Jules Bianchi – A Lost Talent

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Updated: July 20, 2015

Early on Saturday morning Formula 1 lost one of its brightest stars. Jules Bianchi finally succumbed to his injuries and passed away, nine months after his horrible accident during the Japanese Grand Prix last year.

As a talented Ferrari academy driver, Jules was destined to have a long and successful F1 career. Ferrari have come out recently and said that Bianchi was the one to replace Raikkonen when his contract expired. Back in 2013 I distinctly remember saying that one day Bianchi and Hulkenberg would be Ferrari drivers. I may not have got Hulkenberg correct (as of now) but my Bianchi prediction was surely right.

Bianchi testing the 2014 Ferrari

Bianchi testing the 2014 Ferrari

That in my opinion, is why his death is so tragic. Not purely because him dying is sad, but also because of the lost potential. F1 loves a ‘what if’, and depending on what sort of car Ferrari has for the next few years, the ‘what could Bianchi have done at Ferrari?’ what if will be talked about until the end of time.

I can’t help but notice some parallels with Stefan Bellof. Bellof joined F1 in 1984, and immediately shone, with his crowning glory coming at the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, where he finished 3rd.

Stefan Bellof at Monaco in 1984

Stefan Bellof at Monaco in 1984

Though Bellof’s podium has been erased from the history books, (that’s a different story) his legacy has always been remembered. Like Bianchi, Bellof was hotly tipped to be a Ferrari driver, and sadly like Bianchi, Stefan Bellof was tragically killed, albeit during a World Sportscar Championship event at Spa in 1985.

Bianchi will always hold the distinction of scoring Marussia’s first, and so far only, ever points in Formula 1, with a spirited drive at Monaco. And that’s how I’ll always choose to remember him. Not just as a driver with bucket loads of potential, but as a driver that was already showing how good he was.

Jules Bianchi

1989-2015


 

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