F1 still too hard to watch for Bianchi's father

Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:48am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SUZUKA, Japan (Reuters) - Jules Bianchi's father says he can no longer bear to watch Formula One a year on from the Japanese Grand Prix accident that led to the French driver's death last July.

"Perhaps in a few months, a few years, I can see again a grand prix, I don't know. But for the moment, it is too difficult," Philippe Bianchi told the BBC in an interview from his home in the south of France.

Bianchi, 25, suffered severe head injuries when his Marussia skidded off a wet track in fading light at Suzuka last October and slammed into the side of a recovery tractor lifting Adrian Sutil's crashed Sauber.

The Frenchman, tipped as a future Ferrari driver with a glittering future ahead of him, was flown back to France and died in hospital in Nice.

He was the first driver to die of injuries sustained in a race since Brazilian triple champion Ayrton Senna at Imola in Italy in 1994.

Flowers and tributes were placed against the pitlane wall near the Marussia garage at Suzuka on Thursday with more laid at the corner where he crashed.

Banners in the stands and around the track made clear he remained firmly in the minds of fans as well as his fellow drivers.

"This weekend was always going to be a hard one for the team but we need to get through it as best we can," said current Marussia driver Will Stevens, who attended Suzuka last year as team reserve.   Continued...

A photo of late Marussia Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of France, who died nine months after his crash at Japanese Grand Prix in 2014 and without regaining consciousness, and flowers are offered at a stand especially set up beside a track at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan, September 24, 2015, ahead of Sunday's Japanese F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Toru Hanai