Lewis Hamilton joins mourners as world of motor racing says farewell to Jules Bianchi
Lewis Hamilton was among mourners as Formula One stars joined relatives of Formula One driver Jules Bianchi at his funeral in Nice last night.
Bianchi died on Friday, nine months after a horrific crash at the Japanese Grand Prix which left him in a coma.
Hamilton, wearing dark glasses and a black suit, was joined by fellow drivers Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean, who was with his wife Marion Jolles at the Sainte Reparate Cathedral service in 25-year-old Bianchi's home city of Nice, France.
Bianchi's father Philippe was pictured weeping outside the city's cathedral as mourners including FIA president Jean Todt and former F1 star Alain Prost arrived.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, right, offers condolences to Christine Bianchi , mother of Jules Bianchi, at the Sainte Reparate Cathedral after the funeral of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi in Nice, French Riviera, last night. Picture/AP.
Last Friday, Bianchi became the first driver to die of injuries sustained in a Formula One race since three-time world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Bianchi had been in a coma since October 2014 after suffering a diffuse axonal injury following a collision with a crane on the side of the circuit. He had been receiving treatment at a hospital in Nice but his family announced his passing in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Pallbearers carry the casket of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi into the Sainte Reparate Cathedral during his funeral in Nice, French Riviera, last night. Picture/AP.
A statement read: 'It is with deep sadness that the parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, his brother Tom and sister Melanie, wish to make it known that Jules passed away last night at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) in Nice, (France) where he was admitted following the accident of 5th October 2014 at Suzuka Circuit during the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix.
'Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end. The pain we feel is immense and indescribable. We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice's CHU who looked after him with love and dedication.
'We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months."