Formula One driver Jules Bianchi dies aged 25
Sunday, July 19, 2015
French Formula One (F1) driver died on Friday night at age 25, nine months after his serious accident at the . News of his death was announced by his family the following morning:
This is the first F1 race-related driver death since the, when was killed.
On October 5, 2014, at the late portion of the Japanese Grand Prix at, Bianchi collided with a tractor crane that had been attending to the crashed car of . Bianchi's helmet became wedged underneath the tractor, causing a , and he fell into a coma. After being treated at a Japanese medical centre, he was moved about two months after the accident to a hospital in . Placed in the , in December he began rehabilitation therapy. Bianchi's father, Philippe, described his non-progress as a "daily torture".
Bianchi, the 2007and 2009 champion, was the inaugural member of the . He joined F1 team in . In , he joined ; the following year, at the , he scored his and Marussia's first points with a ninth-place finish.
After the accident, the, which sanctions Formula One racing, formed a panel to investigate the crash. Afterwards, the group revealed its findings: as Bianchi entered the of the track, he disabled the failsafe mechanism by "[applying] both throttle and brake together, using both feet", while his front wheels were locked; the panel also stated he did not slow down enough to control his car. Eventually, F1 mandated the use of the "virtual ", which requires drivers to enter the at slower speeds instead of proceeding around the track.
This is the Bianchi family's second driver death., the winner and Jules's great uncle, was killed in 1969 during testing at , where the race is held.
Upon the news of his death, many drivers sent their condolences through social media. Bianchi's Marussia team mate tweeted, "No words can describe what his family and the sport have lost. All I can say [is] it was a pleasure knowing and racing you."
- AP. "Jules Bianchi dies from injuries suffered in 2014 Japanese GP crash" — , July 18, 2015
- "Jules Bianchi dies nine months after crash in Japanese F1 GP" — , July 18, 2015
- Tony DiZinno. "Jules Bianchi dies at age 25, his family confirms" — , July 17, 2015
- Pablo Elizalde. "Jules Bianchi begins rehabilitation therapy in French hospital" — , December 30, 2014
- Matt Beer. "Ferrari expands young driver academy" — , March 6, 2010