John Booth, Manor, Singapore, 2015

Manor braced for emotional return to Suzuka

2015 Japanese Grand Prix

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The Manor team has asked for understanding as it returns to the scene of Jules Bianchi’s fatal accident at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Bianchi crashed during last year’s race and suffered severe head injuries which he succumbed to this July.

Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Suzuka, 2014
“Jules has been constantly in our thoughts since that terrible day”
Team principal John Booth said “there is no escaping the fact that this will be an extremely emotional week for us”.

“Many of the team members who were with us in 2014 are back with us this year, including our colleagues at Scuderia Ferrari and of course Will [Stevens] and Alexander [Rossi], both of whom were in Suzuka last year in their roles as reserve drivers.

“It will also be a different emotional experience again from Monaco, a place full of so many special memories for our team, and Hungary, where we all had to say a very difficult goodbye to a greatly-loved friend and colleague. We think of Jules every single day; he will forever be a huge part of our team. Without doubt, our memories are overwhelmingly happy ones, celebrating his incredible achievements in our race cars and the enjoyable times we shared along the way.

“Jules’ funeral reminded us that he was a special gift to so many people, not least of all the magnificent Bianchi family, who are always in our thoughts and prayers.

“We were Jules’ team, and with that in mind I would ask everyone to understand and respect that, this weekend, we wish to deal with the experience of returning to Suzuka in a very private, introspective way. Our commitments will be reflective of this. It is my job to provide the team with the right environment in which to be able to do their job in spite of very difficult circumstances. This will be my primary focus.

“Jules has not only been constantly in our thoughts since that terrible day in 2014, but his name has also been on our car at every single race. That tribute, our incredibly fond memories of Jules and the camaraderie we have within our team are all we need to race on in his honour in Suzuka this weekend.”

2015 Japanese Grand Prix

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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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10 comments on “Manor braced for emotional return to Suzuka”

  1. I’ll take a moment too.

  2. It would be nice if at the start of FP1 all 20 cars went out on track together on a lap of memory.

    1. diarmuid talbot (@)
      22nd September 2015, 16:42

      That’s a good idea.

    2. If they did this, it would be a fitting tribute to have an F1 interpretation of the military flying “missing man” formation. It may get crowded on the track, so 2 formations of 10, each led by a Manor would be perfect for the occasion.

    3. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      22nd September 2015, 23:50

      That’s a fantastic idea.

  3. It’ll be a really tough weekend for Manor and all connected with Jules. Harder than Hungary I would imagine for those who were also at the race last year.

    They can atleast take something from the fact that focussing on the race and doing everything possible to get a decent finish is exactly what Jules would have wanted them to do.

    I will always remember that awesome overtake he made at Monaco on Kobayashi. The move was never on. Even when he was nearly alongside him the move wasn’t on! He refused to give up and made it happen.

    That spirit of never giving up is ingrained in the Manor team. They’ve had all sorts to deal with but they’re still here fighting.

    1. Ha ha – that ‘boink-boink-boink’ 3-point overtake was amusing, effective and daring. It made his subsequent accident and demise all the more tragic, as it gave all of us viewers a clear view of his potential and spirit.

  4. I hope both of them are able to finish the race.

  5. Manor team is really growing on me. Maybe someday they can be to Mercedes what Toro Roso is to RBR, nice sister team.

    As for Jules, just one of unique drivers, that left this earth to early. Hard not to be sad, but I wont be. And neither should the team be.

    1. they will be good next year

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