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Formula 1 Fraternity Bids A Teary Farewell to Jules Bianchi

Just 25, Bianchi had been in a coma since 5th October 2014, when his F1 car collided with a mobile crane in Suzuka.

Published
Sports
3 min read
Formula One drivers Sebastian Vettel(L ) and Romain Grosjean (3rdL) carry the coffin of late Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi during the funeral ceremony at the Sainte Reparate Cathedral in Nice, France. (Photo: Reuters)

Race helmet perched on his coffin, Jules Bianchi was mourned Tuesday as a “humble” winner in a Formula One career cut short in the sport’s first deadly crash in more than 20 years.

Formula One driver Jean Eric Vergne, left, Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa, second right, and Venezuelan Formula One driver Pastor Maldonado, right, carry Bianchi’s casket into Sainte Reparate Cathedral during his funeral in Nice, French Riviera. (Photo: AP)
Formula One driver Jean Eric Vergne, left, Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa, second right, and Venezuelan Formula One driver Pastor Maldonado, right, carry Bianchi’s casket into Sainte Reparate Cathedral during his funeral in Nice, French Riviera. (Photo: AP)
German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel at the funeral service. (Photo: AP)
German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel at the funeral service. (Photo: AP)
 Felipe Massa, right, and Pastor Maldonado break down in front of Bianchi’s casket. (Photo: AP)
Felipe Massa, right, and Pastor Maldonado break down in front of Bianchi’s casket. (Photo: AP)

Tributes mounted for the French driver, who died Friday after nine months in a coma following the crash during last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Born into the sport, Bianchi competed in 34 races over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, scoring the first ever championship points for Manor — then known as Marussia — by finishing ninth at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix. Bianchi had been in a coma since the Oct. 5 accident, in which he collided at high speed with a mobile crane that was picking up another crashed car.

Friends and Formula One drivers gather around the coffin of late Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi during the funeral ceremony. (Photo: Reuters)
Friends and Formula One drivers gather around the coffin of late Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi during the funeral ceremony. (Photo: Reuters)
Reigning F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton at the ceremony. (Photo: AP)
Reigning F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton at the ceremony. (Photo: AP)
German Formula One drivers Adrian Sutil, left and Nico Hulkenberg, right behind, at the service. (Photo: AP)
German Formula One drivers Adrian Sutil, left and Nico Hulkenberg, right behind, at the service. (Photo: AP)

Bianchi’s family had already lost a member in a crash. In 1969, his great-uncle Lucien died in an accident during testing at the Le Mans race track when he crashed his Alfa Romeo into a post, a year after winning the prestigious endurance race. Bianchi’s grandfather, Mauro, also raced.

He wrote the history of F1. He has contributed enormously and will watch over us all.
– Jean-Eric Vergne, F1 driver

Parents and family of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi stand near his casket at Sainte Reparate Cathedral during his funeral in Nice, French Riviera. (Photo: AP)
Parents and family of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi stand near his casket at Sainte Reparate Cathedral during his funeral in Nice, French Riviera. (Photo: AP)
Philippe Bianchi, Jules Bianchi’s father, is comforted by a relative prior to the funeral of his son at Sainte Reparate Cathedral in Nice, French Riviera. (Photo: AP)
Philippe Bianchi, Jules Bianchi’s father, is comforted by a relative prior to the funeral of his son at Sainte Reparate Cathedral in Nice, French Riviera. (Photo: AP)
Jules Bianchi’s friends put their hands on the helmet displayed on the casket during his funeral in Nice. (Photo: AP)
Jules Bianchi’s friends put their hands on the helmet displayed on the casket during his funeral in Nice. (Photo: AP)

Bianchi was the first driver to die of injuries sustained in an F1 race since Ayrton Senna was killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Pallbearers carry the casket of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi into Sainte Reparate Cathedral during his funeral in Nice. (Photo: AP)
Pallbearers carry the casket of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi into Sainte Reparate Cathedral during his funeral in Nice. (Photo: AP)
In this Oct. 5, 2014 file photo, Marussia driver Jules Bianchi of France waves during drivers’ parade before the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan. (Photo: AP)
In this Oct. 5, 2014 file photo, Marussia driver Jules Bianchi of France waves during drivers’ parade before the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan. (Photo: AP)

Last week, the sport’s governing body, the FIA, announced that Bianchi’s racing number 17 was retired from use in Formula One.

As F1 car numbers are now personally chosen by each driver, the FIA believes it to be an appropriate gesture to retire Jules Bianchi’s number 17. As a result, this number can no longer be used for a car competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship
– FIA Statement

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