Jules Bianchi has been laid to rest at today’s funeral in Nice, in a service attended by family, close friends and a considerable number of Formula 1 drivers and others in the F1 community.
Members of the public were able to watch from outside.
A healthy number of drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Pastor Maldonado, Marcus Ericsson and Roberto Merhi, were on hand while other figures including FIA president Jean Todt, four-time World Champion Alain Prost, Bianchi’s past teammate Max Chilton, Manor’s John Booth and Graeme Lowdon were all in attendance.
The Bianchi family said, “Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end.”
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.