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Home » Sport » MotorSport

Jules Bianchi car number retired after his death

Formula One driver will be honoured by the FIA after his death from crash injuries

Jules Bianchi's car number 17 will be retired from use in Formula One in honour of the Frenchman, who died on Friday night of injuries sustained in last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

Jean Todt, the president of the FIA, motorsport's governing body, announced the move ahead of the 25-year-old's funeral on Tuesday in his hometown of Nice, southern France.

A minute's silence is also planned on the grid ahead of Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix and it is thought the Manor team - formerly known as Marussia - will carry Bianchi's name on the side of their car in tribute to their former driver.

As per new rules introduced last season, the drivers now choose a car number which remains with them for their entire careers in Formula One.

Bianchi became the first Formula One driver to die of injuries sustained in a grand prix since Ayrton Senna at Imola in 1994. Bianchi collided with a recovery tractor at around 80mph in last October’s rain-soaked race in Suzuka and never recovered from severe head injuries.

The FIA said in a statement: "Jean Todt, President of the FIA, announced that the car number 17 will be retired from the FIA Formula One World Championship in honour of Jules Bianchi.

"As F1 car numbers are now personally chosen by each driver, the FIA believes it to be an appropriate gesture to retire Jules Bianchi's number 17. As a result, this number can no longer be used for a car competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship."

Bianchi's death had been feared for some time since the accident but it has still sent the motorsport community into shock. Executives from his former team, along with Todt - his son Nicolas Todt managed Bianchi - are expected at the funeral on Tuesday morning.

The service will take place at 10:00 local time in the Sainte Réparate Cathedral in Nice, with only close friends, family and colleagues in attendance. Members of the public are expected to gather outside.

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