Drivers afraid to speak out over Bianchi crash – father

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: The father of Jules Bianchi says drivers are afraid to speak their minds over his son’s fatal crash.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

I found this photo from last visit at @circuitomuseofa ! Go kart wheeling 🤘🏻🤘🏻 @pirelli_motorsport #pirelli

A photo posted by Fernando Alonso (@fernandoalo_oficial) on

Comment of the day

There was a wide range of responses to the planned changes to the Italian Grand Prix circuit revealed in detail here yesterday:

I have always thought the first chicane looks very clumsy as the cars take off at a good speed then grind to a complete halt almost. It does provide some overtaking action though so I hope the new layout will preserve this or provide other opportunities. I am please to see the return of a few gravel traps as well. Never liked the asphalt run off at Parabolica. It just seems wrong at Monza.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jayantj, Rahim.Rg and Aditya Fakhri Yahya!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher scored his first victory as a Ferrari driver 20 years ago today in a very wet Spanish Grand Prix.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

44 comments on “Drivers afraid to speak out over Bianchi crash – father”

  1. It’s great that force India have acknowledged their error with Hulkenberg. I was really confused during the race when he was doing really well but suddenly was nowhere. I really feel sorry for him, he’s slowly becoming more and more underrated.

    It’s easy to forget a year ago he won Le Mans, all people are talking about now is how he isn’t good enough for a seat at Ferrari / Mercedes, and how Perez always beats him when there’s a podium opportunity.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd June 2016, 0:27

      Indeed – I’m hoping for a strong Hulkenberg comeback – it’ll be good for him and Force India.

    2. @strontium Yeah, absolutely gutted for him, this really was “his” podium – but it was once again Perez who stole the limelight. Perez, of course, drove magnificently well once again to repel Vettel who was visibly much quicker going by the race chart, but given that the Perez-Hulkenberg line-up is one of the closest, if not the outright closest, in terms of pure pace week in week out, I reckon Hulkenberg would have been able to do the same. I’m 99% sure of it.

      On the other hand, I don’t really blame Force India for the strategy this time around – much less so than their Bahrain and Shanghai antics, look it up on the race charts and tyre strategy graphs, it kind of went under the radar how they managed four results outside the top 10 with the 4th-5th best race pace even taking into account their lap 1-2 issues in Sakhir.

      So here they made a mistake most of the teams made with at least one car. I believe only Mercedes and Williams paid visible attention to avoid traffic for their inter stints, all other teams had at least one driver stuck behind a car that stayed out on full wets. (Mercedes and Williams had as well, but only due to slow stops with Rosberg and Bottas. And Red Bull and Manor had not, but only due to Verstappen’s excellence and Manor looking at completely free air when looking for gaps near the back of the field.) So six other teams (!) made the same mistake Force India did.

    3. Yes but without these tyres and the pitstops they mandate F1 would be dull and boring, drivers talent and car performance would be the deciding factor in the results and we wouldn’t want that, would we !?

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        2nd June 2016, 6:39

        @hohum, with no real degradation impact on slicks and the weather the tyres (design) had no impact on this race.
        We all know you hate these tyres with a vengeance, but don’t let these feelings blur the facts in this instance ;)

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        2nd June 2016, 15:09

        @hohum – Driver talent? Car performance? Why do these things matter? Everyone knows we all tune in every week to see how well the Pirelli tyres run and whether Renault, Ferrari and Honda have caught up to Mercedes. :)

    4. I think his pace was heavily masked by him being stuck behind cars all race. F1 can be fickle, between the cars suiting different drivers and plain luck a driver can come out smelling of roses, or alternatively poo, with very little performance difference to decide.

  2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    2nd June 2016, 0:31

    I really hope Bianchi’s family is able to settle quickly and doesn’t get dragged into courts for years. An apology of some sort might make him feel better – no one is happy that Jules died and considering the price his son paid, hopefully they can do the right thing and help them move on. There’s nothing to gain in courts for any of the parties and a fatality hasn’t occurred in many years (thank god) so paying out an amount will have little impact.

    1. I think a settlement would be pointless, they are not really after money, they want someone to admit liability for tacitly encouraging drivers to drive too fast in dangerous conditions. I think VSC solves the problem but it should have been introduced 10 years ago.

