July 21, 2015 @ 03:47 PM

Forza Jules

The past weekend had been one of Formula 1’s darkest times with the news of Jules Bianchi’s death on Friday. #ForzaJules


The past weekend had been one of Formula 1’s darkest times with the news of Jules Bianchi’s death on Friday. #ForzaJules

 
Jules Bianchi started his motorsport career at the age of six when his father had brought him to a go-kart track. After manager Nicolas Todt took him under his wing, Bianchi proceeded to wow the junior scouts with his promising talent. Not only did Bianchi took on French Formula Renault 2.0 and won the championship for his team, he also headed the Formula 3 Euro with the ART Grand Prix team.
 
Bianchi continued on with the ART Grand Prix team in 2008 to race in GP2. Although his career had looked bleak after a crash in the opening stages of the Hungaroring when he fractured his second lumbar vertebra he had defied all expectations by returning to form the next round of the championship.
 
While he continued to make a name for himself in the Junior championships, Bianchi had started off a side job as an F1 test driver. Bianchi had even been strongly linked to replace Felipe Massa as the second Scuderia Ferrari driver during Massa’s absence. Bianchi was also one of the first recruits to the Ferrari Driver Academy thanks to his brilliant performance during Ferrari’s track sessions. 

Bianchi’s big chance came around when Marussia signed him on as their driver in the 2013 F1 season. Although Marussia had enjoyed a quiet season in the back of the grid with Caterham as their biggest rival, Bianchi alone had managed to bring more fun to the team. Bianchi had out qualified his team mate Max Chilton and proceeded to show the crowd some cool overtaking moves on the Caterhams and the Toro Rossos.

It wasn’t until Bianchi’s flying finish in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix that brought attention to him as a rising star. Bianchi had brought the Marussia team their first points and the best finish they have ever recorded. He continued cementing his status as the first driver at Marussia beating out his team mate in every race that they finished.
 
In one of the most confusing F1 race finish that this millennium has witnessed, it was a shock to the community to hear that Bianchi had sustained head injuries when he crashed into the recovery vehicle at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.
While F1 had seen many spectacular crashes like Massa’s 2009 incident when he was hit by a piece of flying debris and had needed a titanium plate inserted into his skull to save his life and Robert Kubica’s crash at the 2005 Canadian GP that saw his car disintegrated into scrap metal none had been life threatening.
 
Safety regulations had changed since 20 years ago when three-time world champion Aryton Senna had crashed and lost his life. The worst that the sport had seen was Massa’s titanium skull insert and Kubica had walked away with a sprained ankle while Sergio Perez had only missed three races after his shunt in Qualifying in Monaco.
 
So it was a shock to the community when the announcement that Jules Bianchi had succumbed to his injuries sustained in the crash. 21 years after the last death of the three-time world champion and nine months after his injury.
 
His F1 comrades had acknowledged that Bianchi was a rising star and that the sport has lost a promising driver. In respect to Bianchi, the sports governing body, the FIA, had even decided to retire his number 17.The sport will come together in the Hungaroring this weekend for a moment of silence in respect for Bianchi.
 
Rest in peace Jules Bianchi.

(Image source: Manor Marussia F1 and Scuderia Ferrari)
 

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