Funeral for F1 driver Bianchi in France as tributes mount

Church bells sounded during the funeral and solemn applause resonated as Bianchi’s family carried his coffin inside Sainte Reparate Cathedral.


Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was among the mourners to gather at Sainte Reparate Cathedral in Nice for Jules Bianchi’s funeral on Tuesday.

Hamilton, who posted an emotive tribute on his social media accounts to Bianchi on Monday evening, joined a number of his peers to pay their respects to Bianchi ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The world of motorsport has bid farewell to French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi at his funeral in his hometown of Nice. Large posters of Bianchi were draped outside the cathedral entrance.

Other attendees included executives from the Manor-Marussia F1 team, FIA president Jean Todt and his son Nicolas, Bianchi’s manager.

“He was happy, because he had turned his dream into reality”.

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. “He was a champion blessed with a rare talent, as well as being a young man whose stature was as high as the depth of his humility”.

He is the first F1 driver to die from injuries sustained in a grand prix since Brazilian triple world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.

Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and four-times champion Alain Prost were also in attendance.

His father Philippe was a go-kart specialist.


Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, announced that vehicle number 17 would no longer be used in the Formula One World Championship, in memory of Bianchi.

Marussia driver Jules Bianchi of France died nine months after suffering a traumatic brain injury in a horrific crash at the Japanese Grand Prix