The world of Formula One is mourning the loss of Jules Bianchi. The French driver was involved in an accident in last season’s Japanese Grand Prix where he suffered serious injuries. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he would begin the fight for his life. This is a fight that would last for nine months, but one that he would not win. The fallen driver was just 25 years old.
Jules was born in Nice, France on August 3, 1989. He made his first major appearance in the 2007 French Formula Renault 2.0 championship, where he won five races and took the championship title. The following year he competed in and won the 2008 Masters of Formula 3 race at Zolder. In 2009, he participated in the Formula 3 Euro Series, winning nearly half of the races and taking the championship title.
It wasn’t until 2011 that he would get a contract with a Formula One team. He became a Ferrari test driver, while still racing in the GP2 Series. In 2012, he moved to Force India to become the teams test driver. During 2012, he also competed in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship, finishing runner-up to Robin Frijns. Jules was finally given the chance to participate in a Formula One race when he was signed to the Marussia team for the 2013 season. Although he wasn’t able to score any points in the underperforming Marussia car, he did perform better than his teammate, Max Chilton. With the team again for the 2014 season, Jules made history for the team, scoring their first points in Monaco.
He would stay with the Marussia team until the time his accident in Japan. On October 5, the race was held under wet conditions. On lap 40 of the race, Adrian Sutil hydroplaned off of the track at the Dunlop Curve. The following lap, as safety crews were working to remove the stricken Sauber car from the track, Jules slide off of the track and struck the tractor which was being used to remove Sutil’s car. The race was later ended under red flag conditions and Jules was transported to a nearby hospital where doctors would work hard to save him. In mid-November, Jules was flown to the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice to receive further treatment. He would succumb to his injuries on July 18, 2015.
“Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end,” said the Bianchi family. “The pain we feel is immense and indescribable. We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice’s CHU who looked after him with love and dedication. We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months.
“Furthermore, we thank Jules’ colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times. Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world.
“We would like to ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time, while we try to come to terms with the loss of Jules.”
Jules Bianchi was a rising Formula One star, but he was also a son, a brother, a friend and a loved one to many people. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Formula One world are with the loved ones of Jules. He will be forever loved and missed.