Philippe Bianchi

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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.”