French GP comeback dedicated to Bianchi
5 December 2016 – Organisers behind the returning French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard have dedicated the development to late Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi, who passed away last year.
Bianchi sustained severe head injuries in an accident at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, after he struck a recovery vehicle, and died in hospital nine months later, aged 25.
Christian Estrosi, President of the Regional Council of the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d'Azur, is one of the key figures behind the event's comeback, and paid tribute to Bianchi.
"I have a thought for our driver from Nice, Jules Bianchi, who has passed away; I want to dedicate this great comeback to him," Estrosi said at a press conference in Paris.
Estrosi added: "My thoughts go out to his family, to his dad."
Bianchi never contested a Formula 1 race on home soil, though did compete just across the border in Monaco, where he famously claimed Marussia's first points in the sport.
Paul Ricard, which previously staged the French Grand Prix on 14 occasions between 1971 and 1990, has agreed a five-year deal to host the race from the 2018 season.