John Booth says Manor F1 team was honoured to know Jules Bianchi

Manor Formula 1 team boss John Booth says his squad will always feel honoured that it could give Jules Bianchi his opportunity in grand prix racing after the Frenchman's death

John Booth says Manor F1 team was honoured to know Jules Bianchi

Bianchi scored the then-Marussia team's only points so far with his ninth place in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix, having joined its race line-up the previous season after a deal with Luiz Razia fell through late in the winter.

"Words cannot describe the enormous sadness within our team this morning, as we come to terms with losing Jules," said Booth.

"He has left an indelible mark on all our lives, and will forever be part of everything we have achieved, and everything we will strive for going forward.

"We are incredibly grateful that we were able to provide Jules with the opportunity to show the world what he could do in a Formula 1 car.

"We knew we had a very special driver on our hands from the first time he drove our car in pre-season testing in 2013.

"It has been an honour to be able to consider him our race driver, our team-mate, and of course our friend."

Booth said Bianchi's character had made as big an impression on the team as his driving ability

"Jules was a shining talent. He was destined for great things in our sport; success he so richly deserved," he said.

"He was also a magnificent human being, making a lasting impression on countless people all over the world.

"They recognised, as did we, that at the same time as being a fiercely motivated racer, he was also an extremely warm, humble and intensely likeable person, who lit up our garage and our lives.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the wonderful Bianchi family, who have remained so strong for Jules throughout the past nine months. In turn, Jules was an absolute credit to them.

"Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has supported Jules since his accident in Japan last October.

"Your kindness has been such a source of comfort to his family and to us, his team.

"We will rely on your continued support over the coming days and months as we race on for Jules."

Bianchi died in hospital in Nice on Friday night, nine months after being severely injured in a crash in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

He won French Formula Renault and European Formula 3 titles on his way towards F1, and tested for Force India and long-time supporter Ferrari as well as racing in 34 grands prix with Marussia.

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Tributes to Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi after his death

Jules Bianchi: 1989-2015

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