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.”

Ryan Norman returns to Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport in 2019

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Ryan Norman will return to Andretti Autosport for their third season together in 2019 after scoring his first win and first pole with that organization in 2018.

I’m really excited to finally make it official that I’ll be returning to Andretti Autosport for my third season competing in Indy Lights,” said Norman in a press release. “We’ve built a solid foundation over the past two years and I’m ready to fight for wins, podiums and ultimately the championship, with such a great group of people who have become like a family to me.”

Norman finished 2018 fourth in the championship, earning his first career win in race 15 of the 17-race schedule at Gateway Motorsports Park in August.

Norman’s first pole came in the finale at Portland International Raceway in September, but he crashed on the first lap and finished last (8th).

“We’re very happy that Ryan is rejoining us for his third season of Indy Lights,” said Andretti Autosport President, JF Thormann. “We were pleased with his performance this past season, and his potential as a driver began to really shine after his win at Gateway. He’s right on track with his progression plan put together by his engineering team, and we feel strongly that he has what it takes to be a contender for the 2019 championship.”

Norman will essentially replace teammates Patricio O’Ward and Colton Herta, who will race for Rookie of the Year honors in IndyCar next season.  O’Ward finished first in the Indy Lights standings last year; Herta finished second.

Norman’s 2019 campaign will begin on the streets of St. Petersburgh, Florida March 9, 2019. That will be the first of a double-header with Race 2 running the following day.