Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Hockenheimring, 2014

Decision to retire Bianchi’s number supported

2015 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, Silverstone test, 2014Team principals have supported the FIA’s decision to prevent future drivers from using Jules Bianchi’s race number 17.

The FIA announced on Monday it would retire number 17 which Bianchi chose to use from the beginning of 2014 after his original three options were unavailable.

Graeme Lowden of Bianchi’s former team said the decision was “a difficult one because it’s so personal to different people”.

“I’m extremely biased on this subject: My view is if it helps Jules’ family in any way at all, then I’m in support of it,” he said. “I think anything else is secondary.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also backed the decision. “I think the only thing you have to remember is last year numbers were introduced as being allocated to drivers, the drivers selected the number they raced with for their career,” he said. “So you can understand the FIA’s decision as this was the number that Jules obviously chose that meant something to him, for retiring that number.”

“Perhaps in time, if the Bianchi family want that number to reappear, it would be appropriate to ask them, or if a driver wants to use that number, for that driver to approach that family in future years to come.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Decision to retire Bianchi’s number supported”

  1. @keithcollantine – I don’t mean to be picky, but should “Perhaps in time, if the Bianchi number want that number to reappear” read “Perhaps in time, if the Bianchi family want that number to reappear”?

    1. @bradley13 @keithcollantine

      Perhaps in time, if the Bianchi number want that family to reappear

      Close! haha

  2. Yeah, would be really nice if Charles Leclerc used it when/if he makes it to F1. Surely he’d have the blessing of the Bianchi family. (saw the idea here)

  3. I think #17 has come to represent not so much Jules, but the amazing communal rally around his friends and family during their nine months of uncertainty, and subsequently the grief felt across the world once the worst was confirmed. It represents the Twitter hashtags intended both to support and remember: for me, in spite of the fact that it was Jules’ third choice, that makes it significant. We will remember car #17 that scored points in Monaco, and the fantastic young driver that drove it.

  4. I never understood the comments and tweets that the number had no meaning because Jules didn’t initially select it. Clearly, the meaning has been accrued since he started to drive with it in F1.

    I’m pleased it’s been supported.

    1. By the way, I’m pleased this article has appeared despite the views of the author. I think that sums up F1F.

  5. They will retire Bianchi’s number. But they’ll never take the responsability for their mistake. Like always. Last times it happened with de Villota, Senna, Ratzemberger, they always blamed the driver, and said it was its mistake. When in all cases was clearly mistakes from other people that still alive and never took responsability and blamed the death. Senna (broken direction), de Villota (bad position of trucks, car failures, tests in awful security place), Bianchi ( a crane in the middle of a very slippery corner), Ratzemberger (awful circuit security design). But like always in life, blame the death because cannot defend himself. So how should retire is the persons that made the mistakes, awful mistakes that helped to lose some lifes, and not the number to save their public opinion.

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