Family pays funeral tribute to Bianchi's 'courage, strength and dignity'

The family of Jules Bianchi delivered an emotional tribute to the Frenchman on Tuesday as leading figures from Formula 1 paid their respects at his funeral in Nice.

Family pays funeral tribute to Bianchi's 'courage, strength and dignity'
Ciao Jules
Jules Bianchi, Marussia F1 Team
Ciao Jules
Jules Bianchi, Marussia F1 Team MR03
Jules Bianchi, Marussia F1 Team MR03
Jules Bianchi, Marussia F1 Team
Jules Bianchi, Marussia F1 Team MR03
Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa attend the funeral of Jules Bianchi in Nice, France

Bianchi passed away on Friday night, having never recovered from the serious injuries he suffered in a crash at last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

During a moving ceremony that took place at the Sainte Reparate Cathedral in Nice, Bianchi's family were overwhelmed with emotion as they remembered the former F1 driver.

In a short speech delivered by several members of his family, they made clear just how much they would miss him.

"We'll be strong for you to the end," they said. "Your courage, your strength and dignity will be engraved forever in us.

"Whatever happens, [if] we are sad or we have fear, we know you'll always be there at all times. Your babies [family], as you said, you'll know how to protect them.

"The lack of you will be a painful ordeal. But know that forever, forever, we love you."

Large portraits of the former Marussia driver had been hung on the outside of the cathedral, with wreaths having been laid in the nearby square, as the public stood outside to pay their respects too.

F1 drivers tribute

Many F1 drivers were in attendance at the ceremony, including former world champions Alain Prost, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, along with current champion Lewis Hamilton.

Other drivers present included Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Marcus Ericsson, Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado, Jean-Eric Vergne, Pedro de la Rosa, Max Chilton, Roberto Merhi, and Adrian Sutil.

Several of the drivers carried Bianchi's coffin, which had his helmet rested on top, out of the cathedral following the official ceremony.

After the proceedings, many drivers gathered together later for drinks to celebrate Bianchi's life, with Daniel Ricciardo tweeting an image with the simple message: For Jules.

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