The Marussia F1 Team has confirmed it will run just a single car at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix as a mark of respect to the injured Jules Bianchi.
As Bianchi remains in a critical condition in hospital following his accident in Japan, Marussia have decided to run just one car for Max Chilton in Sochi.
Bianchi’s car has been prepared and sits in the second Marussia garage.
The team nominated Alexander Rossi on the official FIA entry list for the race, but were given special dispensation to run just a single car in light of Bianchi’s accident.
“The Marussia F1 Team will run a single car for the duration of the forthcoming grand prix weekend in Sochi, out of respect for their driver Jules Bianchi, who remains in hospital in Yokkaichi, Japan, in a critical but stable condition,” read an official statement from the team.
“The team have written to the stewards of the meeting to inform them that they have withdrawn their second car. Notwithstanding the presence in Sochi of Alexander Rossi, the nominated official reserve driver for the 2014 Russian Grand Prix, the team feels strongly that fielding a single car, that of driver No.4, Max Chilton, is the appropriate course of action under the difficult circumstances of the weekend.
“Jules’ car crew have built a second car, which has been scrutineered and is ready to race, and this will remain on his side of the garage throughout the weekend. In support of Jules and his family, the Team and their cars will carry the familiar #JB17 graphic, to ensure that although Jules is not with them in Sochi this weekend, he is, nonetheless, racing on with the Marussia F1 Team.”
Bianchi’s team-mate Max Chilton added: “I don’t know how to put into words how truly devastated I am by what has happened to Jules.
“The support from the F1 family has been incredible and all we can do is be there to support Jules’ family at this difficult time.
“It is going to be a very emotional weekend for the whole team, but we will try to get through it and keep praying for Jules.”
Image courtesy of Marussia F1 Team