Drivers fear talking openly about the Jules Bianchi accident

The father of Jules Bianchi, Phillippe claims his son’s fellow F1 drivers don’t want speak up about that ill fated incident in Suzuka 2014 because they’re scared to do so.

“One driver [sat] with me, with a camera will say nothing because I think all of the people are afraid to say something,” Bianchi told Sky Sports News. “When you have no camera all the people come to see me and say ‘no it is not correct, Jules made nothing [as a mistake], they made a mistake’.”

“Firstly, I have a lot of respect for people who made up the accident panel, that is OK. But all of the people are very near the FIA and cannot be correct for me.”

And Bianchi says the drivers agree that the race should not have been taking place in the conditions when the accident occurred.

“The conditions in Japan, I spoke with all of the drivers and they told me it was terrible conditions. The light was not good, there was a lot of rain. They cannot say that Jules made a mistake, it is not possible.”

Jules crashed into the heavy duty recovery vehicle that was trackside picking up a stricken Sauber during a tropical storm in Japan. Sadly he succumbed to his injuries the following year having never woken up from a coma.


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Disgracefully the FIA governing body decided that its own internal investigation was sufficient to grant everyone but Jules zero responsibility for the fatal incident, further blaming Jules himself for not slowing sufficiently. Previously, TJ13 has had a catalogue of serious questions about the role the FIA has had in the crash investigation and indeed the role of Charlie Whiting during the race itself. Clearly the race should not have taken place when the weather denied all drivers hope of survival in the event of a serious injury due to the medical helicopter being grounded. Couple this with the inherent lack of mandating a safe speed during double waved yellow flags for too many years of Grand Prix racing.

The Bianchi’s have launched legal action against the FIA, Formula One Group and Marussia.


15 responses to “Drivers fear talking openly about the Jules Bianchi accident

  1. Inferring that “the race should not have started due to the medical helicopter being grounded” and that “there was an inherent lack of mandated safe speed for double waved yellow flags” is something of a very serious nature indeed.
    I believe so because the facts I have in front of me shows all to be to the contrary of what is being said.

    • Salvuborg, please shorten your name. It feels like you’re spamming everybody. (And please don’t start the discussion on why you’ve chosen this horrific pen name in the first place.)

  2. My pen name is my real name, what others feel I cannot control, like I can’t control their like/dislike.

  3. 24 hours has passed and there was no takers, so the last thing from me on this here subject is as follows. these are the facts I have in front of me.
    In the 2014 Japanese GP like in every other GP a MEDVAC helicopter manned by a doctor, 2 paramedics and a pilot was ready to fly at all time, a second helicopter was kept ready outside the circuit and 4 additional ambulances were posted around the race track, that a helicopter could take-off from the circuit and being able to land at the hospital was confirmed the race was started, after the accident and when Bianchi came to be transported to hospital the helicopter Pilot declared that he can take-off but cannot land at the hospital, it was at that exact time that the race was declared as over/stopped, right after the race was stopped and Bianchi was on his way to hospital by ambulance, the MEDVAC helicopter took of from the circuit on its way back to base.
    As to what the double waved yellow flags mandate regarding the car speeds, double yellow flags mandate, SLOW DOWN, DANGER AHEAD, BE PREPARED TO STOP.

  4. I’m sorry Jules died, but I have to agree with FIA investigation. Although FIA made some mistakes as well, but I don’t think those mistakes were responsible for his crach, as much as he contributed himself.
    He, as much as any other driver have history of speeding under yellow, double yellow, even SC periods.
    It is in the drivers/racers nature to go as fast as possible and I don’t blame them. They’re trying to gain any possible advantage they can, and will do as long as we have humans racing.

    In fact during the previous race, which was Singapore, Jules was the one who sat his fastest lap (up to the point), during the SC period. So no one can tell that he didn’t drive faster than allowed/required at the point where he lost control of his car.
    He wasn’t the only one in history to do so, but unfortunately his mistake cost him a life.

    • Indeed you’re right. But it’s the FIAs job to regulate the drivers BECAUSE of that. They have a duty to ensure the sport is as safe as possible and for far too many years drivers had been allowed to drive at crazy speeds under double yellows in F1.

