Formula One teams are reportedly planning to carry ‘#CiaoJules’ on their cars in the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix race as a mark of respect to late French driver Jules Bianchi.
Bianchi’s death last Friday, from head injuries last October in a head-on crash at the Japanese GP, shocked F1.
He is the first driver to succumb to injuries sustained during a grand prix weekend since Ayrton Senna after his 1994 crash in San Marino.
Bianchi was laid to rest in his home city of Nice in France on Tuesday and a number of the F1 grid, including Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Button, attended the service. “But from what I knew of him, he was a kind heart with a great spirit”. It was important for us as drivers to be there as well, to show we are as one.
Alonso, a two-time F1 champion, developed a tight bond with the up-and-coming Bianchi.
“He told us that if he had an accident and was left like Michael Schumacher the additional handicap of not being able to race would have been hard to keep on living with”. “I spent one week in Lanzarote training camp in 2012, we were roommates”. It was so hard to be there in the church, to understand what’s happened, it was so sad.
With very little rain forecast for the weekend, drivers are more likely to have to contend with long spells of uninterrupted sunshine, with temperatures pushing 30C.
A number of the drivers, many of whom attended the Frenchman’s funeral on Tuesday, will have stickers on their crash helmets reading “Ciao Jules” or “JB17”.
Bianchi’s accident occurred at the end of the race at the Suzuka circuit.
Felipe Massa reflected on Jules Bianchi’s life and feels the Frenchman was the “best go-kart driver” he ever saw. He has managed to banish dark memories of that incident and has no problems racing here.
“Formula One is a sophisticated job… however he all the time remained humble, good with everyone”, stated Todt’s son Nicolas, Bianchi’s… His parents were, I think, happy to see us.
Hamilton’s team boss said: “My first thoughts go to the family and friends of Jules – the loss of a child is something for which there are no words, and on behalf of the team I send them strength for the days and weeks ahead“. Bianchi was tipped to become a Ferrari driver and enjoy an outstanding career.
“We just have to keep looking ahead and make sure there’s not going to be another obstacle like that”. He was never in an easy position in Formula One in terms of his equipment but he would always get the maximum out of it and I think Monaco proved that past year. I take those memories of him outside of the track because on the race weekend we him as a talented driver, we all know he had a bright future.
He was 0.109secs faster than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg with Kimi Raikkonen in third, nearly seven tenths off Hamilton’s best time. Massa and Pastor Maldonado were visibly moved as they both overlooked Bianchi’s coffin.