(3 August 1989 – 17 July 2015)
Jules Bianchi was a French motor racing driver who drove for Marussia F1 in the FIA Formula One World Championship.
Bianchi had previously raced in Formula Renault 3.5, the GP2 Series and Formula Three and was a Ferrari Driver Academy member. He entered Formula One as a practice driver in 2012 for Sahara Force India. In 2013, he made his debut driving for Marussia, finishing 15th in his opening race in Australia and ended the season in 19th position without scoring any points. His best result that year was 13th at the Malaysian Grand Prix. In October 2013, the team confirmed that he would drive for the team the following season. In the 2014 season, he scored both his and the Marussia’s first points in Formula One at the Monaco Grand Prix.
On 5 October 2014, during the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Bianchi lost control of his Marussia in very wet conditions and collided with a recovery vehicle, suffering a diffuse axonal injury. He underwent emergency surgery and was then placed into an induced coma, and remained comatose until his death on 17 July 2015. Bianchi is the first Formula One driver to be killed as a result of an accident during a Grand Prix since 1994.
Bianchi died from his injuries on 17 July 2015, aged 25. His death made him the first Formula One driver to be killed by injuries sustained during a Grand Prix since Ayrton Senna in 1994.
In their official statement, Bianchi’s family said:
It is with deep sadness that the parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, his brother Tom and sister Mélanie, wish to make it known that Jules passed away last night at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Nice. Jules fought to the end, as he has always done, but yesterday his battle ended. We feel an immense and indescribable pain.
Bianchi’s funeral service is due to be held at the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice, on 21 July 2015.