Jules Bianchi's father lashes out after Pierre Gasly incident shocks F1
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.
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."
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.
“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.”
Wtf. How’s this happened!? We lost a life in this situation years ago. We risk our lives, especially in conditions like this. We wanna race. But this… Unacceptable.
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) October 9, 2022
Should have been an instant red flag with a stricken car in a critical position in those conditions. Clearly debris on track too. Should NEVER EVER be a tractor on track until the cars are all collected up behind a safety car or in the pits. Gasly can’t take all the blame here
— Martin Brundle (@MBrundleF1) October 9, 2022
Firstly, huge congrats to Max on the title: very much deserved.
Secondly, thank you to the fans who stayed out in the rain. A shame we couldn’t make a better race of it, but your support was incredible.
Finally, a tractor should never be on a circuit when race cars are… never!
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) October 9, 2022
This is INCREDIBLY scary!! How the f*** can this happen after 2014?? #JapaneseGP #Gasly #f1 pic.twitter.com/wHA7Wg3hdZ
— Silja Rulle (@SiljaRulle) October 9, 2022
This is bad on any track, but at Suzuka in the wet after what happened in 2014 is horrific. Genuinely putting Gasly’s life at risk there. https://t.co/jIKnRogKHU
— ®️Ⓜ️🐝 (@rianmbfc) October 9, 2022
What happened with Gasly and the tractor is absolutely horrific. He could have killed himself in exactly the same was as Bianchi at the same track in the same conditions…
Absolutely moronic.#JapaneseGP #WTF1
— FlickFloof (@FlickFloof) October 9, 2022
#F1 Gasly is so rightly livid about this! Awful that was allowed to happen… https://t.co/ADZrAML04S
— Melissa Nathoo (@MelissaNathoo) October 9, 2022
Just watched onboards with Gasly. Right to be furious. Recovery vehicle bang on the racing line in zero visibility. Unforgivable.
— Will Buxton (@wbuxtonofficial) October 9, 2022
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