Bianchi's family starts legal action

MONACO • The family of the late French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi is planning legal action against the sport's governing body FIA, his former Marussia team and Bernie Ecclestone's F1 Group.

In a statement issued yesterday by British firm Stewarts Law, Bianchi's father Philippe said: "We seek justice for Jules, and want to establish the truth about the decisions that led to our son's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014.

"As a family, we have so many unanswered questions and feel that Jules' accident and death could have been avoided if a series of mistakes had not been made."

Bianchi, 25, died in hospital in his home town of Nice last July, after suffering serious head injuries when he crashed into a recovery crane at Suzuka during the October 2014 race.

Stewarts, representing the family in the English legal system, said errors were made in the planning, timing, organisation and conduct of the race. The family also felt that the actions of one or more of the named parties may have contributed to the fatal accident.

"The Bianchi family are determined that this legal process should require those involved to provide answers and to take responsibility for any failings," said Stewarts partner Julian Chamberlayne.

There was no immediate response from the FIA, whose report into the accident said that the Frenchman had not slowed sufficiently under warning flags before crashing. It found that his car hit the crane at 126kmh.

Chamberlayne said it had been "surprising and distressing to the Bianchi family that the FIA panel in its conclusions, whilst noting a number of contributing factors, blamed Jules."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2016, with the headline 'Bianchi's family starts legal action'. Print Edition | Subscribe