Drafting the Circuits
Formula 1 Report
By Steve Aibel
Jules Bianchi died on Friday, July 17th, from injuries sustained in an accident on October 5th, 2014 at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, Japan. Bianchi battled injuries from a diffuse axonal injury that left him comatose after his car slid from the track in the rain and impacted a recovery vehicle clearing the Sauber of Adrian Sutil. Bianchi, 25, was a young rising star in Formula 1.
At Drafting The Circuits, we offer our heartfelt support to the Bianchi family during this time.
The family released a statement sharing the news…
It is with deep sadness that the parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, his brother Tom and sister Mélanie, wish to make it known that Jules passed away last night at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) in Nice, (France) where he was admitted following the accident of 5th October 2014 at Suzuka Circuit during the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end,” said the Bianchi family. “The pain we feel is immense and indescribable. We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice’s CHU who looked after him with love and dedication. We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months.”
“Furthermore, we thank Jules’ colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times. Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world.”
It has been 21 years since Formula 1 lost Ayrton Senna, a day etched into the fabric of the racing community. The loss of Bianchi has much the same feeling as the day we lost Senna. Years ago, two things happened in response to this tragedy. First, the racing community came together as one to support and heal the many families impacted by this tragedy. Second, Formula 1 evaluated their process and safety protocols, as they do after every race, to make the sport safer for the drivers, team and fans that visit the tracks. The same is happening now as we all struggle to accept the loss of Jules Bianchi.
It should be noted. Formula 1, and racing series worldwide, have made enormous advances in making race cars safer for drivers. But calling a spade a spade, racing is and always will be a dangerous calling!
Fast and furious and from all over the globe, the racing community offered a wellspring of support.
John Booth, of Manor Racing, said “Words cannot describe the enormous sadness within our team this morning, as we come to terms with losing Jules.”
“He has left an indelible mark on all our lives, and will forever be part of everything we have achieved, and everything we will strive for going forward.
“We are incredibly grateful that we were able to provide Jules with the opportunity to show the world what he could do in a Formula 1 car.
“We knew we had a very special driver on our hands from the first time he drove our car in pre-season testing in 2013.
“It has been an honour to be able to consider him our race driver, our team-mate, and of course our friend.”
“Jules was a shining talent. He was destined for great things in our sport; success he so richly deserved.”
“He was also a magnificent human being, making a lasting impression on countless people all over the world.”
“They recognised, as did we, that at the same time as being a fiercely motivated racer, he was also an extremely warm, humble and intensely likeable person, who lit up our garage and our lives.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the wonderful Bianchi family, who have remained so strong for Jules throughout the past nine months. In turn, Jules was an absolute credit to them.”
“Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has supported Jules since his accident in Japan last October.”
“Your kindness has been such a source of comfort to his family and to us, his team. We will rely on your continued support over the coming days and months as we race on for Jules.”
Max Chilton, Bianchi’s teammate at Marussia, took pole position and won his first Indy Lights race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday.
He dedicated the win to Jules.
In a post race interview with Joel Sebastianelli of Formula 1 Racing Plus and Performance Motorsports Network, Chilton mentioned that Bianchi was destined to be a champion and that this win was filled with extra emotion due to the loss of his friend. Chilton also remarked that he” probably thought of him every five or 10 laps, because he was a driver destined to probably be a world champion,”
This was the theme of many of the expressions concerning Jules Bianchi’s death. It centered on Bianchi’s character and potential.
Bianchi tested for Force India and team owner Vijay Mallya said, “We came to know an outstanding young man and a tremendous talent who was destined for great things in F1. The world has lost a true racer and we have all lost a friend.
Jenson Button echoed the sentiments saying “Last night we lost a truly great guy and a real fighter. RIP Jules. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”
Romain Grosjean of Lotus remarked, “Yesterday we lost one of the best guys and best drivers I’ve ever met. I’ll miss you so much my friend…”
Outstanding young man! A great guy! A friend!
Losing Jules is much bigger than losing just a driver!
These tributes came fast and furious. They showed love and appreciation for Bianchi beyond his exceptional skill on the track.
All racers accept the racers dilemma. In order to pursue what they love, they need to put their lives at risk. It’s that simple. They all believe it can’t happen to them. Most of the time they’re right.
There is something supernatural about a racer when he puts on that fire suit. All of the danger in their mind takes a backseat to winning races and driving fast. They all know and embrace the dangers that will never go away despite the commendable and substantial advances in driver safety made by the racing industry.
The loss of Jules Bianchi is a sad tragedy that will be felt by his family forever. I hope there will be some small bit of reprieve in knowing that Jules was loved by the racing community and loved what he did in a race car. To get to Formula 1, you must be one of the best, but Jules was loved for more than that!
God Speed Jules Bianchi!