Jules Bianchi, one of the rising stars of Formula One, tragically lost his life following a collision with a mobile crane at the Japanese Grand Prix 2014. Jules suffered fatal head injuries and died 9 months after the accident in a hospital in Nice, France.
Following mutual discussions at the start of 2017, Jules’ family and various interested parties have now agreed on the lessons to be learned from the accident.
Whilst nothing can be done to bring Jules back, additional safety measures have already been taken to minimise the risk of a similar incident in the future:-
- The Virtual Safety Car (“VSC”) is now used to assist with controlling the speed of drivers when flag signals have been deployed.
- A fixed crane has been installed at turn 7 at Suzuka to remove the need for a mobile crane when retrieving accessible abandoned cars during a race.
- Track drainage has been improved at Suzuka and some other tracks.
- The FIA has introduced a 4-hour guideline which establishes that the start time of a Grand Prix should not be less than 4 hours before sunset or dusk so as to ensure good visibility for the duration of the race. From 2015 onwards, the scheduled race time for Suzuka has been moved forward one hour to 2pm local time.
- The FIA has made recommendations for improvements in training provided by the FIA on F1 safety procedures when drivers are first granted a Super Licence to race in the World Championship.
Jules’ family now hopes to enable his memory to live on through the Association Jules Bianchi, which has been set up in Monaco and is dedicated to helping other young motorsports drivers fulfil their potential. In addition, the family has created a charitable association in France which aims to raise funds to provide support for families whose loved ones sustain life-changing or fatal injuries.
“Jules left us all too early without being able to achieve his destiny in Formula One. The accident resulted from a combination of adverse circumstances which came together to cause the tragic death of a very skilful young driver, our son Jules. As a family, we feel it is our duty to keep his memory alive through the Association Jules Bianchi. For us, this is the most beautiful mission, the most meaningful proof of our love for Jules and his love for motorsport. Jules’ dream was to drive; our dream today is never to forget him.”
Philippe and Christine Bianchi
For further information, please contact: Robert Blevin, MD Communications – firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 3475 3727 or 07973 472 007
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