Marussia Boss Thanks Fans, Teams and Bernie Ecclestone for Support
Marussia team CEO Graeme Lowdon said the backing received by his team had been a big help as they grappled with the shock of Jules Bianchi's life-threatening crash in last Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.
Marussia team chief Graeme Lowdon thanked Formula One's fans, the travelling F1 circus and veteran commercial ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone for their support when he spoke to reporters here on Friday.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of this weekend's inaugural Russian Grand Prix, Lowdon said the backing received by his team had been a big help as they grappled with the shock of Jules Bianchi's life-threatening crash in last Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.
"It has been a very, very difficult time, but it has also been a time that reminded us of how much support there is for people within this sport," he said. (Marussia to Run Only One Car in Sochi)
"Jules is an exceptional F1 driver, but he is also an exceptional human being. I don't know a single human being who doesn't like him.
"You wouldn't wish that accident on anybody, but certainly Jules has so many friends that it has hit home really hard to a lot of people.
"John [Booth, team principal] has remained in Japan to offer what support he can. None of us are medical people so we cannot help in that area, but we can provide another form of support which we hope helps at this really difficult time.
"From a team point of view we want to thank everyone who has provided support - especially the fans." (Also Read: Bianchi's Brain Injury Severe, Says Family)
He made a special point to add mention of Ecclestone.
"On a personal note," added the Marussia team sporting director, "I can't speak too highly of the support we have had from Bernie Ecclestone.
"Right from the accident occurring, in these situations, which are incredibly difficult, it is so reassuring to know that people care and the support that we have had from Bernie, that he cares, has been extremely valuable and helpful."
Lowdon said it was not easy for the team to decide to race with only one car, driven by Briton Max Chilton, at Sochi.
"It was a difficult decision," he said. "The main thing we wanted was to do something useful and be supportive as much as we can for Jules and Jules' family.
"We thought that the right thing to do was to come here, take part in the event, but as a mark of support to Jules, and a mark of respect to his mum and dad and to Jules' family, we would withdraw the second car."
At the same news conference, Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci said that events in the last week had hurt him and his team.
He said: "It has been and still is an extremely painful week for all of us in F1, but for all of us at Ferrari. Jules is a Ferrari driver, is part of the Ferrari family and is one of us. So we are extremely pained at the moment." (Related: Drivers Dedicate Russia Race to Bianchi)