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Philippe Bianchi: F1 drivers afraid to speak up about accident

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Jules Bianchi’s father, Philippe, claims that Formula 1 drivers are afraid to speak up about the accident in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix that ultimately claimed his son’s life.

Bianchi sustained severe head injuries after colliding with a recovery vehicle in wet conditions during the race at Suzuka in October 2014.

The Frenchman died nine months later at the age of 25.

The Bianchi family announced last week that it would be launching legal action against the FIA (F1’s governing body), the F1 Group and the Marussia team over the accident.

An investigation in the months following the race deemed that Bianchi had been driving too quickly in the wet conditions – a claim that his family contests.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Bianchi Sr. said that some of Bianchi’s peers are afraid to speak publicly about the incident, but privately say that Jules was not at fault.

“One driver [sat] with me, with a camera will say nothing, because I think all of the people are afraid to say something,” Bianchi Sr. said.

“When you have no camera, all the people come to see me and say: ‘No it is not correct. Jules [did] nothing, they made a mistake’.

“Firstly, I have a lot of respect for people who made up the accident panel, that is OK.

“But all of the people are very near the FIA and cannot be correct for me.”

Bianchi Sr. believes that the conditions at Suzuka were the biggest contributing factor to his son’s accident.

“The conditions in Japan, I spoke with all of the drivers and they told me it was terrible conditions,” he said.

“The light was not good, there was a lot of rain.

“They cannot say that Jules made a mistake, it is not possible.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”