Ricochet News

Formula One says goodbye to Jules Bianchi

By Charl Bosch - Jul 21, 2015
Formula One says goodbye to Jules Bianchi

Former Marussia Formula One driver Jules Bianchi was laid to rest in his home town of Nice earlier today, after succumbing to injuries sustained at last year’s typhoon affected Japanese Grand Prix.

The 25-year old, who had been of part of Ferrari’s young driver programme and scored his team’s only points at the Monaco Grand Prix last May, died in hospital on Friday having never regained consciences after his car impacted a recovery tractor at over 200 km/h during the race at Suzuka in October.

He was diagnosed as having sustained a diffuse axonal injury before being transferred to France for further treatment.

His death is also the sport’s first fatality since those of former triple World Champion Ayrton Senna and Austrian rookie Roland Ratzenberger at the ill-fated San Marino Grand Prix in 1994. The FIA has also announced that the number 17 would be retired as a mark of respect.

Among those present at the Sainte Reparate Cathedral were current drivers Nico Rosberg and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, while pole bearers included Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa and former Toro Rosso turned Ferrari test driver Jean Eric-Vergne.

“One of the greatest drivers has left us, but with such a special beautiful souvenir. He has been a great person outside and in the track and he has written his name in Formula 1,” Sky F1 quoted Vergne as saying.

"His name will stay in the history of the sport. He was the greatest and he will always be in our hearts”.

Tributes have meanwhile continued to poor in with Bianchi’s former Marussia teammate, Max Chilton, dedicating his maiden Indy Lights victory at the Iowa Speedway on Sunday to his friend.

“I probably thought of him every five or 10 laps because he was a driver destined to probably be a world champion. I was his team-mate for two years and I had to have an absolutely perfect day to beat him. More often than not, he’d beat me,” the Brit said after his victory.

“I learned a lot from him and, even though he never raced on ovals, I’m sure that I took a lot of what I learned from him out there today”.

Similar reactions have continued to poor onto with social media from fellow drivers and fans, with the hashtags #JB17 and #CiaoJules trending in certain countries.


IMAGE sourced from bbc.com