Verstappen and Gasly commemorate deceased Bianchi: ‘Would have achieved incredible things in F1’

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Verstappen and Gasly commemorate deceased Bianchi: 'Would have achieved incredible things in F1'

This year has now been ten seasons since Jules Bianchi’s tragic accident. The Frenchman lost control of his car during the Japanese GP, which was affected by heavy rain, and crashed into a crane truck. The Marussia driver initially survived the serious crash, fell into a coma, but would die three quarters of a year later. Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly have certainly not forgotten the talented Frenchman and reflect on that black day in the history of motorsport.

In 2014, just like in his debut season a year earlier, Bianchi played for the modest Marussia team. In Monaco that season he managed to achieve an impressive ninth place and with that Bianchi scored two important points for the rearguard team. The young Frenchman was considered a great talent and he came into the spotlight at Ferrari.

But unfortunately his career came to an abrupt end during the soaking wet Japanese Grand Prix. Bianchi lost control of his car and then crashed into a crane truck, which the Force India of Adrian Sutil, who had recently been pushed off the track, wanted to remove. The young talent suffered serious head injuries, fell into a coma and would succumb to his injuries months later.

Verstappen: ‘Bianchi would have achieved incredible things’

Verstappen was also present that weekend, the Dutchman was allowed to make his official debut in a Formula 1 weekend two days earlier. In the press conference prior to the Japanese race weekend, the Red Bull Racing driver looks back on the fateful moment. ‘I think these are one of those days that you don’t really want to think about. Personally, I didn’t know Jules (Bianchi, ed.) that well, but of course we all have friends who did know him.’

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Max Verstappen made his debut in an F1 weekend on Friday, two days before Jules Bianchi’s accident.

Verstappen regrets Bianchi’s fate and is convinced that a bright F1 future could have been in store for the Frenchman. ‘He was, of course, incredibly talented. And yes, he would certainly have achieved incredible things in Formula 1. I think everyone was quite sure of that,” the three-time world champion has nice words for the godfather of his competitor Charles Leclerc.

‘It was a very bad day for the sport and we learned a lot about safety that day. Unfortunately, it seems that things like this sometimes have to happen to improve safety,” the Dutchman notes. ‘Of course you don’t want that, but sometimes that’s how life works. I like that he will always be remembered. There are charities to which his name is linked, such as the go kart races that his father still organizes. He deserves to be remembered,” said Verstappen.

Gasly looked up to Bianchi

Gasly, who himself had a perilous moment with a tractor in the 2022 edition, agrees with the words of his former teammate. ‘I agree with Max (Verstappen, ed.). I think Jules will always be remembered, of course as a driver but also as a person,” says the Alpine driver, who returns to the site of the accident every year to commemorate Bianchi. “He was very nice and he was an example for many drivers, especially in France.”

“I remember that we, for example Anthoine (Hubert, ed.), Esteban (Ocon, ed.) and I, in the French team, looked up to him as young children,” the Frenchman reminisces. ‘I think everyone agreed that he would have ultimately driven for Ferrari. It is very sad what happened, but I am happy that he has made his mark in Formula 1 and beyond. He will certainly be remembered,” concludes Gasly.

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