Bianchi number to be retired from Formula 1

The number seventeen will no longer be available to drivers following a FIA decision to retire the number in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s death last week.

The Frenchman lost his survival battle after nine months in a coma last week following his accident during the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014, and the FIA have now honoured Bianchi by retiring his number.

“Jean Todt, President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) announced the car number 17 will be retired from the FIA Formula One World Championship in honour of Jules Bianchi,” said a FIA statement.

“As F1 car numbers are now personally chosen by each driver, the FIA believes it to be an appropriate gesture to retire Jules Bianchi’s number 17.

“As a result, this number can no longer be used for a car competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship.”

Bianchi’s funeral will take place on Tuesday at the Sainte Reparte Cathedral in Nice at 10am, with the Frenchman’s family, close friends and colleagues in attendance.