“Jules Bianchi’s death is a tragic re­minder that motorsport is dan­ger­ous. Al­ways has been; al­ways will be.”

F1 Racing - - CHEQUERED FLAG -

I need no re­mind­ing of this for, as a child, I used to ac­com­pany my par­ents to the no­to­ri­ously de­mand­ing TT mo­tor­cy­cle races on the Isle of Man, where I re­garded the stars who stayed with us at the Castle Mona Ho­tel as my un­cles.

It was not un­known for one of them to come down to break­fast in his leathers, and then fail to re­turn from that day’s rac­ing. More than 200 riders have lost their lives at the TT since it be­gan 108 years ago and, ac­cord­ing to my re­search, at least 50 driv­ers have per­ished in For­mula 1 since the world cham­pi­onship be­gan at Sil­ver­stone in 1950. Over the course of his rac­ing ca­reer, Sir Jackie Stewart lost many of his rac­ing friends and col­leagues, in­clud­ing two of the great­est world cham­pi­ons, Jim Clark and Jochen Rindt, and Stewart’s Tyrrell team-mate, the charis­matic French­man François Cev­ert. How can any­one cope with that? Why do they so en­thu­si­as­ti­cally com­pete in a sport that can have such se­vere con­se­quences? Why do they even re­turn af­ter suf­fer­ing se­ri­ous in­juries? The sim­ple an­swer is that they are a very spe­cial breed, quite un­like the rest of us. They are ul­tra-

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