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F1 Monaco GP: Philippe Bianchi: Drivers afraid to say something

Philippe Bianchi, father of the late Jules Bianchi, says drivers are afraid to speak up on record about his son's accident and death.
The father of the late Jules Bianchi says drivers are 'afraid' to speak up against the sport's governing bodies over his son's accident and death as the family prepare legal action against several parties.

Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, it was announced the Bianchi family was to launch a lawsuit against the FIA, FOM and Marussia to argue Jules' accident in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, in which he slid off track into a recovery vehicle, was avoidable.

With Bianchi succumbing to his serious injuries nine months later, the subsequent report into the accident published in December 2014 found a combination of factors – rather than one major contributing factor – led to the tragic accident, including the weather, the position of the recovery vehicle and also the speed of Bianchi on the approach to the bend.

However, Philippe Bianchi contests these findings, saying he feels drivers are too afraid to speak up on record and the accident panel – which was made up on officials and team principals - was too close to the FIA to be impartial.

“One driver with me, with a camera will say nothing because I think all of the people are afraid to say something,” he told Sky Sports News. “With no camera all the people come to see me and say 'it is not correct, Jules made nothing [mistake], they made a mistake'.

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

The legal case is set to focus on whether the race should have gone ahead in poor weather conditions brought on in the wake of a tsunami that had swept across the wider region and had already forced the race to be stopped after just three laps. Rain had been worsening in the laps leading up to Bianchi's accident and the race was under safety car conditions at the time.

“The conditions in Japan for all of the drivers, it was terrible conditions and the light was not good. There was a lot of rain, they cannot say that Jules made a mistake, it is not possible.”

With the FIA, FOM and Marussia (now known as Manor) yet to respond to the legal action, Sir Jackie Stewart nonetheless says the Bianchi family will find it difficult to blame other organisations given the telemetry which suggests Bianchi was going too fast in the circumstances.

“It will be very difficult to justify a case fully against the sport or the race track owner, or F1 because he should have been going slower.”
by Ollie Barstow



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
10.10.2015- Free Practice 1, Marussia F1 sticker for Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03
10.10.2015- Free Practice 1, Marussia F1 sticker for Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03
09.10.2014- Fans visiting Sochi circuit with a flag for Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03
03.10.2014 - Free Practice 1, Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03
Pirelli tyre compound choices, Malaysian Grand Prix [Credit: Pirelli]
18.09.2016 - Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
18.09.2016 - Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
18.09.2016 - Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
18.09.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
18.09.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05
18.09.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05
18.09.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H leads Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
18.09.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05
18.09.2016 - Race, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05 leads Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
18.09.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05 and Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
18.09.2016 - Race, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05 and Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
18.09.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05
18.09.2016 - Race, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12

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Taipan

June 01, 2016 1:56 PM

I'm full of sympathy for the Bianchi family but I can't really see what they can gain out of this legal action, it's just going to drag their pain out even further. Of course they can prove that the accident was avoidable, most are. Remove the rescue vehicle (which should not have been there in my opinion) - avoids the accident Black flag the race due to the conditions - avoids the accident but equally Jules could have driven much slower - avoids the accident Jules could have chosen a different career (harsh but true) - avoids the accident. The only thing to be gained after a tragedy like this is lessons to prevent it happening again and hopefully they have already been learned.

Taz

June 01, 2016 4:52 PM

Tomco: Motor racing is dangerous. Im sure he must have encouraged his son at some point in his career. The accident was avaoidable initially unfortunately Jules was going too fast and even more unfortunate to hit a recovery vehicle. Move on Mr Bianchi otherwise we will start to believe there are ulterior motives.
No easy to move on when you lose you son I guess.



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