Formula One: Races too hard to watch for Bianchi's father

Philippe Bianchi, the father of late French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi, pays his last respect to his son's coffin after his funeral ceremony on July 21, 2015.
Philippe Bianchi, the father of late French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi, pays his last respect to his son's coffin after his funeral ceremony on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

SUZUKA (AFP) - Jules Bianchi's father admits he still cannot bring himself to watch Formula One almost a year after the Frenchman's fatal crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Marussia driver smashed into a recovery vehicle in rain and fading light last October, suffering severe head injuries.

He died in July after nine months in a coma.

"Perhaps in a few months, a few years, I can see a grand prix," Philippe Bianchi told the BBC from his home in the south of France. "But for the moment it is too difficult."

His son became the first Formula One driver to die from injuries suffered in a grand prix weekend since Ayrton Senna in 1994.

"It's a difficult moment because it marks one year now that Jules had his crash," said Bianchi's grief-stricken father, who has also been unable to watch replays of the collision. "This week is not a good week for the Bianchi family. Jules is missed a lot by all his family, all the fans, all his friends, it is very difficult."

Flowers and cards were placed by a pitlane wall near the Marussia garage at Suzuka on Thursday, with more visible at the corner where he crashed along with several banners in the stands paying tribute to Bianchi.

An investigation into the tragedy by Formula One's governing FIA found that there was no single cause but concluded that Bianchi "did not slow sufficiently to avoid losing control" under double yellow flags.

Bianchi, 25, skidded off the track and into a recovery crane lifting Adrian Sutil's wrecked Sauber.