Jules Bianchi tributes: F1 mourns loss of 'truly great guy'
Tributes pour in for popular and talented driver on social media
Last Updated: 18/07/15 8:59am
The F1 community has paid heartfelt tribute to Jules Bianchi after the Frenchman died of the head injuries sustained in his crash at last year’s Japanese GP.
Bianchi had established himself as one of the most popular drivers in F1 in his two seasons on the grid and his accident at Suzuka last October had been met with deep shock by the sport.
F1’s drivers have taken to Twitter to express their grief at the 25-year-old’s passing.
“Last night we lost a truly great guy and a real fighter #RIPJules my sincerest condolences to his family and friends,” McLaren driver Jenson Button tweeted.
Bianchi’s French compatriot Romain Grosjean posted a picture of the two of them together and wrote: “Yesterday we lost one of the best guys and best drivers I've ever met. I'll miss you so much my friend.”
In addition to competing against Bianchi at the top level of motorsport, a number of the current grid also drove against the Frenchman in the junior categories – including Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Williams' Valtteri Bottas.
“I'll never forget you and the good times we had. Going to miss you bro,” tweeted Ricciardo.
Bottas, who posted a picture of himself next to Bianchi on the podium in the F3 Euroseries in 2009, said: "Woke up to these very sad news. RIP Jules. You will be never forgotten. My thoughts are with the family."
Bianchi’s team-mate at Marussia, Max Chilton, tweeted: “No words can describe what his family & the sport have lost. All I can say it was a pleasure knowing & racing you.”
Although he didn't race for Ferrari in F1, Bianchi had been the founding memory of their Driver Academy and tested for the Scuderia on several occasions with the expectation being that he would eventually receive a full-time call-up.
"#CiaoJules forever in Ferrari's hearts," the team tweeted on Saturday morning.
With tributes pouring in from across the paddock and the wider motorsport world, Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle wrote: “RIP Jules Bianchi. It was a pleasure and privilege to have known him in his all too short life. Sad day, condolences to his family and friends.”
McLaren’s Twitter account added: “The thoughts of everybody at McLaren are with the friends and family of Jules Bianchi. You will be sorely missed. #RIPJules #ForzaJules.”