      1. Pirelli should provide wet weather & intermediate tyres that provide way more grip so we don’t have to have safety car starts when there’s a little bit of water.

        1. I thought the Safety car start was mostly to dry the track, with the added benefit of ensuring the safety car wasn’t required on the first lap.

        2. You can only displace so much water and no matter how much you do, you can’t remove the risk of aquaplaning. This really isn’t a Pirrelli issue. Further more, most of the risk that Charlie wards against is the spray, not the aquaplaning.

          Even if they could displace more water, the spray would still necessitate safety car starts. In fact, displacing more water would likely make the spray worse.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        2nd June 2016, 13:43

        @Alex W @BasCB Yes but Bianchi did not have to race if he wanted to…. He’s an adult. No one will accept responsibility – even an apology bears the stigma of responsibility and they may only get that in settlement. The best thing to do is to settle and ask the FIA to be more careful during races. Ultimately, they all want the same result and nothing will bring Jules back. If Bianchi’s family can get some money to ease their lives and obligations while ensuring that other drivers are safer then that’s a big step forward.

        And let’s not forget – courts are not the best place to seek justice. They could lose despite being 100% right and that will hurt even more.

        1. @freelittlebirds Exactly your last sentence is why this is not right, what could they possibly even ‘win’?

          1. The possibility of changes being made that actually reduce the chances of this sort of accident happening again? It’s not so much “win” as “not lose further”, because however bad it was for them seeing Jules die this way was, it would surely be worse for them if one of his colleagues suffered the same fate without anything meaningful being done to prevent it. I’m not convinced that any of the post-crash changes have changed the odds in question, and I don’t think they are either…

    2. from what they have been saying, i am not all that sure they WANT a settlement @freelittlebirds. I think the Bianchi family is rather upset about the presentation of the background coming down to “freak accident, driver drove to fast, nothing could have been done to prevent it by the FIA/Promotor etc”.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        2nd June 2016, 6:52

        I’m typically not a big fan of such legal challenges.
        But in this case the FIA deserves to be tested in court if they managed this situation well. I’m a strong believer of their guilt as they never enforced the double waved yellow in the past, thus condoned drivers to drive too fast under such circumstances. The FIA is always good (albeit confusing) with words, but their actions are not always consistent. It smells like the FIA is taking more interest in what the FOM wants (exciting racing at certain hours) than delivering (relatively) safe racing.
        Also the FOM is guilty IMO. They forced the race to continue at the late, rain affected, hour even though many people suggested to have the race earlier before the expected thunder storms (we all discussed it on this site). We all know that the FOM only cares about $$.

        I can’t see what Marrussia did wrong. Yes they decided to race, but the drivers are the ultimate ones making that decision. And it is too easy to say that the team should have decided to withdraw.

        1. @coldfly the crux of the matter is once the race starts, the running of the event is in the FIAs hand. FOM can do nothing if the race is cancelled on safety grounds, which is what should have happened, given the medical helicopter could not land at the nearest hospital because of the weather conditions. It’s in the FIA’s own Safety Guidelines.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            2nd June 2016, 12:23

            Correct, @optimaximal.
            But the FOM should have decided on Saturday to run the race earlier on Sunday. The weather forecast always said that typhoon Phanfone would pass Sunday afternoon.
            We all discussed it here (as amateurs) and it seemed to us that the FOM did not want to do that purely out of commercial reasons. Therefore, I’d like them to explain in court why they didn’t take that action.

        2. @coldfly I wouldn’t say that they never enforced double waved yellow’s as there has been plenty of penalty’s over the years for drivers ignoring them & going too quickly & they did start looking at the timing and gps stuff to better judge who was slowing & if it was enough.

          with regards to the start time, Did martin brundle not say on the sky coverage just after the race that conditions had been just as bad, if not worse earlier in the day so it was his view the start time didn’t play much of a role. also most drivers said after the race that conditions had actually not been that bad & had infact been much worse earlier in the race.

          also was it also not the circuit owners (Honda) rather than FOM who refused to consider moving the start time because of suzuka been heavily reliant on public transportation to get fans in & that meaning that if the start time was moved to earlier in the day most fans would have been unable to get there in time to watch it. i recall somebody saying pre-race that day that FOM & the FIA had looked at moving it to 11am but been blocked by the circuit owners (Who are not been looked at in this legal action?).

