Formula 1

Marussia angered by speed claims after Jules Bianchi crash

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Formula One constructors Marussia have denied suggestions that they asked driver Jules Bianchi to speed up and overtake Caterham's Marcus Ericsson before his crash at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month.

The incident came after drivers were specifically told to proceed with extra caution due to the hazardous conditions and the fact that Sauber's Adrian Sutil had spun off the track only moments earlier.

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False claims

Marussia have said that race data has proved that the claims are 'entirely false', as footage shows the driver slowing down once the warning is given.

A statement from the team read: "The Marussia F1 team is shocked and angered by these allegations. Jules did slow down under the double waved yellow flags. That is an irrefutable fact, as proven by the telemetry data, which the team has provided to the FIA"

"At no point during the period leading up to Jules' accident did the team urge Jules to drive faster or make any comment suggesting that he should do so." - Marussia 

Race director Charlie Whiting, when asked to examine the race by the Marussia team, confirmed that Bianchi did, in fact, slow down prior to his crash.

"We have seen the data from all cars, and everyone slowed down, Some didn't slow down much, some a lot. We don't need to go into how much he slowed down, it is a matter of degree."

Critical condition

Bianchi's accident has left him with severe head injuries and in a critical, but stable, condition after an operation was carried out to limit bruising to his head.

The Frenchman's accident comes in only his second season of Formula 1, having finished 19th in the 2013 standings, and having picked up Marussia's first points this season after he finished ninth in the Monaco Grand Prix in May.

Bianchi's family this week confirmed his condition remains stable, but they are still shaken by the event.

"Every time the phone goes, we think it is the hospital calling to tell us that Jules is dead." Bianchi's father Philippe said. " His doctors have told us it's already a miracle., no-one has ever survived such a serious accident."

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