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Horror month for collapsing Marussia

2014-10-28 08:23

IN CRITICAL CONDITION: Injured Marussia driver Jules Bianchi remains in a critical condition. An FIA panel of experts is investigating the cause of the crash. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - October was a horror month for Formula 1 tailender Marussia.

The first tragic blow came at the 2014 Japanese GP, when promising talent Jules Bianchi crashed into a parked recovery vehicle; he is in a Japanese hospital but the latest unofficial news about the driver is brighter.

Italy's Omnicorse claims Bianchi, might soon be considered stable enough to be transferred from Japan to Europe, much to the relief of his French parents. His destination could even be Lausanne, Switzerland, and the very same building that until recently nursed also brain-damaged Michael Schumacher.

FIA CRASH PROBE

At the same time veteran F1 minds, among them Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali, are working on a panel that is deeply investigating the circumstances, causes and reaction to the Bianchi crash.

Respected correspondent Alberto Antonini, writing in the specialist Italian magazine Autosprint, said the International Automobile Federation (FIA) panel is looking into whether Bianchi's crash may have been caused by the new in 2014 'brake-by-wire' system aboard his Marussia.

VIDEO: Jules Bianchi's horror crash at the 2014 Japanese GP

Electronic brake-by-wire, working in conjunction with the complex energy recovery systems for the new turbo V6 engines, has been problematic up and down pits lane in 2014 and Antonini said some insiders suspected brake trouble may have contributed at Suzuka.

Witnesses did not see tyre marks on the track before the Bianchi crash.

Antonini said: "Perhaps it is no accident that at Sochi, Max Chilton - the only Marussia in the race - was stopped for a reason that is not fully understood."

Meanwhile, Swiss newspaper Blick is reporting that a company called Air Zermatt is proposing that stricken F1 cars be lifted from danger by helicopter in future rather than by driving dangerous recovery vehicles into the escape zones.

Air Zermatt chief executive Gerold Biner said: "This is a safe, easy and quick method."

Biner adds that Air Zermatt's standing proposal to the FIA remained unanswered.

LOSING A BACKER

Finally, Marussia backer Andrey Cheglakov confirmed to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass that he had indeed withdrawn from the F1 team.

Cheglakov said: "This is a sad note but I want to express my gratitude to each member of the team, both at the track and in Banbury (England, the factory).

"We made the impossible possible, becoming the only team to earn points of the three that came to the world of formula one in 2010.

"We had the smallest budget but the most motivated staff."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

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Read more on:    marussia  |  fia  |  jules bianchi  |  motorsport  |  formula 1

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