David Beckham, Ian Poulter among those to pay tribute to Jules Bianchi
Several prominent athletes, including former soccer star David Beckham, golfer Ian Poulter and fellow race car driver Juan Pablo Montoya paid tribute to former Formula One driver Jules Bianchi, who died Friday at age 25.
Bianchi had been in a coma since an October 2014 accident in which his car veered off of the track during the Japanese Grand Prix and collided with a mobile crane which was being used to pick up another crashed car.
The Frenchman's family said in a statement that “Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end. The pain we feel is immense and indescribable.”
He is the first Formula One racer to die of racing-related injuries since Ayrton Senna in 1994.
Bianchi's great-uncle, Lucien Bianchi, also died in a racing accident at the Le Mans race in 1969, according to the Associated Press.
Beckham wrote on Instagram, “Jules Bianchi may he rest in peace.. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
RIP Jules Bianchi very sad news and a complete freak accident.— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 18, 2015
Bianchi's Formula One racing team, Manor, also recognized Bianchi and distributed the statement from Bianchi's family.
Formula One president Jean Todt said Saturday that the world of motor sport is in mourning.
Fellow Formula One drivers sent their condolences during the weekend, as well.