Funeral held for F1 driver Bianchi

  • 21 July 2015
  • From the section Europe

The funeral of Jules Bianchi is being held in his hometown of Nice as tributes to the French Formula 1 driver continue to be paid.

Family, friends and close colleagues are attending the service at the city’s Sainte Reparate Cathedral while fans have gathered outside.

The 25-year-old died on Friday as a result of severe head injuries in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

His car number, 17, is being retired from F1 in his honour.

Bianchi had been in a coma since crashing his Marussia car into a recovery vehicle at a rain-hit race last October.

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 Imola in 1994.

Bianchi’s coffin was carried into Nice’s Sainte Reparate Cathedral for the funeral on Tuesday

Tributes are expected to be paid at Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

A number of Formula 1 colleagues travelled to Nice to pay their respects on Tuesday. Large posters of Bianchi were draped outside the cathedral entrance.

“Direction Nice to say goodbye to our colleague, friend Jules,” Lotus driver Romain Grosjean posted on Twitter.

Other drivers attending included Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa and Olivier Panis.

Announcing his death on Saturday, Bianchi’s family said: “Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end.”

Former world champion Jenson Button led tributes from the world of motorsport.

“Last night we lost a truly great guy and a real fighter. RIP Jules, my sincerest condolences to his family and friends,” the McLaren driver said on Saturday.

The Marussia team, now known as Manor, said Bianchi had left an “indelible mark on all our lives”.