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F1 legend: Legal action 'wrong path' for Bianchi family

2016-05-27 10:08

HAS SPOKEN OUT : Former F1 triple champion Jackie Stewart says the family of late Marussia driver Jules Bianchi should not go forward with legal action to determine if their son's death was avoidable. Image: AFP / Boris Horvat

Monaco - Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart has questioned the Bianchi family's decision to sue the sport over the death of their son.

25-year-old Jules Bianchi died in 2015 as a result of his horror crash in a wet gravel trap in fading light at Suzuka late in 2014.

Headed by his father Philippe, the family on Thursday (May 26) announced its decision to sue Marussia, Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA over the death.

'Errors were made'

Philippe told Radio Monte Carlo on Thursday that the decision was made because the family never received adequate "answers" about the controversial circumstances of the crash.

Bianchi said: "We realised ourselves that errors were made.

"Some have been recognised in part because of (rule) changes that were made, but we cannot be content with the internal report of the FIA that said Jules was responsible for going too fast.

"We cannot live like this. This tragedy has destroyed our family, so why should we accept to hear that it was his (Jules') fault when the conditions were difficult?

Read: Doctor - FIA 'liable' for Bianchi's death

"The accident was completely avoidable and so we want to do it for the other drivers today as well."

Bianchi suggested the FIA should have done more than just conduct and publish an internal investigation and report.

Bianchi insisted: "If one day I cause someone's death, I could not launch an internal commission with friends and say 'It was not my fault'. Justice must be done so that when you make a mistake, you pay."

'All drivers know there are risks'

But F1 legend Jackie Stewart, a pioneer of better safety in the sport, thinks a better strategy for Bianchi's family would be to move on.

Steweart told The Times: "It is very sad for his family and one can only feel great sympathy for them, but I do not think taking legal action is the right path to go down.

"The distress they feel will be drawn out longer. It will not make the pain go away."

Not only that, triple world champion Stewart added: "All drivers know there are risks. This is not ping pong.

"There is always the chance of a freak accident, and that has to be accepted."

'FIA are indeed liable'

In August 2015, Wheels24 reported that ex-F1 doctor Gary Harstein said there should have been "no racing" occurring at Japanese track Suzuka at the time of Bianchi's crash as the helicopter was grounded and the estimated evacuation time to hospital was more than 30 minutes.

Hartstein said at the time that the FIA could even be held liable for Bianchi's death.

"I expect that the Bianchis have been told that. I believe they (the FIA) are indeed liable."

Hartstein continued: "And his (FIA doctor, Piette's) total lack of knowledge or experience in trauma care places them at risk every time they're out" on track."


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