#ForzaJules – Jules Bianchi loses his fight


Today was a day I think we were all expecting, if never wanted to admit.

It was the day that Jules Bianchi lost the fight for his life.

He never woke after his crash that dark, miserable Japanese afternoon. It was an afternoon that cut short what was to be a phenomenal career.



In the Manor he made that car do things that it should not have done. He made us feel like we felt when we saw Fernando Alonso in the Minardi, Jean Alesi in the Tyrrell, Ayrton Senna in the Toleman or Stefan Bellof in his Tyrrell.

Like Bellof, though we will never know what he would achieve.

It felt like that on a Monaco afternoon where he came home in the points, that it was a just reward for a passion of racing, a will to go as fast as he possibly could.

It was a year that he arguably should have been in the other red car, having been a Ferrari junior driver, having undoubted pace but not a name or the experience. They inexplicably took Kimi Raikkonen but it seemed like Jules would have made the perfect teammate for his great friend, Alonso and would have been perfectly suited to race alongside Vettel.


But it never happened and he never let it publicly show. He continued on, pushing, knowing that there was more to happen in his career. He tested for Ferrari, for Force India. Started 34 Grands Prix and took just the one points finish.

He is the first driver to have died from an F1 crash since the great Ayrton Senna, but we have lost other motorsport drivers and marshals from crashes since.

I guess that we all knew, in a dark place in our mind, that a crash would take the life of an F1 driver. The law of averages is impossible to escape, F1 has been lucky in the past, and finally it was one we could not escape.

This tragedy I feel was unneeded and angers me to the core.


So many strides have been made in the name of safety in F1. Some for the good of the sport, some perhaps not so.

This crash, though was completely unnecessary. Forget the marshal, the argument over the green flag. Forget the tractor. The primary cause was much more fundamental.

The race should have never run at the time.  Like Malaysia, the need for TV time to have the race in the late afternoon, and at a time of year that rain comes was always going to place a greater risk of a crash.  We heard that there was an option that the track refused to bring the race start to an earlier time as weather threatened.

But I feat this was never an option. For anyone that works for a tyrannical boss, you know the ‘way out clause’ is a career ending decision.

The race should have never run at that time.  It was simple. And in the end, predictably, someone paid the price.

I sincerely hope that F1 learns from this.

But whatever the case, Bianchi died doing what he loved, which is little consolation when you lose a man of just 25 years.

A man of so much talent, driving for a team of people who were so enthusiastic but a team that knew far too much tragedy in their short existence.


My thoughts are with them, with the fellow drivers and of course the family and friends of Jules today.

We all hoped that he would wake, that the injuries just needed time to heal.

I never met Jules, but I was a huge fan. I have been lucky in my time in motorsport but in the last few years it has started to shake with Allan Simonsen and James McIntosh amongst those closer to me.

Like cricket fans though who lost Phil Hughes, this hits you, and it hits deep.  And for those reasons, my thoughts lie with everyone in the F1 paddock and F1 fans everywhere in the world.

Jules will be missed and has been over the past nine months.

Like Bellof before him, we will never know what the future had in store.  We can just imagine and I know in the future we will be talking of Bianchi as a talent lost.

Motorsport is certainly better for having him and is wounded today.

Rest in peace Jules and thank-you for your race.


– Sam Tickell, July 2015