Former Formula One driver David Coulthard went ahead with a television appearance just minutes after hearing about his younger sister’s death.
Lynsay Jackson (35) — mother of a 10-month-old daughter — was found dead at her home in Scotland on Saturday.
Police have said they are not treating the death as suspicious.
It was reported that she had suffered cardiac failure after going to bed with stomach pains. Coulthard (right) said in a statement: “I'd like to first take this chance to thank everybody for their overwhelming support over the last two days; it means a huge amount to my family and I.
“It's obviously come as a huge shock to us all and we're still trying to come to terms with it all. I'd please ask that my family's privacy is respected during this very difficult time.”
The devastated ex-racing driver was told of the news just before he appeared on live TV cookery show Saturday Kitchen.
“He managed to put on a brave face. But he left as soon as the show was over,” a friend said.
His agent James Williamson confirmed: “He found out just before he went on air.”
He and Lynsay were very close, with Coulthard dedicating his Brazilian F1 win in Sao Paulo in 2001 to her.
Coulthard (41) drove to Scotland following the recording of the show.
Lynsay was found dead in her home in the village of Crossmichael, Kirkcudbrightshire.
She was married with a baby girl, Emilie Anne.
A Dumfries and Galloway Police spokesman told the BBC: “We can confirm that a 35-year-old woman was found dead in her home today in Crossmichael.
“Our inquiries into her death are ongoing at this time, but there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances and a report is being prepared for the procurator fiscal.”
David Coulthard MBE is the highest scoring British Formula One driver of all-time, notching up 535 points. He won 13 Grands Prix — 12 with McLaren — in a career spanning 15 seasons. In 2005 he moved to the newly formed Red Bull Racing team.