Back in 2014, a set of events culminated into a horrendous incident resulting in the death of the young Jules Bianchi, a Ferrari academy driver racing for the Manor F1 team.
The situation at the track had been a severe tropical storm hitting the circuit, forcing cars to aquaplane off the track. Despite double waved yellow flags, that had historically not been properly enforced with the drivers, Jules Bianchi circulated the track eventually sliding off at speed hitting a recovery truck near the barrier at Dunlop curve.
The resultant impact caused catastrophic head injuries to the youngster, made worse by the fact that the medical helicopter that by the FIA’s own law, should’ve been available for emergency hospital admission in the event of such a crash, was grounded due to the weather. Put simply, the race should not have been run and Jules would’ve been here today.
Unfortunately, we might see a repeat of the weather conditions at Suzuka this weekend with a category 5 ‘Super Typhoon’ due to hit land this weekend. Fingers are crossed that we won’t see a repeat of 2014 this weekend.
— James Holbeach⛈🌪 (@opplevelse) October 8, 2019
Leclerc reveals feelings of Suzuka & Jules Bianchi
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc had a special relationship with the late Jules Bianchi. Both were friends and families were close within the racing community. Bianchi was in fact Leclerc’s Godfather such was the closeness of the family’s.
In some ways, Leclerc inherited the Ferrari drive from Bianchi as this was the expected path for the Frenchman to take if the sad events of 2014 had not occurred, the then and now late president Sergio Marchionni seeing Leclerc as the next best driver behind Bianchi.
Indeed some argue that Leclerc’s fast rise in F1 to the Ferrari team is linked to this loss of Bianchi.
Leclerc yesterday interviewed by the Italian publication Ilmessaggero and gave his thoughts to the Suzuka race this weekend:
“Japan is a special place to go to compete for all drivers, especially because of the local fans who are very passionate and always give us a huge support, which makes this stage of the championship unique.
“Having said that, I can’t hide the fact that last year it was very difficult for me to get on track here for the first time, because in my mind there was the memory of Jules (Bianchi) who had the fatal accident in Suzuka.
“For me this place is inextricably linked to that memory, but from the point of view of the circuit I really like it”
“The track is very demanding and technical, in this sense I would say one of the best in the calendar since you can find us from high speed corners to hairpin bends and very slow chicanes, all features that contribute to making this track iconic,” explains the Monaco driver.
“As far as we are concerned, once again it is a circuit with different peculiarities from those on which we have recently competed. So at Suzuka, too, it will be interesting to see how the recent upgrades to the SF90 will work,” he concludes.
Hamilton: “Ferrari not an option”
A telling interview from the Swiss publication blick.ch, Lewis Hamilton gives some opinion on the season thus far along with the perpetual rumour of the Ferrari drive in 2021.
Below is a direct translation from the article published on the 30th Sept. and written by Roger Benoit. TJ13’s feelings on Lewis are well known and documented over the…. READ MORE
Insults against stewards: Steiner threatened big punishment
The criticism of FIA driver steward Emanuele Pirro after crossing the finish line at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi could have a repercussion for Günther Steiner
According to information from “Motorsport-Total.com”, the Haas team boss, a repeat offender in the eyes of the FIA, is facing a draconian punishment….. READ MORE