The Manor F1 team this weekend are paying tribute to the crucial role Jules Bianchi played in the resurrection of their team – following them being ditched by their Russian owners’ just days after the inaugural event in Sochi.
Red Wrist bands embossed with ‘MONACO 2014. P8. #JB17’ are being worn by the race team in Monaco this weekend in memory of Bianchi’s P8 final classification which means they are eligible for over $60m from FOM this year.
Yet a few miles up the road, the daily tragedy that is part of the Bianchi family goes on. The cruel truth is that the exact trajectory Jules car took when he left the circuit in Suzuka last year, had to be precise to deliver the injuries he received.
A metre left or right leaving the asphalt could have seen an equal if not greater tragedy, because unprotected marshals were working close to where Jules car came to rest. However, the FIA chose not to investigate the matter with a view to establishing who was responsible, for a number of apparently poor decisions taken by officials prior to the 2014 Japanese GP.
Regardless, nothing changes Jules’ current plight, however, there is a risk of certain FIA officials, present in Japan, could still making inappropriate decisions today which again could be on matters of life and death.
Jules’ family have made few public statements since the fateful day of the fifth of October 2014. Yet this weekend as ManorF1 pay tribute to his son, Phillippe Bianchi spoke to French media channel Canal+.
“It was Jules’ dream to score points in Formula 1, and he did it with Marussia”, revealed Phillippe.
“I was there, and I was lucky enough when Jules finished the grand prix that I was the first person he took into his arms because I was on my own when he finished. Those are incredible moments.
“Jules is here, despite the shock he had. He’s still here and he’s fighting.
“All of these people thinking about him gives Jules strength. He can feel it and it’s beautiful. We’re very touched by it.”
However, Jules’ dad admits the family are starting to face the worst case scenario, which sees Jules remain in a permanent state of unconsciousness.
“He’s fighting with the weapons he has, but in neurological terms I’m not sure he is able to do much now.
“The situation is stagnant. Jules’ neurological progress is not what we would like it to be.
“When we get up every morning we think of Jules’ life, we think also of his death.
“We have to think about death because we are in a situation where we know a lot of things can happen. It’s terrible.
“I think we all stopped living that day, the fifth of October. It’s something you can never expect.
Jules Bianchi’s family have been relatively quiet since the accident in Suzuka and the subsequent white wash FIA investigation, which implied Bianchi had some sort of contributory negligence for his accident.
Phillippe Bianchi revealed some months ago that for the time being, the family wanted to be positive and focus on the hope that Jules’ would recover. He did though comment on the FIA investigation and suggested at some point Jules’ corner would be pro-actively fought.
“It was just an internal investigation, only for the benefit of those who instigated it,” said Bianchi senior. He added the veiled threat: “Very good people are involved at this time to defend the interests of Julius”. Philippe went on to make it clear that if necessary layers will be instructed and “they will pay”.
Though for this weekend we should celebrate with the Bianchi family and Manor F1, whilst being prepared to soon hold to account, the actions of the FIA and their officials.