          1. @coldfly also regarding Marussia i gather that there is supposed to be a system on the cars that cuts the engine when both brake & throttle pedals are depressed but that Marussia’s brake-by-wire system was programmed in such a way that prevented the cut off system been activating.

            theory been that had the engine cut off system worked as its meant to Jules may have lost more speed & the car may have rotated differently & gone into the truck at a different angle. Although obviously these theory’s can’t be tested or proven.

          2. PeterG, Adam Cooper stated before the race took place that the FIA did ask Honda if they could bring the start of the race forward to 11am local time – he stated that, under the terms of the contract, the circuit owners (i.e. Honda) set the time and neither the FIA nor FOM have any means to force the organiser to change the start time.

            In this instance, it seems that the FIA asked Honda several times if they could bring the start of the race forward (initially asking to start four hours early, and then reducing that to one hour early). Honda’s response was to reject all of the FIA’s requests to start the race at an earlier time – they absolutely refused to compromise on the start time.

            As for the starting conditions, Will Buxton made a comment that morning that, although the circuit was still quite wet, he thought that the conditions were good enough for the race to take place (albeit with a safety car start in order for the circuit to dry out a bit).

            As you say, it seems odd that Honda, as the circuit owners, are not being targeted by Bianchi’s family given that it could be argued that their actions contributed to the accident.

          3. FOM would presumably be involved because it approved Honda’s proposed time in the first place, and even encouraged it being so late to attract European TV audiences. You can’t have a 4-hour window with 1 1/2 hours after nightfall unless there is a means of lighting the track or headlights on the cars (neither being applicable to this situation). Even with a contract allowing Honda to select a time for the race, the FOM would doubtless have been empowered to reject a proposed time if the organiser could not prove ability to deliver the product for the entirety of that slot. In the extremely unlikely event that the circuit was not required to prove its capacity to fulfil the proposed timeslot in its entirety, FOM would not be competent to hold its role in negotiating with circuits, as it would have effectively have contracted to receive a foreseeably defective product.

            Further, it is the FIA that is empowered to reject circuit-FOM contracts where these breach safety limits. This was the case here (typhoon or no typhoon), yet the FIA accepted the contract without requiring the necessary changes to make Suzuka usable if the post-nightfall part of the 4-hour window was invoked for any reason.

            It is not clear that Honda was given any reason to believe its requested time would cause anyone any difficulties until the race weekend. By then, it had sub-contracts with thousands of ticket-holders to run the Grand Prix at the advertised time, and may have been sued by them had it changed the time, depending on (for example) if those fans had planned their days to arrive at the circuit after the proposed new start time (which for those relying on public transport, is many of them). It only takes one such fan to cause big trouble, and with enough of them, it could have endangered the event’s continued existence. Thus, Honda had to rely on the FIA (via race control) upholding its responsibility to ensure the race was delayed, flagged and/or stopped according to the conditions.

            The whole “an earlier time was but the organiser said no” is beside the point, except insofaras it demonstrates the FIA was willing to try at least some mitigation outside its mandated minimum (this may gain it some favour in court). As I read the situation (note: I am not a lawyer) it is what happened back in 2013, when the calendar was originally proposed, that triggers liability for FOM (and begins the liability for FIA). They shouldn’t have been having the discussion to start earlier 12 hours before the race, but more like 12 months before…

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      2nd June 2016, 15:21

      People misunderstand civil claims. The settlement fee won’t be to punish the FIA, it will be to reclaim lost monies for whoever brings the case – the family in this instance.

      The family will have to take lots of time off work, they may have had trips/holidays booked that had to be cancelled, there’s the on-going grief process which could affect their jobs (ie not applying for a promotion they would have applied for otherwise), medical bills, funeral costs, loss of future earnings from Jules… the list is endless, different in every circumstance and very difficult to quantify.

