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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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