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.”

Christopher Bell survives caution-filled Chili Bowl Prelim

TeeJay Crawford
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Christopher Bell survived the most caution-filled Feature of the week to win Thursday’s preliminary night at the 33rd Annual Chili Bowl. His ability to hold the lead on restarts helped lock Bell into his seventh Saturday A-Feature since 2013.

“I pretty much suck on restarts. I do better when I get into a rhythm,” said Christopher Bell on twitter.

Bell started the feature in third place behind Danny Stratton and Jerry Coons Jr. He took the lead on the first official lap of the race, but not until after two Lap 1 cautions.

The Oklahoma native held the lead through the remaining 24 laps and eight cautions until being challenged by Shane Golobic and CJ Leary on the final laps. Golobic briefly made it past him though Turns 3 and 4 of the final lap. Bell regained control in 1 and 2 to claim the checkers.

“It was a lot busier than what I wanted them to be. Shane definitely made a race out of it and I hope the last four laps were a good show. It was a lot of fun … well it was fun because I won but if I hadn’t won it wouldn’t have been much fun,” Bell said regarding the final laps.

Golobic earned the second transfer into Saturday’s A-Main after starting to the outside of Bell.

Leary completed the podium with the pole sitter Stratton finished fourth.

Josh Most battled through the B after a hard crash in his heat. He rebounded to transfer to the A and drove from 22nd to fifth.

With the throng of cautions at the start and finish of the race, the goal quickly became survival. Only 15 of 24 entries completed the full feature. Notable DNF’s included Ryan Bernal who started fifth, Coons, who started on the front row and Thomas Meseraull in 15th.

NASCAR’s Justin Allgaier finished 13th and will have a long day ahead of him on Saturday.

Friday Jan. 18 will be the final Qualifying night for the 33rd annual Chili Bowl Nationals.

Thursday’s Results

1. Christopher Bell
2. Shane Golobic
3. CJ Leary
4. Danny Stratton
5. Josh Most
6. Austin Brown
7. Tracy Hines
8. Casey Shuman
9. Kyle Cummins
10. Andrew Felker
11. Austin O’Dell
12. Seth Carlson
13. Justin Allgaier
14. Chase Johnson
15. Johnny Herrera
16. Ryan Bernal
17. Jerry Coons Jr.
18. Matt Sherrell
19. Thomas Meseraull
20. Jake Morgan
21. Andrew Deal
22. Kevin Bayer
23. Kaleb Currie
24. Joe B. Miller