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Manor F1 team pays tribute to "shining talent" Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi was a "shining talent" and "magnificent human being", Manor F1 team principal John Booth says.

The Manor Formula 1 team has paid tribute to Jules Bianchi following his death at the age of 25 from severe head injuries he suffered at last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

The French driver, who represented Manor under their previous name Marussia, passed away overnight at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Nice, where he was admitted following his accident nine months ago.

"Words cannot describe the enormous sadness within our team this morning, as we come to terms with losing Jules. He has left an indelible mark on all our lives, and will forever be part of everything we have achieved, and everything we will strive for going forward," team principal John Booth said in a statement.

"Jules was a shining talent. He was destined for great things in our sport; success he so richly deserved. He was also a magnificent human being, making a lasting impression on countless people all over the world. They recognised, as did we, that at the same time as being a fiercely motivated racer, he was also an extremely warm, humble and intensely likeable person, who lit up our garage and our lives.

"We are incredibly grateful that we were able to provide Jules with the opportunity to show the world what he could do in a Formula 1 car. We knew we had a very special driver on our hands from the first time he drove our car in pre-season testing in 2013. It has been an honour to be able to consider him our race driver, our teammate, and of course our friend."

Booth also paid tribute to Bianchi's family and supporters in the statement.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the wonderful Bianchi family, who have remained so strong for Jules throughout the past nine months. In turn, Jules was an absolute credit to them," it continued.

"Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has supported Jules since his accident in Japan last October. Your kindness has been such a source of comfort to his family and to us, his team. We will rely on your continued support over the coming days and months as we race on for Jules."

Bianchi was a graduate of Ferrari's Driver Academy and earned his break in the sport with Force India as a reserve driver in 2012. He signed to Marussia the following season, and was widely tipped as a future Ferrari driver.


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Marussia driver Jules Bianchi talks to the press on October 3, 2013
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