Both Mercedes AMG Petronas drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg carry heavy hearts into their championship battle this weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix, following Tuesday’s funeral service for Jules Bianchi.
Neither driver knew Bianchi that well but are still well aware of Bianchi in their thoughts and minds going into the race. Both drivers are aware there is still plenty of work ahead to be done from a safety standpoint.
“Saying goodbye to Jules was incredibly hard for everyone,” Hamilton said in the team’s pre-race release. “For myself, I wished I had known him better. But from what I knew of him he was a kind heart with a great spirit and a bright future.
“Now our sport embarks on a tough road ahead. We have been shown once more the dangers of our sport, that these should be respected and that we drivers commit ourselves to the chance that those dangers are there when we step into the car.
“I will be carrying Jules with me in my prayers and thoughts, not only for this race but for the rest of my driving days. I know he’d want us to race hard as he did, and I will.”
Rosberg added, “It has been a very emotional week. The drivers paid our final respects to Jules and said farewell. He was a very talented driver and a good guy. My thoughts in these days are with his family and close friends.
“Everyone will be sharing the same feelings in the paddock this week – but we must race on and race hard for Jules as he would have wanted to be doing himself.”
Some three weeks after the British Grand Prix, Hamilton leads Rosberg by 17 points in the driver’s championship.
Hungary was a rare race Mercedes didn’t win in 2014, the win having fallen to Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull.