Formula 1

Jules Bianchi's father cannot watch replays of fatal accident involving F1 star

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Jules Bianchi's grief-stricken father says he cannot watch replays of his son's fatal accident at last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

The sport of Formula One is back in Suzuka for the first time since Bianchi crashed into the side of a recovery vehicle in October.

The Frenchman, who was competing for Marussia, never regained consciousness from the atrocious accident in the rain-hit race and succumbed to his injuries on July 17.

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"I can't see pictures of the crash of Jules and it is not possible for me to say something about the crash because it's too difficult for me to look at the video," said Philippe Bianchi.

"I don't know what happened because for the moment I don't want to see the video of the incident. Perhaps in one month, two months, six months, I don't know."

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Bianchi, a member of Ferrari's driver academy - and tipped by many paddock observers to be a future world champion - suffered serious brain injuries in the horror crash. He died nine months later and was buried in his home city of Nice.

Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel were among the drivers to attend his funeral while a one-minute silence was observed ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix which the Bianchi family attended.

"The problem when Jules had this crash, I think that his head and his brain were finished, because he had too much damage in his brain," Philippe, speaking to the BBC, said.

"You have two things - the neurological and the physical - and Jules had a very big physical presence, and I think he stayed in life because physically he is very strong.

"I think that Jules is with me now but it's difficult because he phoned me and his mother every day, and now it is one year that I can't speak with Jules and his mother can't speak with him.

"And for nine months I can't touch him and can't give him a kiss. But Jules was a very good boy, he was very near his family, and it's terrible."

An FIA report, issued in the wake of the accident, concluded that Bianchi "did not slow sufficiently to avoid losing control" under yellow-flag conditions after a crane was deployed to recover Adrian Sutil's Sauber that had spun off the track in the wet conditions.

It also recommended for Sunday's race to be staged one hour earlier after Bianchi's crash occurred in near-dusk conditions.

Bianchi became the first Formula One driver since Ayrton Senna to die as a result of injuries sustained at a Grand Prix weekend. The triple world champion was killed at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.

"This weekend is going to be hard but I know we have to get through it as best we can," said Will Stevens of Manor, formerly known as Marussia.

"The sport is dangerous, it always has been and always will be. The safety nowadays is a million times better than it ever has been. Nine times out of 10 you can hit a wall as hard as you want and everyone will be okay.

"Whenever we get in the car there is a danger, but I would not say that we think about it, or it holds us back. If it gets to that point then it is not really right to be doing it."

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