FOR JULES: The Formula 1 drivers broke tradition and paid tribute to injured Jules Bianchi who is still in hospital after a horrific crash during the Japanese GP. Image: AP/ Shizuo Kambayashi
SOCHI, Russia -Jules Bianchi was the focus of all thoughts on Sunday as Formula One broke with recent traditions and dedicated the build-up to the inaugural Russian Grand Prix to the 25-year-old Frenchman.
Bianchi, who suffered severe head injuries when his Marussia car crashed into a recovery vehicle at last Sunday's Japanese GP, remains in a critical condition in hospital in Yokkaichi, near Suzuka.
In the paddock, before the race, team members from Marussia and Ferrari, which Bianchi represents as an academy driver, gathered behind a pit board which displayed the words 'Forza Jules'.
The Anglo-Russian Marussia team, fielding only one car at the event, sent a message for Bianchi and his family from Max Chilton's grid slot shortly before the start and another supportive tribute was performed by all the drivers and teams during the playing of the Russian national anthem.
That saw the drivers stand in a line ahead of the grid next to a message on the track that read 'Jules we are all supporting you' before they huddled into a team group before departing to their cars.Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.