F1 grid unites to pay tribute to Jules Bianchi (VIDEO)

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Ahead of today’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the Formula 1 grid came together to pay tribute to Jules Bianchi following his death at the age of 25 last week.

Bianchi passed away last week, nine months after suffering severe head injuries in an accident at the Japanese Grand Prix in October 2014.

Ahead of today’s race in Hungary, the F1 drivers came together to pay its respects to Bianchi with a touching tribute, and were joined by his family for a minute’s silence.

The drivers formed a circle at the front of the grid, standing around their helmets with Bianchi’s in the very centre.

The race that followed proved to be a memorable one as Sebastian Vettel stormed to his second win of the season, dedicating the victory to Bianchi after the race.

His gesture was replicated by Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne, who issued a statement following the race.

“We dedicate this victory to the memory of Jules Bianchi, a fantastic guy whom we all miss terribly,” Marchionne said.

“Unfortunately, today in the end, we were unable to celebrate a one-two finish which was within our grasp because of a problem with Kimi’s car. That’s a clear sign we must never drop our guard.

“We will continue to work on closing the gap to those ahead of us, but without ever ignoring the reliability factor. We will soon be pausing for the summer break, after which I’m sure everyone in the Scuderia will return even more ready and determined than ever.”

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.