Jules Bianchi's father lashes out after Pierre Gasly incident shocks F1

·6-min read
Jules Bianchi's father, pictured here before Pierre Gasly's near-miss.
Jules Bianchi's father has lashed out over the incident involving Pierre Gasly at the Japanese Grand Prix. Image: F1/Getty

The father of late F1 driver Jules Bianchi has lashed out on social media over a frightening incident involving Pierre Gasly at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Gasly was involved in scary scenes on Sunday at Suzuka when he narrowly avoided crashing into a tractor on the same track where Bianchi was killed in a similar incident in 2014.

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The race was red-flagged on the third lap after Carlos Sainz crashed into a wall, with a tractor coming out onto the track to tow away his car.

However the tractor was on the track before all drivers knew the race had been red-flagged, resulting in a horrific moment as an unaware Gasly flew past the tractor at high speed and only narrowly avoided hitting it.

Gasly had entered the track from the pits and wasn't aware the tractor was out there, but was later hit with a penalty for not slowing under red flag conditions.

“What is this tractor on track?” Gasly screamed on his team radio.

“I passed next to it. This is unacceptable. Remember what happened. Can’t believe this! We don’t want to see ever, a crane on the track.”

The incident brought back painful memories of Bianchi's death after he collided with a recovery vehicle in 2014.

The French driver lost control of his car in wet conditions on the same track and collided with the recovery vehicle at high speed.

Jules Bianchi, pictured here at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2013.
Jules Bianchi looks on at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2013. (Photo by Darren Heath/Getty Images)

He remained in a coma with a head injury for nine months before he died at age 25 in 2015.

Bianchi’s death was the first from an on-track incident in F1 since Ayrton Senna’s fatal accident in 1994.

“We lost Jules already. We all lost an amazing guy, an amazing driver, for the reasons that we know," Gasly said after the race.

"Eight years ago, on the same track, in the same conditions, with a crane. How? How today can we see a crane, not only in the gravel, on a race track, while we are still on the track? I don’t understand that.

“Obviously I got scared. Obviously if I would have lost the car in a similar way Carlos lost it the lap before... I would have died, as simple as that."

Bianchi's father Philippe led the condemnation on social media, writing: "No respect for the life of the driver. No respect for Jules' memory. Incredible."

Jules Bianchi's father and sister, pictured here after his tragic death.
Jules Bianchi's father and sister were left shattered by his death. Image: Getty

F1 world in disbelief over horrifying incident

Gasly also said the incident was 'disrespectful' to Bianchi's memory.

“It’s disrespectful to Jules, disrespectful to his family and all of us. We are risking our life out there. We are doing the best job in the world but what we are asking is at least keep us safe," he said.

“It’s already dangerous enough and today I just feel it was unnecessary. We could have waited one more minute to get back in the pit lane and then put the tractors on track.

“I’m just extremely grateful that I’m here and tonight I’m going to call my family. If I was two metres to the left I would have been dead.

“We’ve got a lap time in the steering and I was still nine seconds slower than that. This is not fair because I was doing everything correctly. That crane should not have been there.

Pierre Gasly, pictured here in action at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Pierre Gasly in action at the Japanese Grand Prix. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“If I would have been dead right how, if I crashed, what’s the outcome? I don’t think any tractor should be on the racetrack.

“They’re probably going to say I’m wrong and it’s probably going to be all my mistake. What I care about is my colleagues and in the future we don’t face this sort of situation.

“Because if I aquaplaned like Carlos did the lap before, I would not be standing here and there would be another one after Jules.

“Jules was already painful and I don’t think it’s respectful towards him and his family.”

McLaren driver Lando Norris also referenced Bianchi's death, while Red Bull boss Christian Horner called for an investigation into procedures at the track.

“We lost Jules Bianchi here eight years ago and that should never, ever happen,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“There needs to be a full investigation into why there was a recovery vehicle on the circuit.”

with agencies

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