Marussia have expressed shock and anger at claims made against the team and Jules Bianchi relating to the circumstances of his crash in the Japanese Grand Prix that has left him fighting for his life.
Marussia released a statement after noticing a number of media reports that suggested Bianchi did not slow down under double-waved yellow flags shown after Adrian Sutil had spun off in the wet conditions at Suzuka.
The reports also suggested radio transmissions from the team had urged Bianchi to go faster during the extreme cautionary period in order to keep Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson behind. It was under the double-waved yellows that Bianchi careered off the track and into a recovery vehicle that was removing the Sauber of Sutil, who had crashed on the previous lap.
Bianchi sustained severe brain injuries which on Tuesday resulted in his father Philippe claiming his son’s situation was “desperate” and it was “a miracle” he is still alive.
Marussia have refuted the media reports via a strongly-worded statement in a bid to set the record straight. The team’s statement read: “The Marussia F1 Team is shocked and angered by these allegations.
“At a time when its driver is critically ill in hospital, and the team has made clear its highest priority is consideration for Jules and his family, it is distressed to have to respond to deeply-upsetting rumours and inaccuracies in respect of the circumstances of Jules’ accident.
“However, given that these allegations are entirely false, the team has no alternative but to address these.
“Jules did slow down under the double-waved yellow flags. That is an irrefutable fact, as proven by the telemetry data, which the team has provided to the FIA.
“In the FIA press conference which took place in Sochi on Friday 10 October, Charlie Whiting, the FIA’s Race Director, confirmed the team had provided such data, that he himself had examined this data and that Jules did slow.
“An audio copy of the full radio transmission between Jules and the team, and also a written transcript thereof, were provided to the FIA.
“It is quite clear from the transmission and the transcript that at no point during the period leading up to Jules’ accident did the team urge Jules to drive faster or make any comments suggesting he should do so.
“The team sincerely hopes that having clarified these facts it can now avoid any further distractions to its primary focus at this time, which is providing support for Jules and his family.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved