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F1 pilots’ feelings ahead of Russia GP saddened by Bianchi’s crash in Japan

October 09, 2014, 19:31 UTC+3 SOCHI
Last weekend’s rain-affected F1 race in Japan was concluded earlier by the decision of FIA officials after French pilot Jules Bianchi, 25, from Marussia team crashed into the back of a tractor
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Course marshalls and doctors at French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of Marussia F1 Team crash site

Course marshalls and doctors at French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of Marussia F1 Team crash site

© EPA/HIROSHI YAMAMURA

SOCHI, October 9. /TASS/. Formula One pilots are always particularly excited about racing on a new track but with less than a day remaining before the inaugural F1 Grand Prix in Russia’s Sochi their excitement had been deeply marred by the tragic crash over the last weekend at the Suzuka GP in Japan.

Last weekend’s rain-affected F1 race in Japan was concluded earlier by the decision of FIA officials after French pilot Jules Bianchi, 25, from Marussia team crashed into the back of a tractor, which was clearing debris in a run-off area from a previous incident. The French pilot was seriously injured and, while unconscious, taken to a hospital in Japan.

“Emotionally it will be very difficult but we are ready to race. To race for him. Our mind and my mind is with him and we are praying for him,” two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso from team Ferrari said on Thursday.

Bianchi remains in a hospital in Japan, he is in coma and his doctors refrain from making public announcements about his condition, but, according to earlier media reports the young French racer is in critical condition.

“It was the worst race of my life. Everyday I’m thinking about him. We are trying to race and do the best for him, for his family,” Russian F1 racer Daniil Kvyat said.

Kvyat and Alonso’s opinion and sympathies in regard to Bianchi were also voiced by four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel as well as by Felipe Massa from team Williams, Jenson Button from McLaren and Adrian Sutil from Sauber.

“Thoughts are with Jules and his family. Surely when something happens there is something to learn,” Germany’s Vettel said ahead of the racing event in Russia’s Sochi on October 10-12.

Russia's first ever Formula One Grand Prix

In December of 2013 the FIA officially announced the calendar of the 2014 Formula One races, and the Grand Prix in Russia’s Sochi was scheduled for October 12 as the 16th out of 19 F1 Grand Prix races this year.

The Russian Grand Prix is held at the racing track located near the Olympic Village in the coastal area of Sochi. The contract to include Russia in the calendar of F1 racing for the 2014-2020 period was signed in 2010 in Sochi by then-Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin and F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.

A total of some 50,000 tickets available were sold out for the Russian F1 event in Sochi with 5,000 tickets out of the mentioned-above figure purchased by foreign guests.

F1 supremo Ecclestone, who arrived in Sochi on Wednesday night, said that Russian President Putin had been “completely supportive” to make the F1 racing come to Russia as the F1 chief executive had been trying to make it happen since late 1970s.

“I was trying to do something in the early 80s or late 70s actually. It just taken a bit longer than we thought,” Ecclestone told TASS on Thursday.

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