All Formula One thoughts remain with Jules Bianchi
Any sport can be incredibly affecting when you’re in that special moment; watching something fantastic, historic or brilliant unfold. The enjoyment penetrates pretty deep and happily hangs around as the real world comes back into focus.
"Our first thoughts go to Jules – it overshadows everything else when one of our colleagues is injured; we’re praying for him"
Sadly the same lingering, affecting feelings also apply to the times sport shows its more horrific side – which was what hit us at Suzuka on Sunday.
In truth, the picture isn’t much clearer as I write this column. We still don’t know much about Jules Bianchi’s condition or the long-term repercussions of his accident.
But we know what we feel – which for me is a little sick at what happened. That feeling doesn’t go away until some good news arrives.
How Bianchi comes out of all this is the primary concern and all our thoughts are with the Frenchman, his family and friends, as well as the Marussia team. And of course, the cloud won’t have lifted much when Formula One goes racing again this weekend in Russia for Sochi’s debut.
Good week, bad week
• Pole position – Lewis Hamilton: Understandably subdued but with a brilliant overtake and supreme drive, the Brit finally won at Suzuka, and underlined his title chances this season.
• Stalling – Caterham: Bailiff visit meant rock bottom for the Leafield-based, formerly Hingham-backed outfit. It is starting to feel like the writing is on the wall.
• Listen to the latest EDP Formula One Podcast
While the fear of fatalities has been softened since Ayrton Senna’s death in 1994, the sport is inherently dangerous. Accidents will always happen and fate will intervene.
Whether introducing closed cockpits is a way to eliminate another small factor in the risk will almost certainly now be discussed, whatever happens next.
Perhaps the safety car should have been deployed for Adrian Sutil’s initial spin? Yet that’s dealing strongly in hindsight.
And as bad as Bianchi’s accident was, it could have been far worse and involved a lot more people.
Those are the issues – and they will all get discussed.
But to be quite honest, it’s hard to think too much about them when the only news you really want to hear is the good kind from Mie General Medical Center.
• It feels like a long time ago, but it was only the other side of the Suzuka weekend we found out Sebastian Vettel was calling time on his long association and huge success with Red Bull.
Ferrari will be his destination next season goes F1’s worst kept secret, while Fernando Alonso seems set for a return to McLaren – which seems nothing more than a gamble.
The same can be said for Vettel of course, but the German has a tricky set of circumstances.
Having only known the Red Bull way for most of his career, his desire to try something different is entirely understandable. But what Ferrari will be able to give Vettel in terms of car is the big unknown.
If the German has dreams of walking into Maranello and recreating the history Michael Schumacher carved out, he might find it all ends in disappointment.