F1 races on for Bianchi

CityPress - - Sport - MICHELLE FORSTER sports@city­press.co.za TEAMtalk Media

Cham­pi­onship bat­tles and team-mate ri­val­ries will be put aside for a minute at the Hun­garor­ing to­day as For­mula 1 re­mem­bers Jules Bianchi. The af­fa­ble French­man, re­port­edly the fu­ture of Fer­rari, died last Satur­day af­ter los­ing his bat­tle to sur­vive the se­ri­ous head in­jury he suf­fered when he crashed in the Ja­panese GP in Oc­to­ber last year.

Fam­ily, friends and fel­low driv­ers were in at­ten­dance when he was laid to rest in his home town, Nice, on Tues­day.

It was a tragic end to a promis­ing young life and a stark re­minder that in spite of the strict safety reg­u­la­tions that go into build­ing F1 cars and cir­cuits, there will al­ways be an el­e­ment of dan­ger.

But de­spite that, 20 driv­ers will take to the track to­day vow­ing to “race on and race hard” in mem­ory of Bianchi.

The Hun­garor­ing is one of just a few venues in this year’s cal­en­dar where Mercedes are not the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons. Last year, Daniel Ric­cia­rdo won the Grand Prix ahead of Fer­nando Alonso while Lewis Hamil­ton took third place and the ire of his team as he re­fused to play the team game to help pole-sit­ter Nico Ros­berg’s chal­lenge, which had been out­done by two safety cars.

And although one can­not say with cer­tainty that this year’s race will be dif­fer­ent, it will take a brave per­son to bet against a Mercedes win – or even a Mercedes 1-2.

If the team achieves a dou­ble podium, the Brack­ley squad will make history as the only out­fit to ever reach 10 con­sec­u­tive races with two driv­ers on the podium.

This has never been achieved in a sport that has been run­ning for more than six decades.

How­ever, their ri­vals will be hold­ing on to mem­o­ries of last year in the hope of end­ing Mercedes’ seven-race win­ning streak.

At this max­i­mum down­force cir­cuit, where trac­tion and brak­ing play a big­ger role than horse­power, main chal­lengers Fer­rari will be look­ing to close the gap and maybe even steal a vic­tory.

Like­wise, Wil­liams will be hop­ing to draw from their re­cent podium fin­ishes while the re­sult from Monaco – a sim­i­lar cir­cuit – will in­spire Red Bull Rac­ing and even McLaren. Jen­son But­ton and Alonso will be out for points at one of the few tracks where the weak­ness of their un­der­per­form­ing Honda en­gines can be negated.

But what­ever the out­come and who­ever the win­ner is, it is the si­lence on the grid at 1.45pm that will strike the most poignant note in Hungary. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.