Jules Bianchi's death top of F1 drivers' thoughts at Hungarian GP

Jules Bianchi's death will overshadow the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, according to many Formula 1 drivers, with several admitting their first experience of racing tragedy had changed their mindset

Jules Bianchi's death top of F1 drivers' thoughts at Hungarian GP

The 25-year-old died last Friday, nine months after his horrific accident in the Japanese Grand Prix, and a large number of current F1 racers attended his funeral on Tuesday.

Motorsport's tributes to Jules Bianchi

Bianchi was the first F1 driver to die as a result of injuries sustained in a grand prix since Ayrton Senna in 1994, and Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat said it had prompted a period of reflection.

"For 21 years we were away from death and now it has struck," he said.

"Personally, what I feel is that I started to appreciate my life more.

"I always have had a lot of respect for the other drivers but now I think that we have even more respect for one another and for what we do. I also hope that other drivers have this feeling."

OBITUARY - Jules Bianchi: 1989-2015

The Russian's team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, admitted that he had been impatient with older drivers' safety pushes earlier in his career but was now more measured.

"The sport had developed a lot and safety had come a long way. Along with [fatalities] not happening for a long time, you forget about it," he said.

"I remember even when I first got to F1, they talked about safety a lot in the GPDA meetings.

"The older drivers would pick out things around the track, like the angle of a barrier being bad if we punctured a tyre and went off there, and as a younger driver you think 'that would never happen, let's just get on with it and race'.

"At least now we know there's never going to be that situation again, they're never going to let the race go on like that in those conditions with a tractor on the track.

"We just have to keep looking ahead and make sure there's not going to be another obstacle like that."

Jenson Button added that the atmosphere between the drivers at Bianchi's funeral showed their relationship was stronger than it might seem.

"As drivers these days, it's very different to the seventies or eighties or even nineties where they used to hang out a lot more," he said.

"Now from the outside we don't show as much emotion between drivers but Tuesday showed that there is a lot of emotion between drivers, not just respect - but we are a band of brothers doing a crazy sport."

DRIVERS' REFLECTIONS ON BIANCHI

F1 drivers shared more of their personal memories of Bianchi during the Hungarian GP build-up on Thursday. Below is a selection.

FERNANDO ALONSO

"We all know that he had a bright future, even the Ferrari seat maybe was a strong possibility.

"Outside the track I spent time with him a lot in Maranello for three years. I spent one week in Lanzarote training camp with Ferrari in 2012 and we were room-mates on the training camp so a lot of time together.

"It's the first loss in my whole career. We shared the track together and now he is not here anymore so this will always be in my heart."

PASTOR MALDONADO

"It's very sad. We were quite close, we shared managers, we shared many things together, good moments, wonderful moments together. It's shocking.

"But it's life. We need to be focused on the weekend now and do our best to get a wonderful result in his memory. We miss him and we will miss him forever."

Bianchi's career milestones in pictures

SERGIO PEREZ

"We see each other every 15 days, so we spend a lot of time together. Not to see him ever again, it really shocks you. It's very hard for all of us. It could be your family [mourning].

"It is difficult for his family but his family is our family now, we want to support them as much as we can.

"I spent the most time with him when we both did the Ferrari Academy. You could see he was a very special driver, a special person who everyone seemed to like.

"He was humble and left a big impact on the world.

"Jules was a very special driver who didn't have the opportunity to show what he could do in F1."

FELIPE NASR

"I was always a few years behind him, but you could see he had all the ingredients to be a very good driver and to fight for something bigger in the future.

"You could see the guy was special, not only as a person - he had a good heart inside of him - but all his [successes] in all the junior categories. He was a real reference for us. I have a lot of respect for him even though I didn't know him so well."

ROMAIN GROSJEAN

"He was a much better driver in a go-kart than I was. He won everywhere.

"This week, all our thoughts are with him. I will never forget."

FELIPE MASSA

"Jules was a great friend. When I met him, he was still racing go-karts.

"A fantastic boy, very nice, very humble and an amazing driver.

"Unfortunately, in F1 he didn't have an opportunity to race a competitive car and show his style.

"Finishing in the points in Monaco, with car he was driving, was an amazing thing.

"He was the best go-kart driver I saw. It was amazing the way he drove them."

ROBERTO MERHI

"The first time I met Jules was in 2002 in a karting race. After that, I followed him closely as we used to race together. He was always the reference as he was always the quickest.

"He was the biggest talent I saw in motorsport. He won the [2009 Formula 3 Euro Series] title with so many good drivers on track and he won it easily. It shows how good he was."

NICO HULKENBERG

"He was my team-mate twice and I remember in 2008, I was in my second year in F3, I was supposed to win the championship and he came in as a rookie.

"In Mugello, I started from pole, he was second or third. After the first corner, I'm leading, him second and seeing him pushing hard showed how competitive he was. He was so hungry for success.

"Outside the track, he was a great guy, a lot of fun, we had some great moments together."

LEWIS HAMILTON

"I couldn't say that I was really a friend of Jules, I didn't really know him that well.

"I was just stood outside [the funeral] and every camera crew asks about it and it feels awkward to talk about it, because we are here today and we are healthy, and a great, gifted, young, talented individual is not with us."

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