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Jules Bianchi’s funeral is being held in his hometown of Nice, France, as tributes to the Formula 1 driver continue to be paid.

Family, friends and fellow drivers are attending the service at Nice’s cathedral while his fans gathered outside.

Jules Bianchi, 25, died on July 17 from result of head injuries in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

His car number, 17, is being retired from F1 in his honor.Jules Bianchi funeral 2015

Jules Bianchi had been in a coma since crashing his Marussia car into a recovery vehicle at a rain-hit race last October.

He is the first F1 driver to die from injuries sustained in a grand prix since Brazilian triple world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.

Tributes are expected to be paid at Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

A number of Formula 1 colleagues travelled to Nice to pay their respects on July 21. Large posters of Jules Bianchi were draped outside the cathedral entrance.


Announcing his death on July 18, Jules Bianchi’s family said: “Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end.”

The Marussia team, now known as Manor, said Jules Bianchi had left an “indelible mark on all our lives”.

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Jules Bianchi has died, nine months after suffering severe head injuries in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

The French Formula 1 driver had been in a coma since crashing his Marussia car into a recovery vehicle in wet conditions in Suzuka last October.

The 25-year-old’s family said: “Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end.”

Marussia, now known as Manor, said the team was “devastated”.

Jules Bianchi is the first F1 driver to die from injuries sustained in a Grand Prix since Brazilian triple world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at Italy’s Imola circuit in 1994.

He died in hospital near his parents’ home in Nice in the south of France.

His family said: “We thank Jules’s colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times.

“Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world.” Jules Bianchi dead at 25

Jules Bianchi made his F1 debut with Marussia in 2013 and was also a member of the Ferrari young driver academy after previously working as a test driver for the team.

The accident happened when Jules Bianchi’s car slid off the track and into a crane picking up German driver Adrian Sutil, who had crashed at the same spot one lap earlier.

A working group of the sport’s governing body, the FIA, investigated the accident and found that as Jules Bianchi went off the track into the run-off area, he “applied both throttle and brake together, using both feet” over-riding the fail-safe mechanism. His front wheels had also locked.

It also said that Jules Bianchi “did not slow sufficiently to avoid losing control”.

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Jules Bianchi has undergone surgery after suffering a severe head injury in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Earlier, governing body the FIA said the Marussia driver would be operated on before being moved to intensive care.

Jules Bianchi, 25, was unconscious when he was taken to hospital from Suzuka.

He was injured after hitting a recovery vehicle, prompting the stoppage of the rain-affected race in Suzuka after 44 laps.

Jules Bianchi has undergone surgery after suffering a severe head injury in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix

Jules Bianchi has undergone surgery after suffering a severe head injury in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix

Earlier reports in the French media said Jules Bianchi was breathing on his own following surgery. However there are now conflicting accounts.

Jules Bianchi lost control close to where Sauber driver Adrian Sutil had spun and hit the tire barrier.

As a recovery vehicle was lifting Sutil’s car, Jules Bianchi travelled across the run-off area and hit the back of the tractor.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the race ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg, but said: “It is obviously a real anti-climax to hear one of our colleagues is seriously injured. That is the main worry.”

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