The FIA has confirmed it will incorporate a series of tributes ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix for the victims of the Paris terror attacks, but its President Jean Todt has been criticism for comparing the death toll of the tragedy to those of road traffic accidents.
At least 129 people were killed when a series of almost simultaneous gun and bomb attacks unfolded across the French capital city – where the FIA is based - on the evening of 13th November, with more than 350 injured.
Arriving at the Interlagos venue earlier today, French national Todt was approached for comment on the atrocity, but after expressing his heartfelt condolences towards the victims of the tragedy, he proceeded to compare the number to those killed in road accidents each year.
“Do you realise that the number of people killed in road accidents is by far bigger than the number of people who died in Paris,” he told the French Canal+
“Every day there are 30 times more people who die than in the Paris assassinations. We had decided a minute of silence and of course we can't ignore what happened in Paris. We will thus have a moment of attention for what happened in Paris."
Todt is in Sao Paulo this weekend to continue his promotion for improving road safety around the world having this week launched a High Level Panel for Road Safety campaign alongside UN Security General Ban-Ki Moon.
A ceremony to commemorate The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was already set to take place at Interlagos this weekend, but in the wake of criticism for his comments, the FIA has confirmed it will incorporate a tribute to the Paris terror victims as well.
'Because of the horrific terrorist attacks of 13th November in Paris, the ceremony to pay tribute to the casualties of road traffic accidents scheduled for the Brazilian Grand Prix within the framework of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims has been modified.
“The drivers' parade lap will see all competitors wearing a black armband as a sign of mourning and tribute to the victims of the Paris tragedy and as a gesture of solidarity with their families and loved ones.
“In addition, a French flag decorated with a black ribbon will be carried on the truck used during the drivers; parade. The same fag will be displayed on the world television feed as will 13.11.2015, the date of the tragedy.
“Finally, a backdrop prepared for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims will be displayed behind the drivers on the grid at 13.45 (local time) for a minute of silence as a tribute to those who have lost their lives or have been injured in road traffic accidents.”
Drivers and teams have been expressing their shock and sadness at the events of the previous evening, with Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel branding it a 'tragedy'.
“It was a huge shock,” Vettel said. “Obviously I think it was a strange feeling to fall asleep to. In the end our thoughts are with the victims and their families. In the end there is nothing really can do to help. Very tragic.”