Jules Bianchi F1 legal case - Bernie Ecclestone responds

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone feels the family of Jules Bianchi "will do what they have to do" with regard to legal action over their son's death

Jules Bianchi F1 legal case - Bernie Ecclestone responds

Almost 20 months after Bianchi's accident in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, the family has decided to pursue a case against the Formula One Group of companies, the FIA, and Marussia.

The FIA has so far declined to comment, while Ecclestone's response when asked about the case by Autosport was limited to "they will do what they have to do".

ANALYSIS: The key questions in the Bianchi legal case

Bianchi suffered a diffuse axonal injury to the brain after colliding with a recovery vehicle during a wet race at the Suzuka circuit.

He was in a coma for nine months before he died.

Letters have been issued to all three parties by UK-based litigation-only law firm Stewarts Law outlining the case.

The family is seeking an apology from all those contacted as it is their contention one was never offered, and that Bianchi was unfairly blamed in the FIA inquiry panel's report into their son's death.

They believe others should be held accountable, and are willing to pursue the matter through the courts should the respondents decline the opportunity to apologise.

One complication is that since the accident the Marussia team is now in the hands of new owners, with Stephen Fitzpatrick taking up the reins of what is now Manor in February 2015 after it was placed into administration in late October '14.

When contacted by Autosport, Marussia's former sporting director Graeme Lowdon said: "I have said in the past that I have always been, and always will be, very supportive of the Bianchi family."

While this is the first case where the family of a deceased driver has chosen to pursue the FIA and the Formula One Group, there is a precedent where other companies were found liable for an F1 accident that resulted in a death.

In 1975 Mark Donohue was killed during practice for the Austrian Grand Prix after the left-front tyre blew on his Penske car.

Citing negligence, the family successfully sued tyre supplier Goodyear and the Penske team, receiving a $9.6million settlement from the Supreme Court in the United States after the initial ruling went to appeal.

The case, however, took just under 11 years to settle.

shares
comments
Sebastian Vettel leads ultra-close final Monaco Grand Prix practice
Previous article

Sebastian Vettel leads ultra-close final Monaco Grand Prix practice

Next article

Monaco GP qualifying: Daniel Ricciardo takes maiden Formula 1 pole

Monaco GP qualifying: Daniel Ricciardo takes maiden Formula 1 pole
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022