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Published: 12:10 | 26/5/16

Bianchi family launch legal proceedings


The family of the late Jules Bianchi are to launch legal proceedings against the FIA, the Marussia Formula 1 team and Formula One Management (FOM).

Bianchi suffered serious head injuries when he lost control of his Marussia and crashed into a recovery vehicle, which had been deployed to take away Adrian Sutil's car, at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. He succumbed to his injuries on July 17 last year.

The official investigation into the crash ruled that conditions and Bianchi's failure to "slow sufficiently" under the yellow flags contributed to the accident and subsequently cleared Formula 1 chiefs of any wrongdoing.

However, the family has sent letters to the FIA, Marussia and FOM ahead of plans to take legal action.

"The family of Formula One racing driver, Jules Bianchi, has today announced they plan to take legal action in England relating to the fatal head injuries Jules Bianchi sustained in a violent collision with a mobile crane at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, 2014," the statement released by Stewarts Law read.

"The letters (to the FIA, Marussia and Formula One Group) explain why the Bianchi family feel the actions of one or more of those parties, amongst others, may have contributed to Jules' fatal accident and invite them to accept that errors were made in the planning, timing, organisation and conduct of the race which took place in dangerous conditions during the typhoon season in Japan."

Julian Chamberlayne of Stewarts Law said: "Jules Bianchi's death was avoidable. The FIA Panel Inquiry Report into this accident made numerous recommendations to improve safety in Formula One but failed to identify where errors had been made which led to Jules' death. It was surprising and distressing to the Bianchi family that the FIA panel in its conclusions, whilst noting a number of contributing factors, blamed Jules.

"The Bianchi family are determined that this legal process should require those involved to provide answers and to take responsibility for any failings. This is important if current and future drivers are to have confidence that safety in the sport will be put first. If this had been the case in Suzuka, Jules Bianchi would most likely still be alive and competing in the sport he loved today."

Bianchi's father Phillipe commented: "We seek justice for Jules, and want to establish the truth about the decisions that led to our son's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014. As a family, we have so many unanswered questions and feel that Jules' accident and death could have been avoided if a series of mistakes had not been made."

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