Leclerc: Bianchi death makes Japan "very difficult"

Charles Leclerc says his first Japanese Grand Prix will be "very difficult" because of the Formula 1 crash that led to the death of his friend Jules Bianchi.

Leclerc: Bianchi death makes Japan "very difficult"

Bianchi crashed into a recovery vehicle during the rain-hit 2014 Japanese GP and passed away nine months later from the injuries he suffered.

Leclerc, who was mentored by Bianchi as a youngster, visited the scene of the crash for the first time on Wednesday.

"It's obviously a very difficult weekend," said Leclerc. Jules has helped me massively to arrive here, more than only on the racing side. He was a big like part of the family.

"I never came to Japan before, the track walk this morning was quite emotional.

"But yeah, on the other hand I really need to focus on this weekend to try to do the best job possible anyway. Even if it's a difficult weekend."

Bianchi's death in 2015 was followed two years later by Leclerc's father Herve passing away.

Leclerc paid tribute to his father with a replica of the ex-Formula 3 racer's crash helmet design in Monaco.

He is planning a split tribute next season to honour both Herve and Bianchi, which he hopes he can run in his home race and in Japan.

"I'm definitely thinking about something for next year, about a helmet, but you know there is this rule where you can only run one special helmet," said Leclerc.

"This year I did it for my father, next year I have an idea of doing something, a helmet split on both sides – one for Jules, one for my father.

"For this year I will have nothing more special than trying to make him remembered as much as I can to the public."

shares
comments
Mercedes' 2017 Formula 1 budget revealed
Previous article

Mercedes' 2017 Formula 1 budget revealed

Next article

F1 drivers want DRS risk option through 130R

F1 drivers want DRS risk option through 130R
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021