Marussia responds to allegations about Bianchi’s speed

Marussia has issued a statement responding to what it calls “isolated media reports” about Jules Bianchi’s accident in Suzuka, and which referred to his speed under double waved yellow flags.

This is what the team says:

During the course of Tuesday 14 October, a number of media reports emerged suggesting:

1) that Jules Bianchi did not slow down under the double waved yellow flags shown after Adrian Sutil had spun off in the wet conditions

and

2) that the team urged Jules to go faster during the double waved yellow flag period in order to keep Marcus Ericsson behind.

The Marussia F1 Team is shocked and angered by these allegations. At a time when its driver is critically ill in hospital, and the team has made clear that its highest priority is consideration for Jules and his family, it is distressed to have to respond to deeply upsetting rumours and inaccuracies in respect of the circumstances of Jules’ accident. However, given that these allegations are entirely false, the team has no alternative but to address these.

Regarding point 1, Jules did slow down under the double waved yellow flags. That is an irrefutable fact, as proven by the telemetry data, which the team has provided to the FIA. In the FIA press conference which took place in Sochi on Friday 10 October, Charlie Whiting, the FIA’s Race Director, confirmed that the team had provided such data, that he himself had examined this data and that Jules did slow.

Regarding point 2, an audio copy of the full radio transmission between Jules and the team, and also a written transcript thereof, were provided to the FIA. It is quite clear from the transmission and the transcript that at no point during the period leading up to Jules’ accident did the team urge Jules to drive faster or make any comments suggesting that he should do so.

The team sincerely hopes that, having clarified these facts, it can now avoid any further distractions to its primary focus at this time, which is providing support for Jules and his family.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Marussia responds to allegations about Bianchi’s speed

  1. Rosie horn

    am so sorry malicious gossip is upsetting you at this difficult time. I am just praying for you all specially Jules and his family all so far a away in Japan. #forzajules

  2. Steve C

    I don’t read all the reports but I did read several. I don’t at all remember seeing that someone said he didn’t slow down nor that the team told him to go fast during the double yellows.

    I did see a report that he was travleing at 212kph when he lost control.

    He shouild have known the condititons and not went through the yellows with that kind of speed.

  3. petes

    Those two suggestions could be correct.

    • Brian

      While Charlie was very delicate about the subject when he issued the preliminary report at Sochi, it was pretty hard to come away from his statements without understanding the FIA’s take is that “some drivers” weren’t paying enough attention to the double yellow and acting accordingly. Given that the only “fix” that has been offered so far is “FIA race director Charlie Whiting said the governing body wants to find a way to impose a speed limit on the cars”

      Unknown if Bianchi really did slow, and if so by how much, but clearly the FIA sees that as the primary issue.

      Brian

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