The F1 paddock gathered earlier this week in Nice to remember Jules Bianchi who died last weekend after a crash last October. Many champions including current champion Lewis Hamilton, Alain Prost, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel attended the service.
Bianchi suffered critical head injuries when he skidded off the track and hit a recovery tractor in last October’s Japanese Grand Prix. Hundreds of fans gathered outside the cathedral where large portraits of Bianchi were displayed above floral tributes, and applauded the late driver as the coffin was carried in by his peers.
According to French media parish priest Sylvain Brison told the congregation that, while Bianchi’s death was “profoundly unjust”, the driver had been “happy because he had made his dream come true.
Meanwhile, FIA president Jean Todt has announced that Bianchi’s chosen number 17 would be retired from the sport
New details emerge
The FIA has completed there full investigation which caused Bianchi’s death to try to make sure lessons are learned from the crash. The details were released in the new World Accident Database, reveals how unlucky Bianchi was because the accident was made worse by the car being forced underneath the crane it hit.
The report given to German publication Auto Motor Und Sport, revealed that Bianchi lost control at 213 km/h, and hit the crane at 126 km/h just 2.61 seconds later. The car hit the crane at an angle of 55 degrees with the nose digging under the rear of the recovery vehicle.
The crash was made worse by the car being forced down as it went underneath the back of the crane. Initial findings, taken from Bianchi’s ear plugs, suggested he had suffered a 92G impact happened
Sauber retain drivers
Sauber have announced they are to retain both Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericson ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Nasr had been linked to replace Valtteri Bottas at Williams if he moved to Ferrari.
Team Principal Monisa Kaltenborn said the team were “pleased about the extension of the contracts.” She added “”This early point in time shows that the drivers and the team are sure they are heading in the right direction… Both have shown solid performances, gained experience and learnt quickly”
Ericsson who made his debut last season with said “I am getting to know everyone within the team more and more, and feel I am being appreciated as a valuable driver.” He added Nasr brings important funding to the team which has struggled financially.
Strong contender – Bottas
Valtteri Bottas believes Williams could be a strong contender in the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend despite the nature of the circuit. The circuit is slow which doesn’t normally favour high speed cars like the Williams.
He told Motorsport.com that the circuit in theory isn’t there best but they are not giving up yet, because the weekend hasn’t even started. “I think we really need as a team to focus on the qualifying performance, because it’s a big effect here. It’s really difficult to overtake. Could be slightly more challenging, but I still think there’s a possibility for a good result.” He added.
He says the team can’t repeat the mistakes and he is “hopeful for the weekend.”