Formula One: Hamilton and Rosberg among stars who pay their respects to the late Bianchi

Friends and relatives, including F1 drivers Jean-Eric Vergne (fourth from right) and Felipe Massa (centre), gathering around Bianchi's coffin.
Friends and relatives, including F1 drivers Jean-Eric Vergne (fourth from right) and Felipe Massa (centre), gathering around Bianchi's coffin.PHOTO: REUTERS
Guests arriving for the funeral ceremony.
Guests arriving for the funeral ceremony.PHOTO: EPA
Pallbearers carrying Bianchi's coffin past a portrait of him during his funeral ceremony in Nice.
Pallbearers carrying Bianchi's coffin past a portrait of him during his funeral ceremony in Nice.PHOTO: AFP
Philippe Bianchi, the father of late French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi, reacts as he pays his last respect to his son's coffin after his funeral ceremony outside Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice on July 21, 2015.
Philippe Bianchi, the father of late French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi, reacts as he pays his last respect to his son's coffin after his funeral ceremony outside Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA
British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton (second from right) attends the furneral of late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi' at the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.
British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton (second from right) attends the furneral of late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi' at the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA
Formula One racing drivers Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado (left) and Brazilian Felipe Massa (centre) attend the furneral of late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi at the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.
Formula One racing drivers Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado (left) and Brazilian Felipe Massa (centre) attend the furneral of late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi at the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA
Formula One racing drivers alongside late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi's helmet on his coffin after his funeral ceremony outside the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.
Formula One racing drivers alongside late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi's helmet on his coffin after his funeral ceremony outside the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA
Late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi's helmet on his coffin after his funeral ceremony outside the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice on July 21, 2015.
Late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi's helmet on his coffin after his funeral ceremony outside the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA
German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel (left) and French Formula One driver Romain Grosjean (right) join pallbearers carrying the coffin of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi during the funeral held at the Cathedral of Sainte Reparate, in Ni
German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel (left) and French Formula One driver Romain Grosjean (right) join pallbearers carrying the coffin of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi during the funeral held at the Cathedral of Sainte Reparate, in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA
French Junior Sports Minister Thierry Braillard (centre) attends the furneral of late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi' at the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.
French Junior Sports Minister Thierry Braillard (centre) attends the furneral of late French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi' at the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA
Morners pause to view the wreaths as they arrive for the funeral ceremony of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi held at the Cathedral of Sainte Reparate, in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.
Morners pause to view the wreaths as they arrive for the funeral ceremony of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi held at the Cathedral of Sainte Reparate, in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA
Pallbearers carry the coffin of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi during the funeral held at the Cathedral of Sainte Reparate, in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.
Pallbearers carry the coffin of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi during the funeral held at the Cathedral of Sainte Reparate, in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA
A guest carrying a helmet arrives for the funeral ceremony of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi held at the Cathedral of Sainte Reparate, in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.
A guest carrying a helmet arrives for the funeral ceremony of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi held at the Cathedral of Sainte Reparate, in Nice, France, on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA

NICE (AFP) - Formula One turned out in force on Tuesday to pay its last respects to Jules Bianchi at the 25-year-old French driver's funeral in his hometown of Nice.

World champion Lewis Hamilton and many of Bianchi's pitlane colleagues joined family and friends of the talented young Marussia driver who died in Nice on Friday, nine months after his devastating accident at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Two giant portraits of Bianchi in full racing gear adorned the walls either side of the cathedral's main entrance.

His coffin, with his No. 17 helmet resting on it, was carried from the hearse into the cathedral by a group of young drivers, described by Father Sylvain Brison as Bianchi's "racing brothers".

With The Eagles' haunting 1970s anthem Hotel California playing in the background, the coffin was carried up the cathedral's central aisle.

Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who had made the short trip from their homes in Monaco, as well as Jean Todt, head of F1's governing body, the FIA, and the French Sports Minister Thierry Braillard, were in attendance for what Bianchi's parents had requested was to be an intimate farewell to their son.

"Jules' death is deeply unjust," Father Brison told the mourners in the Sainte-Reparate Cathedral situated in Nice's historic old town. "He was happy, because he had turned his dream into reality."

He concluded the service by saying: "Jules never managed to make it on to the Formula One podium, and so I ask you to applaud him now," which the emotional gathering, both inside and outside the cathedral, duly did for several minutes.

The service ended with the playing of the tender 1980s classic hit Mistral Gagnant by French singer Renaud.