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Sunday 4 December 2016

Jules Bianchi's No 17 being retired after death of F1 driver

File photo dated 10-05-2013 of Marussia's Jules Bianchi during practice at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
File photo dated 10-05-2013 of Marussia's Jules Bianchi during practice at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
File photo dated 11-05-2013 of Marussia's Jules Bianchi during qualifying at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona

Jules Bianchi’s No. 17 is being retired from Formula One in honour of the French driver, whose funeral took place today.

Bianchi drove with this car number for 15 races in 2014, when drivers were first given the choice of which number they preferred.

Jean Todt, president of auto sports’ governing body, announced the decision Monday. The FIA said it was “an appropriate gesture.”

Bianchi, 25, died Friday from head injuries sustained in a crash at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix. He had been in a coma since the Oct. 5 accident, in which he collided at high speed with a mobile crane which was being used to pick up another crashed car.

Bianchi’s funeral is in his home town of Nice at the Sainte Reparate Cathedral. Executives from the Manor-Marussia F1 team are expected to attend, as well as Todt and his son Nicolas, Bianchi’s manager in F1.

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