  3. Mr. Bianchi, please, drivers say this just to support you.

    1. You know, i really think all this sueing buisness today is ridicololus and totally the reason why we can’t have nice things.
      However in this particular situation i really think he should do it, because the way things were handled was inacceptable. Simply using your very own investigation board comprised of solely your very own people–that’s just not how it’s done. Also the whole none-flyable conditions business. Not to mention the freaking tractor on track. Never mind common practice and we always do it that way, that is and was a blatantly obvious breach in the whole safety concept—see de villota.
      You know, he seems to be kind of a …..not always nice person….. and certainly excels at getting himself into uncomfortable situations, but i firmly believe there is some validity to Gary Hartsteins claims about the fia and about the bianchi disaster. Also, poor Sid is probably spinning in his grave. What a mess.

  4. As much as I sympathize with the Bianchi family, I feel sadness at the way this is moving forward.

    Many of us felt a great loss at the death of Jules, and the thought that this may all come down to being settled with dollars and cents (pounds and pennies), only just adds to the tragedy.

    I wish they would just let this go, and focus more on keeping the memory of their dear son alive.

    1. Jimmy Price
      2nd June 2016, 3:13

      There son isn’t alive though.

      You want the memory of thier son to be he died and nobody was held responsible? Several major mismanagement issues and calls caused the horrific chain of events that was the 2014 Japanese GP. It shouldn’t have happened and was very preventable.

      Nobody has been fired, nobody removed from position, and the people responsible investigated themselves.

      It’s a shame fans seem to think their opinion of this justifiable legal action the Bianchi family is taking is some how more legitimate than the actual opinion of the Bianchi family.

      1. Jimmy Price
        2nd June 2016, 3:14

        *PS imagine the good that can be done with the monies won in court.

    2. How does challenging the authority of the FIA in any way tarnish the memory of Jules Bianchi? Jules died in the performance of entertaining people. If his death was due to bad judgement or impropriety, why would you want to see the family completely ignore a need to pursue justice or accountability?

      Justice for Jules. Jules memory deserves better than to be locked behind politically correct bars.

      1. @xsavior I agree. The family has to do what they have to do. I don’t believe for one second this is about them hoping for a big lottery payout. They themselves feel this is their next necessary step on behalf of their son. Who is anybody to say they are wrong, just as who is anybody to say the Schumacher family is wrong to keep everything private. It is simply their wish and what is necessary for them as the ones living and coping through it.

        1. @robbie Have they actually said what they want?

          1. “We seek justice for Jules, and want to establish the truth about the decisions that led to our son’s crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014,” Jules’ father, Philippe Bianchi, said in the statement. “As a family, we have so many unanswered questions and feel that Jules’ accident and death could have been avoided if a series of mistakes had not been made.”

            (you can use google to find another site that has this statement in it)

  5. “Every driver that I have known in the past has a track that he doesn’t like and Kimi doesn’t like Monaco, even if he won once here.”

    I think that the rain also amplified the problem; seriously, nowadays Raikkonen is a colossal liability in the wet. I cannot recall the last time he was ever any good in those conditions.

    1. As a Räikkönen Fan it breaks my heart to say this but it is probably hungary 06 pre-crashout and/or China 07

      1. He was going well at Silverstone in 2008 too, but the team chose not to replace his worn intermediate tyres.

        1. Its often forgotten or ignored that Kimi spun just as many times at Massa did in that race.

  6. Fudge Ahmed (@)
    2nd June 2016, 11:13

    Surprised to see no articles on the renewed Red Bull and Renault agreement? That story broke well before this roundup was published, yesterday in fact?

      1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
        2nd June 2016, 15:27

        My bad! I thought it was unlike Keith to miss something. :)

  7. Not surprised to hear Nico say complying to the order was not about his contract. I’m pretty confident that is because they’ve already agreed verbally to a re-signing and it is just a matter of picking the right time to sit down and do the details.

    1. @robbie On the other hand, it is also totally possible that not everything has been agreed on yet.

      At this point everything is just speculation!

    2. Robbie you know by now that what a driver says to the press and what’s said behind closed doors are usually polar opposites.

      Even if what you say is true 9 out of 10 times its not and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

      Let’s be real, in contract negotiations everyone u say and do is about those negotiations. So Nico is lying unless he’s already signed.

      1. I think the rumor is he signed a while ago. I would also go as far to say as there is a difference between when you sign, and when you ‘officially’ announce a commitment.

Comments are closed.