PODCAST. Broken destinies: a look back at the life of Jules Bianchi

PODCAST. Closer looks back at public figures who have had tragic fates. Paul Walker, Prince, Jules Bianchi… Rediscover their tumultuous life stories in our Broken Destinies podcast.

Little prince of the automobile, Jules Bianchi had everything to become a Formula 1 champion. Mowed down by death at barely 25 years old, while he was touching his dream with his fingertips, his career remains a true source of inspiration. for the youngest… At only 3 and a half years old, the very young Jules Bianchi got into a karting for the first time… It must be said that his father is also the owner of a circuit, and that in his family , motorsport is a real religion. The child is no exception. Keen, he quickly shows ease in drivingand from the age of 10, he took part in his first competitions.

Two years later, he was crowned French champion and junior European vice-champion. But his passion is taking up more and more of his time, and he has to choose: the car or schooling… After his third year, he decides to say goodbye to school in order to devote himself only to karting. This choice paid off: he won second place in the World Cup in 2006 and now works hand in hand with a manager. Spotted by stables, he makes his debut in Formula 3 with the hope of evolving further… It is during these competitions that future Formula 1 drivers are selected…

But the road is still long, the competition is fierce and Jules is only 18 years old. Even if he drives and wins his first titles, his future is still far from assured. And then, in 2009, he joined the Ferrari Driver Academy, intended to prepare the best young drivers for Formula 1. The following year, he progressed from Formula 3 to the GP2 Series, a new category even closer to his goal. To put all the chances on his side, he moved to Italy, near the training center. From his first official race, he won a podium, his debut was very promising… But everything came to a violent end when he was involved in a pile-up during a race. He suffers from back pain and a fractured vertebra. When he returned a month later, he won no points.

Jules Bianchi: what did the pilot die of?

Whatever, his career continues and he is now hired as a test driver for Ferrari and made his first days of testing at the wheel of a Formula 1. In 2012, finally, Jules Bianchi was chosen as the third driver for Force India. He makes a strong impression during the tests, and hopes for a tenure in the team the following year… And yes, because only two drivers compete for the team each year. Finally, the Russian Marussia F1 team chose him as official driver in 2013. He finished 15th in his first race, a very honorable place given the power of his vehicle. The partnership continues in 2014. The new season promises to be complicated : during a race in Malaysia, he arrives feverish and ends up abandoning the race after 8 laps because of a collision.

Fifteen days later, he goes to the Japanese Grand Prix with the hope of taking his revenge… It will be his last race. That day, the rain is driving. On lap 43, Bianchi crashed into a crane that was clearing another crashed car a loop earlier. The impact is devastating. Unconscious but alive, the young pilot is rushed to the hospital, where he is operated on for a hematoma in the brain. A week later, his family announced that his chances of survival were very low. However, the following month, Bianchi was transferred to Nice… But on July 17, 2015, the world collapsed again for his relatives: Jules Bianchi is declared dead.

A few days later, the big names in Formula 1 came to carry his coffin during the religious ceremony in his memory. Romain Grosjean, Sebastian Vettel or even Felipe Massa, they are all there for a last tribute. To remember his career, the Jules-Bianchi association was created by his relatives. If the dream of the young pilot was to drive Formula 1, that of his family is to ensure that we never forget it…

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