Apparently there have been reports in the media hinting at negligence from both Jules Bianchi and the Marussia F1 Team in the immediate moments prior to Bianchi’s life-threatening crash.
The allegations are twofold, first that Bianchi did not slow down under the double waved yellow flags where Adrian Sutil’s car was being retrieved and secondly, that Marussia was urging Bianchi to keep going fast in order to keep the Caterham of Marcus Ericsson behind him.
As you might expect Marussia is upset at these claims and reacted by issuing an official statement which it hopes will set the record straight.
“The Marussia F1 Team is shocked and angered by these allegations,” the statement reads. “It is distressed to have to respond to deeply upsetting rumours and inaccuracies in respect of the circumstances of Julesâ€™ 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.
“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 Julesâ€™ accident did the team urge Jules to drive faster or make any comments suggesting that he should do so.”
Late last week Charlie Whiting, FIA F1 race director, gave a media briefing addressing Bianchi’s accident. He covered a number of topics, including the start time of the race, the use of the Safety Car, the actions of the flag marshals and more. Crucially, he also addressed the question of Bianchi’s speed during the double waved yellows.
“I know what speed he left the track at,” Whiting said. “A lot of cars came through the double waved yellow sector, not everyone slowed down as much.
“There were some that didn’t slow down much and some slowed down a lotâ€”and I don’t think we need to go into the detail of how much he slowed down relative to the others.
“Suffice to say, we do have that data. He did slow down and it is a matter of degree.”
You can read Marussia’s full reaction after the break.