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.
Bianchi’s funeral was just before the Hungarian Grand Prix, which his family attended but Philippe said he had not been able to watch footage of the accident.
He said he was now determined to establish a charitable foundation to help other young racers achieve their dreams in the sport.
“I want to make a foundation to help young drivers perhaps in go-karts who don’t have money and who need some people to give them experience,” he explained.
“I speak with a lot of drivers in Formula One and am sure that they want to help me because I think that all the drivers are very touched by this dramatic incident and I know that I have a lot of people beside me who want to help.
“I’m sure I can make something good for Jules. It’s important now because Jules is not here, but it’s difficult because he is missed a lot.”
Editing by Sudipto Ganguly