Manor Marussia team principal John Booth expressed his pride and emotion following the Hungarian Grand Prix as the Formula 1 paddock came together to pay tribute to Jules Bianchi.
Bianchi died at the age of 25 ten days ago after a nine month fight against head injuries sustained in an accident at the Japanese Grand Prix in October last year.
Last weekend’s race in Hungary was one full of emotion as the F1 paddock came together for the first time since Bianchi’s death.
It was a particularly emotional race for Manor, which was the team Bianchi spent his entire F1 career with and saved with his ninth place finish at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Speaking after the race in which Manor drivers Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens finished 15th and 16th respectively, Booth expressed his pride in the team for showing courage and strength over the weekend.
“A very difficult day, at the end of a very difficult week, for our team and the entire F1 community,” Booth said. “The build-up to this weekend has been incredibly emotional, but we had one job to do today to honour Jules, and that was to achieve the best possible placings.
“That’s exactly what we did, and I am so proud of the whole team for their tremendous courage and fortitude.”
Bianchi’s family was present at the Hungaroring for the race on Sunday after Bernie Ecclestone laid on a private jet for them to attend, and Booth said that this was a source of comfort for Manor.
“It has been both difficult and comforting for them to see Jules’ family here at the track today,” Booth said.
“Difficult, because they too are a part of this team and we have shared so many happy occasions together. And comforting, because if they could find the strength to contend with the incredible outpouring of love and affection for Jules today, then we certainly could.
“It was not easy for any of the drivers, but well done to Roberto and Will for their focus and composure.”