Lewis Hamilton believes Jules Bianchi’s death proves that Formula 1 is still a dangerous sport, amid discussions about bringing the ‘fear factor’ back to the sport.
The Frenchman passed away nine months after he sustained a head injury when his car collided with a recovery vehicle attending to Adrian Sutil’s Sauber at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Hamilton, who was one of many present at Bianchi’s funeral, admitted saying goodbye to a current driver was “incredibly hard”.
“Saying goodbye to Jules was incredibly hard for everyone. I will be carrying Jules with me in my prayers for the rest of my driving days,” he said.
“For myself, I wish I had known him better. But from what I knew of him, he was a kind heart with a great spirit and a bright future.
“I know he’d want us to race as hard as he did, and so I will.”
But his crash highlights that danger still exists in the sport despite two decades passing between Ayrton Senna’s death and Bianchi’s, and drivers must therefore respect that risk, according to Hamilton.
“Now our sport embarks on a tough road ahead,” he added. “We have been shown once more the dangers of our sport, that these should be respected and we drivers must commit ourselves to the chance that those dangers are there when we step into the car.
“We have made great progress for safety thus far and I know that governing body the FIA will continue to make steps forward to improve even further.”