It goes without saying that the untimely death of such a young and promising young driver is a tragedy. The loss of any life which could have been avoided is tragic. Arguably, all if not mostly all accidents are avoidable. We enter the realm of “ifs”,”could’ves” and “should’ves” but in reality there is no way of knowing the outcome.
For instance, questions were asked whether the safety car should have been deployed while Sutil’s car was being recovered on the rain soaked afternoon in Japan after he had spun on lap 42 just outside of turn 7 (Dunlop curve) . Could that have been enough to change Jules’ fate? Reports after the investigation indicated that Bianchi did not slow enough through the double yellow flags …how is that quantified? Who’s to say that slowing further would not have resulted in the same tragic event?
Ultimately, the whys and hows and even ifs are irrelevant now. Gone is a young star taken before he was able to shine his brightest. Talents and potentials left unexplored, un-celebrated and unrealized. We are left with the memories of P9 for Marussia by a smiling young man who was loved by many and will be remembered by all.
On a personal note, I was fortunate to spend some time over the last few years in the F1 paddock. In that time, a very friendly and polite Jules gave me the time of day. He laughed at my stupid jokes, was amused by the idea of my F1 poetry, and found time to sit and chat even if only for a brief moment here and there throughout the GP weekend. I met him at the Montreal FOTA Forum thanks to my mate Oliver Weingarten. He shook my hand, smiled and signed his card. I’ll never forget how he recognized me in the paddock the very next day, stopped… smiled… and waved hello.