Bianchi, who was part of the Ferrari young driver programme, lost his battle early in the morning of Saturday, 18 July.
He signed to Marussia the following season, and was widely tipped as a future Ferrari driver. “He would have been ideal for the coming years”. “We looked after a track in Antibes and he would spend his time watching the customers going around the tarmac. I feel good.” Sadly, fate intervened.
No-one laughed or thought Bianchi’s claims outlandish.
British driver Max Chilton tweeted: “No words can describe what his family & the sport have lost”.
Formula One drivers Martin Brundle, Heikki Kovalainen and Allan McNish were among many others who paid their tributes to Bianchi.
From his ancestry, it was obvious where it all came from.
While the heights that his career would have scaled will never be known, Bianchi undoubtedly earned both his place on the Formula 1 grid and the respect of those with which he shared it.
Months before his death, Jules Bianchi had already ensured that Formula One had become a safer sport.
It was Le Mans, though, where Lucien lost his life a year later as the Alfa Romeo he was driving struck a pole during a test, bursting into flames upon impact.
Bianchi family: “Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end”.
Bianchi was in only his second full Formula One season before the tragic accident on lap 43 of the Japanese Grand Prix. Many children who race at the circuit now are named after him.
His grandfather Mauro, was a renowned F3 driver, a three-time world champion in GT cars, notably with Alpine-Renault, and one of the great stars of motorsport during the 1960’s. He made the switch to cars in 2006 after winning the French karting title.
His speed was spotted.
In 2006, and with his talent obvious, Bianchi was signed up by Nicolas Todt, son of FIA president Jean.
His performance caught the eye of Ferrari and he was the first to enroll in their acadamey where he stayed for two seasons.
Alesi, who knew Bianchi very well thanks to his role as Team Captain for the French Motorsport Federation, thinks there were strong chances that the Nice-born racer would have eventually succeeded him as the next Frenchman to race for Ferrari. Thoughts are with his family and close friends today.
How far he would have gone is unknown.
We wish to thank the medical staff at Nices CHU who looked after him with love and dedication, the family statement said.
But then the events of October 5 at Suzuka ended his rise.
On October 5th, 2014, Bianchi ran off the track during the wet race, hitting a recovery vehicle that was retrieving the stricken Sauber of Adrian Sutil. He was rushed to hospital in Yokkaichi, Japan, with severe head injuries.
Jules died in a hospital in his hometown of Nice, France, according toCNN. Hope the lessons we learned will stop more tragedies like these from happening.
Former F1 driver Allan McNish: “Sad to wake to the news Jules-Bianchi has passed away last night”.