      • FIA’s mistake is not to penalize any breach of regulation.
        Too many things are regulated, yet left out in the open, without penalty.
        The latest one being visor tearoffs being thrown out of the car. Apparently that’s forbidden as of Monaco, but that didn’t stop drivers throwing them out of the car in the pit lane, as well as on the pit straight. It is forbidden, yet no sanction whatsoever is proposed for those who still throw them out of the car. Nonsense.
        Also, speaking of Monaco, since when FIA doesn’t penalize crossing of the pit exit line (Perez)?
        It is soooo many things left out to human judgement, in such technical and regulated sport it isn’t acceptable.

  5. On that (FIA being lax on penalizing excessive speed under double yellow) I have to fully agree with his honour.

    • If you accept that the FIA is lax at enforcing their own rules then surely you have to accept that they bear some responsibly for the fact that “everyone” speeds under yellow flags. That laxity has created a culture whereby drivers largely ignore yellow flags to gain advantage.

      A race track is (supposedly) a highly regulated workplace with multiple extreme hazards that requires strict rules, monitoring and enforcement to keep everyone safe.

      The old adage “The standard you walk past / ignore is the standard you accept” Is entirely applicable.

      “Failure to maintain a safe operating environment” is a pretty common finding in industrial courts. It’s not enough to have comprehensive rules laid out in a dust-covered book on the top shelf in the manager’s office. You must review and revise those rules periodically. You must train, retrain and test the competence of people on those rules. You must apply sanctions when the rules are broken. The law in most countries says so.

      I don’t think that Jules’ family want the FIA to be held accountable for the whole thing – just some of it. At the moment it seems that Jules is being lumbered with full responsibility and I don’t think that’s right either. There’s some nuance here – it ain’t the black / white picture that the ‘official’ report paint.

      And I remain savagely disappointed with Brawn’s signature being on that report.

    • If you accept that that the FIA are lax in enforcing their own rules then surely you accept that they bear some responsibility for the culture that they have created that makes it “OK” that drivers ignore yellow flags.

      The race track is (supposed to be) a highly-regulated environment with a number of extreme risks that are subject to various control measures. Those control measures are to mitigate those risks to the point of acceptability. It is entirely logical that higher risks mean tighter control measures and more severe penalties for breaches. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.

      That old adage “The standard you walk past / ignore is the standard you get” is absolutely appropriate. That saying lays down the foundation for building cultures of compliance to (or active ignorance of) regulations. Companies can be held liable for their workplace cultures.

      “Failure to provide a safe operating environment” is a pretty common finding against companies in industrial safety cases. It is not enough to have comprehensive procedures laid out in excruciating detail in a dust-covered file in the back cupboard of the manager’s office. You must train and retrain people on the rules. You must test their competency with respect to the rules. You must monitor compliance with the rules. You must appropriately sanction breaches of the rules. That’s what the law says in most places around the world.

      I understand the arguments that say “Jules chose to speed knowing full well the possible consequences of doing so”. I just don’t accept that his choice was the only thing going on. The FIA made choices over a long period of time that culminated in consequences on that fateful day.

      I think Jules’ family is right to not accept that Jules was solely at fault. The FIA’s report lets the FIA off the hook – surprise! For mine, that situation needs to be tested in a court of law.

  6. Yes, I except that the FIA (race control) was “lax” for too long a time in strictly enforcing at least the double waved yellow flags rules, and yes you have “some” good, (only some) valid points. yours is a welcome change of tone to someone’s (kicked ass vendetta motives/mission) that was being parroted on here by people that should or at least should know better, namely than that, “the race should not have been started because the medvac helicopter would/could not take off” that, “the driver did slow down, and so he was in no breach of the double waved yellow flags” that “the FIA were in breach of their own rules”. I will repeat that the FIA were not in breach of their own rules neither technically not legally, from the time the race was started to the time the race was stopped, I already explained the facts as were, which are totally contrary to what was being said on here.

    • The FIA in the form of Charlie Whiting, the safety delegate, had to cancel/reschedule the GP on safety grounds, because of well known and accurately predicted Typhoon conditions surrounding the circuit and the normal schedule of the race. They failed to do so, which makes them liable for any conditions-related accident that would have happened during the GP.

  7. The FIA in any form of its race delegates was not technically nor legally in breach of their or anybody’s else regulations for starting the race, and or for failing to cancel or reschedule the race.
    Some good progress has been done on this here subject, the real blame for what happened is being zeroed on, the race start/no helicopter blame as well as the driver speed under double waved yellow flags not to blame seems to have been dropped now.

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