Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi dies in France

“Despite considerable improvements, we, the grand prix drivers, owe it to the racing community, to the lost ones and to Jules, his family and friends, to never relent in improving safety”.


Manor Marussia F1 Team founder and team principal John Booth has paid tribute to Jules Bianchi after the Frenchman died last night at the age of 25. He was destined for great things in our sport; success he so richly deserved.

“Listening to and reading the many messages made us realize just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world“.

Prior to his breakthrough year in F1, Bianchi drove for the Force India F1 team in several practice sessions during the 2012 season.

He had emerged from the Ferrari academy with a glowing reputation and was a test driver for the Maranello glamour team before joining Ferrari-powered Marussia. “He would have been perfect for the coming years”.

Bianchi suffered a traumatic brain injury when his auto careered off the rain-drenched Suzuka circuit during the Japanese Grand Prix on October 5 and smashed into a recovery truck at around 200 kilometres (125 miles) an hour. “Of course I feel ready”, he explained. Now I have done almost two seasons in F1. It looks like the logical step for me if something happens.

No-one laughed or thought Bianchi’s claims outlandish.

Bianchi was tipped by many to be the next great French champion.

From his ancestry, it was obvious where it all came from. His grandfather Mauro had been a well known Formula Three and endurance driver in the 1960s. He scored a superb eight race wins, winning the championship with a round to spare, before winning the final race for good measure, taking his tally to nine wins.

Bianchi died in hospital near his parents’ home in Nice in the south of France. “Thinking about Jules and his family”. Bianchi made his mark alongside Max Chilton immediately, and was kept on alongside the English driver in 2014.

His speed was spotted.

“The world of motor sport is in mourning today”, motorsport’s governing body FIA said in a statement. Another successful season followed when he finished the season in third place overall. Current Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was one of his team-mates.

Shortly before the fatal crash, Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon had described Bianchi as “not only an exceptional Formula One driver, but also an exceptional human being”, adding that “everybody loves him”.

His 9th place finish in the 2014 Monte-Carlo Grand Prix and earned the team the £30 millon they needed to survive in the sport, but that was not his breakout moment for he had always been marked for greatness.

How far he would have gone is unknown. However, the horrendous accident at Suzuka ended this dream.

Questions have also been raised about whether the marshals should have halted the race after Adrian Sutil’s Sauber came off the track on the previous lap. He was rushed to hospital in Yokkaichi, Japan, with severe head injuries.

Such disappointment, however, was short-lived when Marussia took on Bianchi after the sponsorship package agreed with initial signing Luiz Razia failed to materialise.

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


With tributes pouring in from across the paddock and the wider motorsport world, Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle wrote: “RIP Jules Bianchi”.

French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has died from head injuries he suffered in a crash at last October's Japanese Grand Prix his family says