Formula One who played the ethics and spirit of this fantastic sport.
"Formula 1 has lost a faithful friend and a charismatic ambassador to Charlie.
"All my thoughts, those of the FIA and the entire motor sport community, go out to his family, his friends and all Formula 1 lovers."
Whiting first worked in Formula 1 for Hesketh Racing in 1977, but became better known as he climbed the Brabham ladder to become the chief mechanic.
He played a key role in helping Nelson Piquet at the drivers' world championship in 1981 and 1983 and will remain with the team until the owner, Bernie Ecclestone, sells it in 1988.
He then became the FIA technical delegate, with the blessing of Ecclestone, and then became the FIA's director and safety delegate from 1997.
Her role included overseeing track and car safety, technical and procedural issues on grand prix weekends, and starting the race herself.
Whiting was instrumental in improving safety standards in F1 and played a leading role in the introduction of the halo early last year, which would have saved the life of Charles Leclerc after his fall at the Grand Prix from Belgium.
Speaking last year, Whiting said that a number of technical advances had helped make the F1 safer and allow Leclerc to go away.
"I agree on the introduction of the halo and that played a role, but you must not forget over the years all the much less visible things that have been done to improve the security of the cell survival, side impact structures, frontal impact structures, the survival cell itself, the cockpit's high sides, the head restraint, "he said.
"All of these things have been done gradually over the years and they also play a role in the outcome."
We do not know yet how the FIA will replace Whiting for the Australian GP weekend.
The role of Whiting's race director meant that he was the lead and responsible person for all the rules, from the safety requirements to the rules interpretation, to the management of the tests, the qualifications and the of the race.