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F1 drivers shed tears to farewell Bianchi

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Maldonado and Massa show their emotions at the funeral of Bianchi following his death in Nice last Friday

Maldonado and Massa show their emotions at the funeral of Bianchi following his death in Nice last Friday


F1’s stars let tears flow on Tuesday as their friend and rival Jules Bianchi was laid to rest.

From world champion Lewis Hamilton to F1 legend Alain Prost, representatives of the pinnacle of motor sport turned out in numbers to say goodbye to the talented Frenchman.

Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa were locked in embrace while tears rolled down their faces, as the congregation gathered around Bianchi’s coffin, the 25-year-old late Marussia driver’s helmet perched atop.

Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean were among the sombre pallbearers, while also in attendance was Adrian Sutil, who drove for Sauber last year, and Bianchi’s 2014 teammate Max Chilton.

At the weekend, Chilton, now driving in Indy Lights, dedicated his pole-to-flag victory to Bianchi, just hours after discovering his former teammate had passed away after a nine-month coma.

“I probably thought of Jules every five or ten laps,” said the Briton. “He was a driver destined to probably be a world champion.”

Alex Wurz, president of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, attended the funeral as well, having earlier promised “Jules, his family and friends, to never relent in improving safety”.

Also there was FIA president Jean Todt.

Among the other mourners on Tuesday were Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg, Marcus Ericsson, Nico Hulkenberg and Daniil Kvyat, who afterwards shared a beer in a local pub.

“Today we said goodbye,” said Jenson Button on Twitter. (GMM)

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